Guangzhou Municipality

Metropolises and cities in transformation: rethinking our future together

Over the past year and a half, the pandemic has brought to light the need to work together to address major global challenges such as urban growth, climate change, and equal access to public services in urban spaces. Cooperation and collaboration between key stakeholders from different levels of public administration, the private sector and social sector are essential for rapid and radical action in response to global emergencies. In this regard, this year’s edition of the 13th Metropolis World Congress will be held from 8 to 12 November 2021 under the slogan “Metropolises and cities in transformation: rethinking our future together.”

For the first time, the triennial Metropolis World Congress will bring together political leaders from major metropolises, city managers and urban experts, as well as representatives from international NGOs, multilateral cooperation agencies and civil society, to a virtual summit that aims to act as a catalyst for solutions that can transform metropolitan spaces over the long term.

As stated in our previous Call to rethink our metropolitan spaces, this is a time where we can build on each other’s good ideas and practices and strengthen the collaboration between global cities and metropolitan spaces. Metropolis is committed to continuing the process we started last October through the General Assembly for the upcoming Congress. The October 2020 statutory meetings were a turning point for Metropolis, defining a new Board of Directors, appointing the mayor of Guangzhou Wen Guohui as the new Metropolis president, and approving our new Strategic Action Plan 2021-2023. The new Plan focuses on actively listening to different metropolitan realities, not only responding nimbly to emerging challenges but also finding opportunities to build more equitable, resilient, and prosperous societies.

Guangzhou, one of the planet’s 33 megacities (a city with at least 10 million inhabitants) will host the Congress, adding to international recognition for its commitment to urban innovation and sustainable development. In 2020 Guangzhou became the first city in China to submit a Voluntary Local Review (VLR). This year the city has taken another step forward with the 5th Guangzhou Award Report on Local Implementation of SDGs. The report details the progress and contribution made by the Guangzhou Award to accelerating cities and local governments’ development towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).




In addition, the Congress will host the Global Mayors’ Forum and will culminate with the award ceremony for the 5th Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation (Guangzhou Award) which, in the midst of the pandemic, brought together 273 initiatives from 175 cities and local governments in 60 countries and regions.