Countdown to “Inclusive Metropolitan Cities and City-Regions”, our next Annual Meeting in Gauteng

Gauteng Prep Visit

The Metropolis Secretariat General staff held meetings at the Gauteng Provincial Government last week to finalize the arrangements of our 2018 Annual Meeting, which is taking place next August 26 to 29 in the city of Johannesburg. Federica Biondi, Head of Administration and Finance, and Agnès Bickart, Senior Manager for Institutional relations & Asia portfolio, travelled to Gauteng to discuss the final program and operations of the major event of the year for our association, which will have the theme “Inclusive Metropolitan Cities and City-Regions”.

The Gauteng Provincial Government has designated a Coordinating Committee for the 2018 Metropolis Annual Meetings, composed of program and logistics subcommittees. With the representatives of the Metropolis Secretariat General, they discussed the conceptual framework of the event and the main activities of its programme, which will include:

  • Our statutory meetings – Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Regional Secretariats and
  • Plenary sessions with keynote speakers
  • Concurrent sessions to develop more in-depth conversations
  • Field technical visits
  • Exhibition


A comprehensive conceptual framework

The 2018 Metropolis Annual Meeting takes as a starting point the following definitions to develop the contents of its programme:

  • Metropolitan city: understood as a territory consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industries, infrastructure and housing
  • City region: a term used since about 1950 by urbanists, economists and urban planners to mean a metropolitan area and hinterland, often having a shared administration

Metropolitan cities and city regions across the world experience challenges such as:

  • Unemployment, poverty and underdevelopment
  • Lack of planning, alignment and integration across spheres
  • Translating economic growth into employment growth
  • Strengthening institutional capacity across all spheres to ensure improved service delivery and reduced inequalities
  • Ongoing divide between the first and second economy
  • Forging stronger links with the region and continent


The 2018 Metropolis Annual Meeting proposes to generate common answers in the resolution of these challenges, promoting debates of how metropolises can stimulate investments, build networks, develop and implement initiatives that create an advanced economy for all to benefit from.


Seeking contributions to the implementation of our 2018-2020 Action Plan,  we will seize this event as an opportunity to address the localization of the Sustainable Development Goals, the New Urban Agenda and the Paris Agreement, and eventually to approach our vision of metropolises for and by their citizens. For this reason, the activities of this Metropolis Annual Meeting shall revolve around the following topics:

  • Spatial & Environmental Justice
  • Social Inclusion
  • Economic Inclusion
  • Inclusive Governance

Last but not least, insofar as is possible, the sessions will be balanced in terms of gender representation, regional and political-technical diversity.

For updates of the 2018 Metropolis Annual Meeting in Gauteng, please visit