The Association for the Strategic Development of Zaragoza and its Metropolitan Area, better known as EBROPOLIS, began in May 1994 with the purpose of elaborating and promoting the Strategic Plan of the capital and its Metropolitan Area. It has been declared of public utility.
EBROPOLIS is working to be a meeting point for all people and entities committed to the future of Zaragozans. And it is doing this guided by the basic principles which have characterized the actions of the Association from its beginnings: broad participation, consensus and public-private cooperation.
To achieve its objectives, the Association has the Strategic Plan of Zaragoza and its Metropolitan Area, a document drawn up as the result of consensus which brings together the strategy to be followed to place the Aragonese capital and nearby municipalities in a strong position in the context of average European cities, not only through economic development but also due to fomenting values which contribute to creating a more humane and solidary city.
The Plan was approved initially in July of 1998 and its updating receiving the unanimous backing of the nearly three hundred members of EBROPOLIS –in representation of all of Zaragoza society- in June of 2006.
It is the high body of government and is made up of all members of the Association. The General Assembly – ordinary or extraordinary- must give its approval to all important matters, including the entry of new members, the annual budget and the management.
The Assembly is also in charge of naming the high posts of the Association. They are currently:
The Founders are representative entities which, in 1994 took the step of creating us in order to improve the quality of life and the expectations of Zaragozans. The responsibility for the management of the Association falls mainly upon them.
Numerary members are all those physical persons or legal entities which who have actively adopted the objectives of the Association and its Statutes and have requested membership in it. Their acceptance must be approved by the governing bodies. From the time they are accepted, they will pay an annual membership fee and will participate fully in all the activities of EBROPOLIS.
Contributing members are those who subscribe to the objectives of the Association and contribute economically or in otherwise – periodically or occasionally – to the aims pursued by EBROPOLIS. Their acceptance, which must be approved by the Board of Directors, will allow them to be a part of the Association, but without the right to vote.
The Founding and Numerary members may also – as currently occurs in numerous cases – be Contributing members.Strategic Plan
The Strategic Plan is a document in which we define the model of the future we want for Zaragoza and the municipalities of its surrounding area and propose the actions necessary to achieve this.
In 2006, after a period of revision, the strategy was updated to adapt it to the demands and challenges imposed by modern times and thus allow Zaragoza and its Metropolitan area to face the future with optimism and place itself in a strong position within the context of the average European cities on the horizon of the year 2010.
The new plan was approved unanimously in June 2006 by Zaragozan society, represented by the members of EBROPOLIS, which is the association in charge of its preparation and promotion.
The Society of Knowledge; the updating of the Zaragozan agrifood industry; the city trademark and the image it projects; a new relationship with the surrounding area based on the improvement of communication and balanced development; to commitment to nitrogen and bio fuels as opposed to traditional energy as well as the increase in relations with other territories and cities, are some of the proposals included in the strategy for the future of Zaragoza, which logically, could not leave out the defence of sustainable development as the foundation for any action aiming to further the progress of the city in the social, cultural, economic, territorial and environmental areas.
The updating of the Strategic Plan of Zaragoza and its Metropolitan Area was approved by unanimity in June 2006, and since then, the work of EBROPOLIS has centered around promoting the new strategy for the future.
This new phase consists of two broad lines of action:
Four Strategic Commissions have been started, in charge of tracking and promoting the actions and objectives of the Plan, through an operative and dynamic work methodology and with annual planning in which specific tables, conferences or appearances by the appropriate experts are included. Two founding entities of EBROPOLIS share the leadership.
1.- Exterior positioning: In charge of the “Identity Development” and “Relations Development” lines of strategy. Directed by the Zaragoza City Hall and Chamber of Commerce.
2.- Social y cultural: Centers its work around the “Social progress” y “Cultural and educational progress” lines. It is led by UGT Aragon and the University of Zaragoza.
3.- Economic and Environmental: In charge of objectives relating to “Economic progress” and “Environmental development”. It is directed by the Government of Aragon and the Confederation for Small and Medium Enterprises of Zaragoza.
4.- Territorial It is responsible for all matters relating to “Territorial Development” and “Access Development”. In this case there are three founding institutions which will lead the commission: the Provincial Government of Zaragoza, “Comisiones Obreras”(“Worker’s Commissions” – Trade Union), and the Confederation of Businessmen of Zaragoza.
A great novelty of the Plan approved in 2006 is the starting of the indicator system which will allow the measurement of the degree of compliance with the Strategic Plan.
This system has been designed by an Indicators Commission composed of representatives of nine founding entities and the Technical Office of EBROPOLIS. After months of work, it has defined a battery of 56 indicators – 13 of opinion and 43 of results – which will allow the Strategic Commissions to work on a more objective basis. Access of the members to the Control Panel.
The Permanent Indicators Observatory will be in charge of carrying out a periodic in-depth analysis of the state of the indicators and will present its results in an annual report.
The Association for the Development of the Strategic Plan of Zaragoza and its Metropolitan Area announces the EBROPOLIS Prize for Good Citizen Practices with the objective of honouring persons, entities, groups and institutions whose action can be presented to the rest of society as a model of good citizen practices.
In fact, the Prize is conceived not only with the purpose of publicly recognizing exemplary conduct, but also, and no less important, to make known to all Zaragozan society the various initiatives which are being carried out to build a better future. The final objective is that good practices not be isolated acts but should be a part of the daily activity of Zaragozans.
EBROPOLIS considers a good practice to be any action which contributes to improving harmonious living and/or the quality of life of the population of Zaragoza and the surrounding municipalities and which also serves as a model of conduct to be followed in the future. This positive action can benefit society in any area: education, labour unions, environment, economic-business, social services, neighbourhoods, youth, culture health, cooperation and volunteer work, etc
The prize is 6,000 euros in the form of equipment, a diploma of certification, and a unique sculpture which is the work of the Zaragozan artist Javier Alonso Márquez.
Annually, Zaragoza plays host to directors, invited by EBRÓPOLIS, of strategic plans of different Spanish and Portuguese cities with the purpose of analyzing all those matters of interest related to strategic planning, in an encounter that is now a tradition which makes possible an enriching exchange of experiences between cities.
The Iberian Encounter of Directors of Urban Strategic Plans was first held in 1995 and the last edition was in February of 2008, the twelfth..
From the challenges of cities to the phenomenon of globalization, the main subject of the last edition, to sustainable development and strategic planning; examining the challenges of plans in the twenty-first century; the relation between strategic planning and urban planning or the influence of international events in cities, the themes dealt with include a wide number of subjects of great interest.
EBROPOLIS contributes to making the name of Zaragoza and its surrounding area known in the world, and more specifically, in all of Latin America, though the organization of training courses for local public managers in the countries of this continent.
It was precisely the Local Public Management course for Latin American Managers, organized by EBROPOLIS in collaboration with the Zaragoza Town Council, which received the Prize for International Cooperation awarded by Eurocities, the most important network of European cities in existence today.
Relations with Latin America have also been fruitful in collaboration agreements and agreements to carry out various actions. This is the case with project Emplenet, in which EBROPOLIS has participated together with six European and eight Latin American partners.
Graduate Level Course in Local Public Management for Latin American Managers
Since 1998, the year in which the first Course was held, ten editions have been carried out and two additional ones for elected officials of Paraguay and for representatives of the State of Bolivar (Venezuela).
These courses are carried out from three perspectives: investment in human capital for public management, making Zaragoza known in the world and the possibility of exchanges and opportunities for the participant cities with our surrounding area.
From the beginning of these Courses in Local Public Management, more than 250 public managers have received training in Zaragoza, from 85 localities with populations of more than 200,000 in twenty Latin American countries.
Their profiles have been diverse and, together with the elected officials (mayors and councilmen), there have also been administrative and finance managers of the municipalities, heads of planning and projects, directors of strategic plans, public services managers, directors of business development and local development, etc. All in all, a broad range of managers seeking to share experiences to build a common frame of reference, taking advantage of the synergies that result from sharing the same cultural foundation.