In the context of ISIS, affected areas have suffered severe urban destruction, population displacement and economic crisis. Destruction in Ramadi city (Anbar) has been among the most severe in Iraq. To support the Local Authorities and returning communities to transition from crisis to sustainable urban development, LADP/UN-Habitat engaged the Local Authorities in joint planning effort to develop Ramadi Strategic Urban Recovery and Development Plan.

The Ramadi Plan offers to Local Authorities a set of effective urban planning strategies to facilitate (1) rebuilding of communities by linking housing recovery, basic services and infrastructure upgrading with the trade-based economy of the city; and (2) mid-/long-term urban development based on more equitable and sustainable use of land and environmental resources. As such, the Plan provides to the Local Authorities an integrated framework to coordinate and spatially guide public and private investments to where they will have the highest socio-economic impact. The piloted planning approach can be replicated in other heavily destroyed cities.

To develop the Plan, the LADP/UN-Habitat team engaged the local authorities to complete comprehensive physical damage assessment, and to identify the priority needs to be addressed (physical, infrastructural, environmental, socio-economic, services and facilities, land tenure, accessibility, etc.) in order to facilitate return, recovery, development and reconciliation. A series of consultation workshops brought together municipal-, governorate- and central-level officials, Chambers of Commerce and Industries, Investment Commission, Anbar University, and civil society – providing a platform to recognise and address the citizens’ aspirations.

The Plan builds on a set of critical pillars (physical, infrastructural, environmental, socio-economic, services and facilities, land tenure, accessibility etc.) and identified ‘anchors’ in selected locations which allow to maximise growth impact and investments by donors and government agencies. In line with NUA, the proposed approach of ‘building back better’ hinges upon opportunities to relocate selected land uses and spatially guide investments towards future economic poles and infrastructure nodes where they will have a multiplier effect on the future socio-economic prospects of the city. The Plan includes a set of six multi-sectoral programmes – on housing, infrastructure, informal settlements, mobility, greening and local economy – including recommended actions.

The Ramadi Plan has been identified as one of the eight ‘Executive Projects’ of NDP 2018-2022 to be implemented by 2020.