Johannesburg, taking the lead in building Caring Cities

The METROPOLIS Caring Cities Initiative, led by the City of Johannesburg, organized a contact session with a group of young experts from METROPOLIS member cities, on 31st January and 1st February in Johannesburg. This initiative fits into the vision of the Executive Mayor Councillor Parks Tau, who is also Co-President of METROPOLIS.

The initiative was launched in 2014 to spearhead projects aimed at turning world cities into caring urban centers.  

In an effort to make Johannesburg a caring city, several projects are being undertaken. Like other caring cities, Johannesburg is making rational choices and taking conscious actions to be more inclusive, hospitable and supportive.  Delivering sustainable development is another focus area for the City.

During the last METROPOLIS Congress in Hyderabad, the Johannesburg proposal to host the Caring Cities Initiative was approved for a 2 years period.

As a first contact session, the City of Johannesburg brought together delegates from Berlin, Mashhad, Mexico City, Guangzhou, Ramallah (Palestine), Buenos Aires and a representative of Metropolis Youth.

The goal of this first session is threefold:

  • To develop a Care Barometer to include elements that reflect a caring city;
  • To formulate policies that emphasize the role of the youth in building caring cities;
  • To develop a mobile application to monitor and track progress.


After 2 days of fruitful work, nine dimensions of caring cities were developed by the group. These were: 

-        Access to basic or essential services

-        Act of citizenry

-        Mobility and accessibility

-        Sustainable human settlements

-        Identity, culture and context

-        Natural environment

-        Protection of the vulnerable

-        Inclusion

-        Civil protection

Four similar contact sessions will be held over the two years period, with the next one scheduled during the forthcoming METROPOLIS Anual meeting in Buenos Aires, in May.

These sessions will check progress of the Caring Cities Initiative, monitor and approve milestones.