B.1. Understanding of integrated and sustainable urban development:
I am an Urban and Regional Planner and economist with strong academic and professional background and more than 27 years of experience in Local Authorities and transnational cooperation projects. I studied Economics at the Athens School of Economics and continued my postgraduate studies at the London School of Economics from where I got my Masters degree in Urban and Regional Planning and a postgraduate diploma in Town Planning from the Bristol University. I am now the Secretary General of Larnaca Municipality in Cyprus, head and coordinator of all Municipal departments, after a long and successful career as head town Planner and Manager of the Town Planning and Development department of the Municipality. During my 27 years of experience as a town Planner in Larnaca Municipality, Secretary General and responsible for the European Funded projects, I had the opportunity to be personally involved in all aspects of urban sustainable development. Worth mentioning is my long experience in the preparation of statutory Local Plans, Detail Regeneration master Plans, mobility Plans, environmental audits and urban sustainable strategic Plans, with emphasis in participatory processes and economic evaluation for finance and implementation. Since 1992, I was involved in transnational cooperation with successful experience in EU programmes like MED URBS, LIFE, ENPI, SMAP, INTERREC, etc.
1: The applicant provides evidence of more than 2 years of experience in the field of urban development.
B.2. Understanding of exchange and learning processes at transnational level:
Two of the most successful networks I worked with, were the Urban Sustainable Development strategy network, financed under ENPI EU programme and MARIE network financed under MED programme. In both the above networks, cities from EU countries (Cyprus, Spain, Greece, France, as well as Lebanon and Morocco) collaborated to develop sustainable development plans for urban areas and to produce and disseminate good practice material for the energy saving sector. One of my tasks as a local coordinator was to prepare and deliver transnational networking activities. A number of seminars, workshops and study visits have been organized to support the partners for the preparation of their outputs and I was directly responsible for the production of relevant inputs and capitalization of the results from these activities The basic characteristic and key factor, in my opinion, for successful networking in such multi disciplinary and multi cultural environment, is to understand the dynamics of group building. It was therefore important to establish a good understanding of the different agendas, the cultural differences, language problems, the weaknesses and strengths of each partner before we enter into the performing stage. With my long experience as a coordinator in transnational projects, I have contributed to establish a well performing network, with good understanding of each other, with appreciation of the differences that exists and the importance of those differences.
1: The applicant has participated in more than 1 transnational activity related to exchange and learning.
B.3. Proficiency in English:
In transnational networks, a crucial factor of success is to establish good communication and understanding between partners. Cultural differences, as well differences in language and working ethics, often create problems, misunderstandings and hidden agendas, usually at the initial stage of the network building and formation. It is important therefore to communicate clearly and sufficiently in a common language. Especially when you have the role to coordinate activities, to prepare working documents and comparative studies and to deliver seminars and workshops, the capacity to communicate fluently in English is absolutely crucial. My higher education in Cyprus, where English language is an obligatory second learning language, my studies in England at two of the most well known universities and my long career in the Local Authority as CEO, coordinator of the EU programmes and head Town Planner, develop my capacity to communicate fluently in English ( oral and written) My bilingual capacity, enable me to participate in a number of international, regional and European conferences, workshops and seminars, some of them as an expert speaker and appointed in the management committee of the European Association of Municipal Chief Executive Officers
1: The applicant provides evidence of his capacity to communicate fluently in English.
Theme / Policy:
Urban Strategic Planning
D.1. Deep knowledge on the selected theme and related policy challenges, including up to date practice, research, etc.:
Urban Strategic Planning and more specifically sustainable area schemes for Central Business Districts, is a policy issue with which I was involved with different capacities over a number of years in my professional career. My academic qualifications as a town planner and as an economist provided me with the necessary skills to deal with the complex problems and challenges of CBD areas. Additionally, over my professional career I had the opportunity to attend a number of professional seminars, workshops and training courses that updated my knowledge on urban planning and sustainable development. Especially useful was my deep knowledge of the economic environment within which city centers operate today and the interrelation with socio economic and spatial/land use challenges. As a town planner and economist I was involved in the preparation of Larnacas city center renewal study and all the related upgraded studies until today. More specifically I had the responsibility for • the preparation of the detail SWOT analysis of CBD in a participatory process with stakeholders and the elected Municipal Council • the preparation of City Center health check to identify the performance of specific parameters compared with relevant data from other European cities • the preparation of alternative development scenarios related with investment projects, traffic management, zoning etc • the preparation of detail proposals for catalyst projects and policies.
1: The candidate shows sufficient experience and a solid background in the thematic field of urban strategic planning.
D.2. Ability to produce thematic inputs to feed in the learning process of in projects in which you have been involved:
With my involvement in transnational cooperation programmes, I had the opportunity to deliver in the form of seminars, and sometimes in the form of educational programs various thematic inputs that help the participating cities in the learning process. These are two recent examples of thematic inputs produced. Swot analysis. Within the framework of the project USUDS, I had the responsibility for the scientific guidance of the Working Group for the preparation of the strategic plan for sustainable growth in the region of Larnaca. In this context I deliver a training programme to the scientific team responsible for the preparation of the strategic plan, on the use of SWOT analysis in geographical areas and spatial planning. The training programme focused on both the methodology, tools and techniques for qualitative and quantitative methods of estimating strengths and weaknesses and the limitations of SWOT method using comparative examples from other regions Rabbit Environmental Assessment. In the context of implementing SMAP project, related to environmental audits and the establishment of environmental observatories in urban areas, I had the responsibility for the provision of modern theoretical models to estimate pollution loads in urban areas. The REA method is based on a methodology that was originally developed by WHO and I had the opportunity to be trained as trainer on the subject, in an educational programme delivered by the United Nations.
1: The applicant shows an ability to produce thematic inputs to feed in the learning process and provides two valid examples.
D.3. Ability to produce concise reports that incorporate learning from exchange & learning activities, put forward good practice:
Through my participation in transnational cooperation networks, I had the opportunity to be involved in the preparation of useful reports for urban planners and Local Authority employees. With my participation in the network USUDS I have contributed to the preparation of the report” Thinking the city strategically “ which describes the strategic planning methodologies and focus on policies that have been implemented in all the cities participating in the program. This comparative presentation of strategic plans for urban areas is a useful tool for those involved in the strategic design and spatial planning. My involvement in the preparation focused on the methodology for the presentation of the results, in order to facilitate the comparative study and analysis of strategic plans and on the presentation of the specific policies of the strategic plan of larnaca. With my participation in the network CITUM, I have contributed to the preparation of the report “pan European handbook for citizens friendly mobility planning and management”. In this report, all partners of the network, have collaborated to identify good practices and pilot projects related to urban sustainable mobility and especially the sustainable mobility in CBD areas. My involvement in the preparation of this report focused on the selection and organization of best practices on mobility and the Organization of the information that has been incorporated in the report.
1: The candidate shows proof of his ability to produce reports incorporating good practices and policy messages and provides two valid examples.
D.4. Understanding of how to maximize the use of project results for benefits in capitalization, policy design, awarenes:
As a local coordinator in USUDS network on sustainable development, I was responsible for the development at an early stage, of the communication plan of the network, in order to ensure communication on the project activity on an ongoing basis to urban practitioners outside the network and to ensure dissemination of the project results to a wider community. More specifically, I was responsible for the overall coordination and quality control of the communication plan of USUDS in Larnaca. My role was to regularly update the network web page www.medcities.org/web/larnaka and social network pages www.facebook.com/usuds.larnaka, to Produce and share communication materials about network activities (leaflets have been produced on thematic issues and about the final results ), to Organize interim and final events to all target groups and local communication events ( workshops have been organized for public participation and for the dissemination of project results to the public ) and to Participate in external events to promote the network activities and results ( the project methodology and final results have been presented in Greece at a conference on sustainable development )
1: The applicant shows proof of his involvement in the design and implementation of a dissemination strategy.
Summary Thematic expertise:
Urban Strategic Planning is a thematic issue with which I am involved with different capacities over a number of years in my professional career. My academic qualifications as a town planner and as an economist provided me with the necessary skills to deal with the complex problems and challenges of urban areas. Especially useful is my deep knowledge of the economic environment within which city centers operate today and the interrelation with socio economic and spatial/land use challenges. With my experience as an expert, in transnational cooperation networks, I have the capacity to deliver seminars, educational programs on strategic planning methodologies, comparative analysis and various thematic inputs on urban policies, to assist networks and urban groups in the learning process, as well as for the development of the networks communication plan to ensure communication on an ongoing basis to urban practitioners outside the network and ensure dissemination of the project results to a wider community.
The candidate meets 4 out of 4 criteria for this thematic field and should be validated as an Ad-Hoc Expert. No significant inconsistencies between the CV and application form have been identified.