Latin America - URB-AL III - Promoting local public policies

Latin America - URB-AL III - Promoting local public policies

URB-AL III aimed at enhancing regional cooperation with Latin America. It has contributed towards increasing the level of social cohesion between local, regional and provincial governments in Latin America.




URB-AL is a regional cooperation programme involving sub-national governments of the EU and Latin America. The programme was initially created to develop networks between local authorities and, on the basis of exchange of experiences on different urban policies, to contribute to the wider goal of promoting social cohesion in Latin America.

The third phase of the URB-AL programme is based on the following evidence:

  • The partnerships and exchange of experiences among sub-national governments have an important role in the dissemination and strengthening of social cohesion policies.
  • In Latin America, there are interesting experiences and emergent social cohesion generating processes at the local level, which might become reference models.
  • One of the main characteristics of the social cohesion generating processes is their integral nature that reflects a general vision of the city/territory.

The EU contributed to phase III with €50 million for 21 projects.


In Phases I and II (1994 – 2007), URB-AL played a leading role in strengthening the relations between the EU and Latin America by encouraging direct exchange of experiences between local development representatives and experts of both regions.

URB-AL III (2008 – 2013)

The third phase of the programme aimed to increase the degree of social cohesion of Latin America's local and regional communities. More specifically, its objective was to promote social cohesion processes in a limited number of Latin American cities and territories which might be considered as reference models for further social cohesion policies implemented by Latin American local governments.

URB-AL III was therefore designed in complete coherence with the new EU policy trends towards Latin America that, since the Guadalajara Summit (2004), contemplates social cohesion as the core of the "strategic alliance" between both regions.

URB-AL III was structured in two lots:

  • Lot 1: 20 projects for the promotion and consolidation of social cohesion policies and processes in Latin America. (€44 million).
  • Lot 2: 1 project to provide co-ordination, technical support, training and animation of networks and dissemination of results for actions funded under Lot 1 (€6 million). Lot 2 was made up of a consortium called OCO (Oficina de Coordinación y Orientación), whose leader is the Diputación of Barcelona


URB-AL has had a direct impact in 74 Latin American territories, in more than 500 municipal administrations with a total population of 26 million people. More than 1.8 million persons have directly benefitted from URB-AL and more than 160 organisations have directly implemented its activities. Thanks to URB-AL, more than 2000 jobs have been created, about 25 000 persons have received professional trainings, and more than 400 infrastructures have been built or renovated.