Metropolitan Thinkers meeting point: institutions and strategies

Networking Events
Room 408

According to UN-Habitat (2016), 85 per cent of cities worldwide are metropolitan. It is possible to state that we are living in a metropolitan century (OECD, 2015). This is challenging the relevance of traditional municipal boundaries, and by extension, traditional governing structures and institutions.

However, many metropolitan areas worldwide lack formal coordination efforts. For instance, a study by CIPPEC and IDB in the Latin American region has concluded that only 50 per cent of cities with over 1 million inhabitants have some form of metropolitan governance.

The Sustainable Development Goals acknowledge the importance of subnational governments in achieving the 2030 Agenda, particularly with Global Goal number 11, which seeks to 'make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable'. The Declaration of the Habitat III Thematic Conference on Metropolitan Areas, held in Montreal in 2015, highlighted the significant role of larger than city geographies, and how they need new types of governance. After Habitat III and the agreement on the New Urban Agenda, the Quito Implementation Plan refers to metropolitan governance with 12 direct references in three subsections: establishing the legal framework, planning and managing spatial urban development, and the means of implementation.

The proposed networking event will provide an opportunity to create awareness of the urgent need to advance metropolitan coordination in order to achieve the aforementioned international agreements. It will also foster discussions on the role of national governments in promoting metropolitan governance, but also highlight the importance of an integrated approach for finding sustainable and resource efficient solutions on the regional level. Finally, it will call local governments to immediate action steps by inviting cities worldwide to organize a Metropolitan Day event in October 2018, in which local authorities will meet with their neighbouring peers to discuss and then build a metropolitan agenda in their areas.


  • Center for the Implementation of Public Policies Promoting Equity and Growth (CIPPEC)
  • Metropolis
  • UN-Habitat
  • Metropolitan Territorial Planning Agencies global network, Politecnico di Milano
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) 
  • University of Guadalajara