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Metropolis Initiatives

coverMetropolis Initiatives - Report 2014 coverMentoring on Upgrading Informal Settlements coverComparative Study on Metropolitan Governance coverIntegrated Urban Governance – Successful Policy Transfer

What are Metropolis Initiatives?

The Metropolis Initiatives launched in 2012 are specific projects and services by and for cities in conjunction with businesses and institutions interested in themes concerning Governance, Social Inclusion, Urban Innovation and Sustainability.

Metropolis Initiatives Guidelines 2014



Agra: Piloting Digital Technologies. Re-imagining Participation for Implementing Sustainable Slum Upgrading

The project aims at building a ‘new commons’ by piloting a digital interface built using mobile media technologies for mobilizing community participation at city scale and creating city-people compact for de-slumming Agra under RAY. The Interface shall a. reimagine information collection, simplification and sharing to address exclusion, micro-variance, institutional coordination and measurement; b. optimise city’s resources and processes for efficiency; and c. localize, de-engineer and reformat urban planning tools to receive, process and respond to all-slum information - imaginatively and granularly. The pilot shall be tested for citywide scaling up and replication in other cities.

AMB Barcelona: Climate-Metropole +

The Initiative’s partner cities and metropolitan areas (Barcelona Metropolitan Area, Marseille, and Berlin) will propose governance strategies and actions for climate change adaptation in the areas of total water cycle management, mobility and transportation, town and country planning, municipal waste management and prevention, and environmental stewardship.

Barcelona Cibernarium: Technology Training Center for Professionals and SMEs

The Cibernarium is a public technology training center aimed at professionals from any industry, entrepreneurs and/or small businesses seeking to improve their technology skills.

The main objective of the project is to promote and facilitate the international transfer of the Cibernarium model. The Cibernarium is a powerful tool for social cohesion and enhancing employability that can help to strengthen the economies of urban areas around the world. The training model and content used by the Cibernarium are unique and innovative, and the more than 60,000 people that use the center’s services each year bear witness to the initiative’s quality and sustainability.

Barcelona: Using Sports to Promote the Social Cohesion and Inclusion of Young People

Barcelona is committed to promoting the use of sports to facilitate social construction. To this end, it has decided to establish a Sports Network for Social Cohesion and Inclusion to support the projects carried out by sports associations and clubs to foster social inclusion. Initially, it will focus on projects aimed at young people (ages 12 to 18) at risk of dropping out of school and/or who have difficulties finding jobs.

BERLIN: Integrated Urban Governance – web based knowledge exchange and transfer

The Metropolis Initiative on Integrated Urban Governance has developed an internet platform that is to serve as a structured information tool for the exchange of knowledge on good practice solutions and instruments in integrated urban development and includes a database of experts on specific urban issues. The technical testing phase of this platform is finished and ready for use. The platform has to be extended and maintained in order to reach a “critical mass” of good practice cases and relevant experts. In addition the existence and benefits of the platform have be disseminated and cities will be supported in using the platform and its content.

Bogotá: Water and Cities Alliance. A Scenario for Adaptation and Resilience

The Alliance consists of a mutual agreement between three Latin American cities – Bogotá, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro – that have undertaken to pool their technical, operational and financial resources to help protect the ecosystems that supply their water, as well as those that contribute to water regulation and are found within their city limits. This undertaking was made in the context of constant population growth that has led to the transformation and gradual deterioration of these ecosystems, which, in turn, has increased risks related to variability and climate change and led to considerable losses in biodiversity and environmental flows.

Buenos Aires - Social Habitat Management

The Social Habitat Management project, led by the government of the City of Buenos Aires, offers a new paradigm for regional and urban intervention, under which the local community takes the lead in effecting the territory’s physical and social transformation. Within this context, actions are designed to forge bonds between the government and the community that both strengthen institutions and empower citizens, creating opportunities for engagement, coexistence and collective consensus.

Buenos Aires - Social Innovation Center

The Social Innovation Center (SIC) is a modern and inclusive public policy initiative intended to promote social inclusion in the most vulnerable neighborhoods by developing local potential. The SIC seeks to rally the support of entrepreneurs, encourage education and training, and facilitate the production and promotion of artistic and cultural activities. The SIC is jointly managed by the local community, the government, and private-sector, academic and third-sector organizations and is driven by technology and innovation.

Buenos Aires: Green Economy Center

The Green Economy Center is a Metropolis Initiative led by the government of the City of Buenos Aires intended to promote the transformation of productive sectors with a view to achieving a sustainable economy. The Green Economy Center promotes green jobs, supports sustainable entrepreneurs, and analyzes productive sectors in order to propose reforms in keeping with sustainability guidelines. It thus helps to design and implement public policies that are conducive to the economic and sustainable development of major metropolises.

ESTADO DE SÃO PAULO: Capacity building and structuring of financial alternatives for urban and metropolitan development projects in Latin America and Caribbean

Disseminate and share knowledge on financing alternatives for urban and metropolitan development projects. Contribute to the implementation of projects from the possibility of choice and adoption of alternative financing.

IAU-IdF: How to create a sustainable airport area?

Identify and transfer, through exchange of experiences, best practices allowing local government officials to create or expand their airport territories. Main topics: economic development, access to employment, planning, sustainable development, governance and territorial attractiveness. Test these "best practices identified" on an airport sites of a participating city to refine the guide of best practices and prepare training exercises.


The intention of this project is to establish a way to measure and monitor different cities and their progress to becoming a caring city. A ‘care barometer’ would be developed to include those elements that reflect a caring city, and with this, ultimately, what it means to be an ‘equitable’ city. The initiative will explore the idea that a caring city is also about the more personal experience of a city, it would be important that such a barometer includes both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ measures to be included as well.

Kreanta - Creative Cities

The Creative Cities project was launched by the Kreanta Foundation in 2008 to promote the central role of culture in sustainable urban development using a three-fold approach: by encouraging all local public policies to include a cultural dimension; by promoting the coordination of culture, territorial planning and the economy; and by boosting economic activity and employment through the creative economy. Drawing on more than six years of experience in Spain and Latin America, today the project is seeking to enlist the collaboration and support of Metropolis to transfer its knowledge to all of the association’s institutional and civil-society stakeholders in order to build common strategies along the lines of the UCLG Committee on Culture’s Agenda 21 for Culture. The proposed Creative Cities 2014-2016 project includes activities such as the organization of workshops and seminars, joint training initiatives with the Metropolis International Training Institute (MITI), and coverage of the Creative Cities project in various digital media.

Mexico City: Playful City

Playful City is a strategy for integrating creativity processes in school curricula in order to equip students with creative skills. Through the development of a learning method, young people aged 9 to 13 will be given the tools they need to understand the design and innovation processes required to provide urban solutions in conjunction with government. They will thus become proactive citizens.

Rosario: Towards a Sustainable Mobility

Creation of a technical committee on mobility, led by the city of Rosario, promoting the exchange of knowledge on concrete mobility actions to be taken in the metropolis.

SANTIAGO DE CHILE: Green Ways Metropolitan Region Plan 2014 - 2021
- Objective: achieve an equitable, social integrated and easily accessible city in a green, clean and sustainable way.
- Considers the enabling of 1500 km of green areas, of which 1,151 correspond to riverbanks and urban canals, 410 kms of park avenues in a time frame of 7 years.
- The integration component is applied to the borders and surroundings of the most relevant watercourses, for which 155 kms of courses that cross the city in a north-south and east-west manner are prioritized in a timeframe of 3 years. This extension crosses and connects the city in an inter-district way, joining the most segregated sectors within the metropolitan region.
- “Green ways”: Autonomous infrastructures for the non motorized traffic like pedestrians, cyclists, public with reduced mobility, skaters, etc. developed in an integrated frame that values environment and quality of life.

Which are the Metropolis Initiatives?

What are the benefits?

There are many different benefits for the city or partner which leads or participates in a Metropolis Initiative:

  • Exchange information, knowledge, know-how and good practices on a project or theme of interest
  • Learn from other cities that want to implement or are already running a similar project or service
  • Attain higher visibility and a good international positioning of the project and the city
  • Develop international cooperation
  • Transform its own practice and encourage the formation of an institutional culture of exchange and improvement at the internal level

More info:


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