Metropolis embarks on new cooperation agreement with Guangzhou

Metropolis Secretariat General

Metropolis and the Municipal Government of Guangzhou has been working since 2011 to spread the Guangzhou led Urban Innovation programmes and practices to the global communities of cities, urban institutions and academia. Metropolis and Guangzhou, along with other international partners have been successfully spreading the learning from Guangzhou Awards. During 2015 and 2016 Metropolis successfully represented and lobbied with the United Nations (UN), World Bank and other global agencies about values of Urban Innovation and Local Communities. Metropolis emphasised the important role of Urban Innovation during PrepCom sessions and various negotiations at the UN in preparation of New Urban Agenda (NUA), Habitat Three (HIII) and 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Metropolis highlighted the important leadership position of Guangzhou on the world stage in spreading the message of Urban Innovation for local communities.  

During November 2015 Guangzhou and Metropolis discussed new avenues to further strengthen the cooperation to enhance knowledge networks and promotion of urban innovation to new cities, particularly in Asia Pacific, Africa, Middle East and Eurasia. The parties decided to strengthen the economic capacity framework to enable urban innovation as key driver of sustainable growth and prosperity for the Metropolis members and non-member cities. Among other objectives, both parties reviewed the options of setting up GHZ Urban Innovation Cities Lab as centres of excellence in five continents and commence Guangzhou Global Urban Innovation Scholarships for local governments. Guangzhou and Metropolis agreed to engage a dedicated and expert resource to lead this cooperation programme. Metropolis Senior Advisor, Mr Sunil Dubey led series of discussions and workshops on this joint programme. The President of Metropolis, Mr Denis Coderre and Vice president of Metropolis, Mayor of Guangzhou, Mr Wen Guohui welcomed the joint programme of cooperation.

On 14 October 2016 during the Metropolis Board of Directors (BoD) extraordinary meeting in Bogota, Colombia, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Municipal Government of Guangzhou and The World Association of Major Metropolises was signed (item 4.2 of the BoD agenda) in the presence of the Mayor of Guangzhou and the President of Metropolis. The MOU is signed for a two-year period commencing January 2017. Guangzhou will assist Metropolis with a financial grant to execute this joint programme. Both parties will further work to develop new partnerships with external funding partners, multilateral development institutions and private sector organisations to boost Metropolis resources and financial funding. Metropolis Senior Advisor, Mr Sunil Dubey from Sydney, Australia has been appointed by both parties to lead this joint programme for the term of the MOU. He will work closely with Guangzhou to implement strategies to reach the objectives of the programme. Mr Dubey will be supported by Ms Agnes Bickart, Head of Metropolis Asia Pacific portfolio. 

This MOU formalises the commitment of Guangzhou and Metropolis towards the greater objectives of Habitat III and 2030 SDGs for the global community of cities and their inhabitants.  

Please contact Ms Agnes Bickart at Metropolis Secretariat General, Barcelona for any further details on this MOU.