Metropolis at the UCLG Congress
Strengthening connections to further advance localization of global agendas at metropolitan scales
Between November 11th to 15th, Durban welcomed local and regional leaders from around the globe to the UCLG World Congress. Metropolis members, staff and partners actively participated in this event, which was an opportunity for our association to strengthen connections and further advance the implementation of the global agendas. Here are the highlights of the participation of Metropolis in the World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders, day by day:
Tuesday, November 12
· Dr. Wonho Kim, Director of City Diplomacy at the Seoul Research Institute of the Seoul Metropolitan Government, participated at the session “Training on Sustainable Mobility”, organized by the International Association of Public Transport (UITP). Dr. Kim presentation focused on how rapid urbanization of the Seoul metropolitan territory led its government to search for new ways to rethink the evolution of transportation.
- The first Metropolis statutory session brought together our Regional Secretariats meeting to establish a proposal of calendar for the Metropolis elections next year.
- For the first time, the Forum of Peripheral Cities welcomed the participation of Metropolis in its discussions. Lia Brum, Content Curator from the Secretariat General team, joined the panel with Mr. Abdoulaye Thimbo, Mayor of Pikine – which, along with Dakar, makes up an urban agglomeration which is home to more than 3 million people – and Patrick Braouezec, Mayor of Plaine Commune – one of the 131 municipalities that constitute the metropolis of Greater Paris.
Wednesday, November 13
· The Metropolis Executive and Financial Committee meeting was the second of our statutory sessions, counting on representatives of Gauteng, Barcelona metropolitan area, Guangzhou, Montevideo, Montréal, Berlin and Dakar. The participants discussed the new call for Pilot Projects and the next elections for the Metropolis Board of Directors, both scheduled for 2020, as well as the latest updates of the Metropolis World Congress that will also be held next year, in Guangzhou.
- The Forum of African Metropolis served as the occasion to launch the African Metropolitan Report [click here for a more detailed coverage of this session]
Thursday, November 14
· Metropolis members – Barcelona metropolitan area, San Salvador and Tehran – and Secretary General staged the session “Global State of Metropolis” convened by UN-Habitat. The session generated dialogue and shared analysis on the state of metropolises of the world, advocating the importance of metropolitan management to implement national, regional and global development agendas.
- The Metropolitan Assembly saw the participation of 13 of our members (Bamako, Berlin, Barcelona metropolitan area, Buenos Aires, Gauteng, Guangzhou, Madrid, Mashhad, Mexico City, Montevideo, São Paulo, Porto Alegre, Tehran) to a dialogue on their metropolitan realities. They highlighted that metropolitan areas are the product of political leadership and a given context, while agreeing on the fact that the metropolitan reality arises from a citizen need, it is not just another administration. Furthermore, they agreed that issues such as climate change, air quality, housing and resilience strategies require metropolitan solutions to be adequately addressed. Showcasing Metropolis products such as the Metropolis Observatory or the Metropolis’ indicators, our members demonstrated that those tools were necessary and it was a first step towards compiling data that allow metropolises to design public policies based on a diagnosis.
- At the UCLG General Assembly, Ms Elisenda Alamany, metropolitan councillor at the AMB, was responsible for reporting the conclusions of the Metropolitan Assembly: “Metropolitan areas already established, such as Montreal, the Aburrá Valley, Gauteng and Barcelona, can and do accompany the process of metropolisation through networks such as Metropolis. It is our responsibility to strengthen, disseminate and accompany. We are at your disposal “, underlying the needs to collaboratively co-create solutions to the metropolitan challenges.
Friday, November 15
- Barcelona metropolitan area, San Salvador and Durban starred the Metropolis session “Public space governance: Challenges and difficulties from an inclusive, diverse and equitable perspective” to reflect on the importance of implementing gender metropolitan initiatives and to sensitize urban actors in the need for articulate instruments to build a more inclusive, equitable and diverse public space.
"Public space can and must contribute to equality between women and men, and to social cohesion" - oriol Illa, Director of International and Cooperation Area at the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB)
"Working on a metropolitan scale, with the communities of the territory through small interventions in the public space to advance in the conception of space for all" - Karla Miranda, Deputy Director of planning and research at the Metropolitan Area of San Salvador
"Public space is a mirror of the state of our societies and challenges they are confronted to. We don't want spaces where people pass by, but spaces where things happen. public spaces must be safe for this to happen" -Elisenda Alemany, Metropolitan Councilor at the AMB
"We are managing to change the perception of public space from corridors of transport to facilities used by the community. When we strat connecting spaces, we start making proper public spaces linked to services" - Prakash Bhikha, from Ethekwini Municipality, concluded the session with a more integral vision of public space from corridors of transport to facilities used by the community.
o "We are managing to change the perception of public space from corridors of transport to facilities used by the community. When we start connecting spaces, we start making proper public spaces linked to services" – Prakash Bhikha, from Ethekwini Municipality, concluded the session with a more integral vision of public space from corridors of transport to facilities used by the community.
- The session “Digital networking for sustainable urban development”, led by Berlin, promoted a great conversation with the audience about the dilemmas of digital technology in the metropolises, and also served to present the use platform as one of our greatest tools to promote sustainable city making on the ground worldwide.
- The World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments, the constituency’s political mechanism to the international arena, formally met during the morning of the last day of the summit, bringing together hundreds of local leaders, civil society partners and national governments. Among its outcomes, we highlight the “The Durban Political Declaration”, which envisions a renewed and stronger world assembly, and the appointment of the following representatives of the Metropolis membership to UCLG’s leadership roles:
o Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona: Special envoy to the United Nations
o Michael Müller, Mayor of Berlin: Vice-President for Metropolis
o Ilsur Metshin, Mayor of Kazan: Chairperson of the United Nations Advisory Committee for Local Authorities (UNACLA)
o Fernando Medina, Mayor of Lisbon: Special envoy for local development
o Christian di Candia, Mayor of Montevideo: Vice-President for Latin America Tri Rismaharini, Mayor of Surabaya: Vice-President for Asia-Pacific