One of the oldest and most active members of Metropolis, the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) paid a courtesy visit to our Secretariat General in Barcelona last Monday, May 23. The Vice Mayor of Seoul (Mr Seoung Chang Ha) and his delegation made a stopover in Barcelona during a trip to Europe to meet with the Secretary General of Metropolis and representatives of the Barcelona City Council. The meetings were fruitful to share the priorities of Metropolis in line with the Urban Agenda 2030 and our preparations for Habitat III.
In the Barcelona City Council offices, Mr Ha met the Vice Mayor of Barcelona, Mr Gerado Pisarello, and the responsible of International Affairs of the city, Mr Pablo Sanchez. The meeting was also the occasion for the team of the Metropolis Secretariat General – secretary general Felip Roca, executive director Octavi de la Varga, and knowledge manager Agnès Bickart – to present the current possibilities of strengthening the participation of Seoul in Metropolis.
The Vice Mayor of Seoul was particularly sensitive to our SG’s call to have more leadership from the SMG towards Habitat 3 and in the activities of Metropolis Training, which counts on the Seoul Human Resource Development Center (SHRDC) as its headquarters. More synergies have been envisaged towards sharing practices of youth empowerment, since Seoul is very active in implementing participatory processes in public policies.
Mr Ha invited the Metropolis Secretariat General team to visit the SHRDC facilities in Seoul before the end of 2016. Such visit may take place after the Metropolis Strategic Orientation Meeting (which takes place in Barcelona next July), which will count on the participation of two representatives from SHRDC. The Vice Mayor also demonstrated the commitment of the Seoul Metropolitan Government, which holds a seat at the Metropolis Board of Directors, to be present at the next statutory meeting which is going to be held in Bogotá in October.
Recognizing Seoul’s leadership in metropolitan governance (a hub territory with more than 25 million citizens), Felip Roca encouraged the SMG to play an active role in Habitat 3 on behalf of Metropolis. During the summit, Metropolis will organize an exclusive meeting for the city managers community (further details about this event shall be soon disclosed). “The participation of the leaders from Seoul will be highly appreciated in this encounter”, stated Mr Roca.
Last but not least, the meeting in Barcelona was an opportunity to directly promote and encourage Seoul to apply to the 3rd edition of the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation , whose registration deadline is next June 30th.
For further follow-up of the Metropolis members in Asia, please contact Ms Agnès Bickart.