The project aims to strengthen local strategies through the development of an institutionalised vision building process.
Local Task Force
Fundación CIEDES had a leader role as the public body under which regional stakeholders participated. In addition, local community, businesses, the University of Málaga and, the Municipality of Málaga were invited to join in. However, regional policy-makers did not participate.
The pilot is crucial to steer the vision building for the new economic development model of the city of Málaga. Additionally, the process clearly showed the benefits of using existing structures -in this case the Fundación CIEDES-, its experience in planning as well as its regional networks, which can be used as leverage for the transition processes.
The pilot built on other plans, such as "Málaga Integrated and Integrating City" (from the strategic plan), and "Málaga Sustainable Use of the City".
On a political level, the process was conducted with the assistance of City Hall Economic area, and the urbanism sector of the city, which were included in the ongoing planning with local authorities and public institutions (LAPI).
While the construction industry has strongly suffered from the recession that has been taking place since the end of the year 2000, the tourism sector has remained relatively more stable. This has implied a significant obstacle to question the centrality that the tourism sector has in Málaga´s economy, and as a consequence has restricted the possibility to create a more resilient and diversified economy that is not only dependent on tourism revenue.
In order to question the current dependence on tourism and the construction sector, the vision building process adopted a holistic view and analysed the economic opportunities and risks of the regional economic over a longer time span. This helped to look into other opportunities linked to Malaga's interesting position as a coastal economy.
The use of both, the existing planning experience and the already established networks of CIEDES, were key for the success of the development of a new process of vision building. In addition, based on planning resources such as, the Development Plan from 2006, a platform coordinated by CIEDES was created in which many stakeholders can jointly build a vision for Malaga's economic development model. Nonetheless, as the participation in the platform was voluntary and not remunerated, this led to imperfect working conditions.
Strokes of Luck
The proactive attitude of the audience and their willingness to participate, as well as the leverage from using existing institutions such as CIEDES, made the vision building process quite successful.
The platform developed an Action Plan and a strong institutionalised network to continue the vision-making process and its implementation in a transparent and inclusive way.
On the long-term, it is expected that a more inclusive stance on vision building like the one coordinated by CIEDES, can bring a wide range of goals and objectives into the planning process, including environmental and social concerns. This has already happened during the vision making process.
Key lesson learned - Isabel explains
"The citizens of Malaga are the central focus for each strategic line of growth that were defined for the city. Any action we can consider has to be aligned with the best interests of our citizens and their quality of living. Talking about our economy, we learned that we have to promote, even more, local business, entrepreneurship and also bring to Málaga big companies to team up with the university and small local businesses in order to grow and generate more employment in a more efficient way."Isabel Villamor, Promalaga