Urban Observatories and COVID-19: exchange session

The Connected Cities Lab at the University of Melbourne, in collaboration with UN-Habitat and University College London, is currently developing on a report on the role and value of urban observatories in urban development and governance. The study aims to understand the role of urban observatories, their institutional organization, capacity and value proposition as drivers of more informed city leadership. Metropolis, most specifically the Metropolis Observatory, is one of the cases studied.

Seeking to capture first-hand reflections from observatories in the Global North and South, this event is one of two exchange sessions that bring together focus groups of representatives from the observatories that are analysed in the study, and will complement the overall project by contextualising the existing and future challenges that the observatories face in the current global context. The aim of the focus groups is to better understand how urban observatories have mobilised knowledge in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also how the crisis has impacted the way they function.

This activity follows up with interviews carried out for the project by the Connected Cities Lab team with Octavi de la Varga, Metropolis Secretary General, and Lia Brum, Metropolis Observatory Officer, at the tenth World Urban Forum (WUF10). Ms Brum will be representing Metropolis in the meeting, which will also count on the participation of the Executive Director of the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO).