The world’s major urban agglomerations, our metropolises, are already home to 22% of the entire humanity, and this figure is expected to increase. Metropolis currently represents 137 authorities in charge of managing some of these urban areas, which are composed not only by some of the biggest cities in the world, but also by their surrounding territories.
As the rampant urbanization of the world continues, metropolises increasingly become key actors in addressing local and global challenges. As governments of proximity, urban authorities directly address issues that affect the daily lives of millions of human beings – from transportation and housing, to social cohesion, migration and the impact of climate change, to identify but a few.
There is no doubt that the latest commitments made in the international arena – namely the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 and the New Urban Agenda that will be approved in Quito next October – have a clear impact on local governments, which are eventually held responsible for their implementation, and will shape local public policies for the years to come.
This context calls for new leadership, and for the need to rethink the mandates, resources and capacities required to shape sustainable and equitable cities. The last Metropolis Board of Directors meeting, held in Mexico City last March, mandated the Metropolis Secretariat General to launch a reflection process vis-à-vis the emerging international agenda, the ongoing urban matters and the 12th Metropolis World Congress, which will take place in Montreal in 2017.
The reflection process should in particular identify the main challenges for Metropolis and the best ways to address them. The Board has already highlighted “governance with a metropolitan approach” as a core issue for the association, and pointed out four areas of action that should be developed: knowledge, training, policy and advocacy.
As part of this process, the Metropolis Secretariat General invites you to a meeting from July 4th to 6th, during which we will seek your views on the association’s strategy for the coming years. This encounter will lay the foundations of the decisions to be made by the Metropolis Board of Directors on its next meeting, in October, in Bogota.
The Metropolis Strategic Orientation Meeting is open to different Metropolis stakeholders, by invitation only. Its departing point, the morning of July 4th, will be a one-and-a-half day seminar hosted by UCLG about the chapter 3 of the GOLD IV Report, which is dedicated to metropolitan areas.
From the afternoon of July 5th to July 6th, we will address the questions that are closely related to the operations of Metropolis, namely:
1. How does Metropolis position itself with respect to the international agenda?
2. What should be the focus of the association in terms of content?
3. What is the added value of Metropolis, and in which areas should it intervene?
4. Which services should Metropolis deliver to its members and partners?
Details of the program will be disclosed shortly.