Managing Urban Growth
The world is urbanising fast. Already more than fifty percent of the world’s population is concentrated in urban areas. This trend is unabated as people will continue to move from rural to urban areas in search of job opportunities and better services.
The impact on cities is immense. The combination of mass urbanisation and a globalised economy has exacerbated many problems and created new ones. Urban managers are increasingly facing the challenges of balancing metropolitan growth, meeting people’s expectations for services, whilst ensuring the liveability and economic competitiveness of their cities. The challenge of the sustainability of cities in the context of climate change is a major additional complexity.
The role of governments and governance
– Urbanisation, rapid development of technology and a globalised economy are redefining the role of governments, whether national, regional or local. Increasingly, governments are looking for private sector partners (public/private partnerships) in providing essential services to their communities. The Commission will address this issue through the experiences of the participants, with the view to identify preferred PPP models.
The Commission will endeavour to involve many cities and their key institutions in the study. The Commission, with support from Metropolis, will encourage wide participation, including cities from developing countries.
The purpose of this Commission would be to explore the issues of rapid urbanisations and liveability of cities: what makes cities liveable to their inhabitants and attractive to investors; and what governments are doing (or should do) to protect, promote and enhance the liveability of cities.
The Commission will examine trends and growth forecasts, and identify priority areas for managing urban development and the provision of services. The areas that the project will investigate are:
- Essential infrastructure – an assessment of the challenges and complexities of providing the essential infrastructure needed to cope with urban growth, including an assessment of the relative merits of upgrading existing infrastructure versus building new infrastructure.
- Inequities and social exclusion/inclusion – Exclusion is not only a social issue but an economic issue as well. The Commission will investigate the effects of various approaches to building economic and social opportunities for the least well-off, and will assess how full participation in social, economic and civic life by all improves the wellbeing and prosperity of individuals, families and the liveability of cities overall.
- Competitiveness and positioning in the global economy –Major cities (metropolises) are the economic ‘dynamos’ of their countries. Reduction in trade barriers and the globalisation of the economy have exposed industries in all sectors to fierce competition. In a rapidly changing global economy responsible governments are interested in developing innovative, long-term policies that address not only the competitiveness of private enterprise, but also in enhancing the competitiveness of cities. The Commission will examine how planning, design and implementation of sustainable urban concepts contribute not only to the liveability of cities, but also to their global competitiveness.
- Establishment of a broad-ranging working group
- Development of terms of reference
- Design structure of case studies and develop survey forms
- Invite participation (Metropolis members and other cities/authorities)
- Analysis and synthesis of responses
- Identification of important bodies of work (international, local)
- Prepare interim report for Commission meeting
- Convene first official meeting of Commission
- Continue gathering and comparison of data and case studies
- Commence drafting Commission’s report
- Convene second meeting (TBC)
- Complete final report (and translate Spanish/French)