World association of the major metropolises

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Main Activities

METROPOLIS offers many opportunities for international cooperation. It provides a framework for the exchange of technical skills and for the development of relationships between member major cities and their partners. METROPOLIS carries out many different activities. These include:

Metropolis Initiatives – Take the Initiative!

METROPOLIS wishes to build a network of Initiatives among metropolitan governments and their collaborating partners to promote projects in partnership for urban sustainability, understood simultaneously in its environmental, economic, social, and cultural aspects.

The METROPOLIS Initiatives constitute the main core of the Action Plan to promote projects and concrete services for the cities in conjunction with institutions and companies. With the Initiatives, Metropolis seeks to consolidate network-based management of its activities, more targeted at projects and oriented towards results and more open to partnerships and external funding.

METROPOLIS Initiatives webpage

Triennial congresses

Every three years, METROPOLIS holds a major international congress, which sets the pace for the Association. Contributing to deepening the understanding of metropolitan issues and fostering cooperation between its members, the congresses encourage dialogue on numerous aspects of urban development, including economic, social and spatial issues. Between each congress, members of METROPOLIS work in groups with other member cities on thematic research projects. Conclusions from the work of the commissions are presented at the congresses in workshops that are open to the public. Congresses are attended by members of METROPOLIS and any members of the public who have an interest in urban planning and development issues.

To date, the following METROPOLIS congresses have been held.

International Representation

METROPOLIS manages the metropolitan section of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG). METROPOLIS also represents metropolitan interests before international organizations (particularly United Nations organizations through ECOSOC, UN-Habitat, and UNACLA, and other institutions such as Cities Alliance, the World Bank, the US Conference of Mayors, ICLEI, etc.) and takes part in international activities and meetings in collaboration with UCLG.

Technical Assistance

Considering that no metropolis is self-sufficient, but that each has specific experience and expertise, the members of METROPOLIS deem it essential that the Association ensures closer, more concrete and durable cooperation between the metropolises of the world.

The Technical Assistance Scheme came into operation in 1993 and was set up to encourage the exchange of experience and specialised know-how between METROPOLIS members. The technical and financial assistance has also the support of Global Fund for Cities Development (FMDV). METROPOLIS , as a founding member of the FMDV will facilitate its members’ access to the services offered by the fund.


The METROPOLIS International Training Institute (MITI) is the training and learning center of Metropolis, established in 1996.Today, MITI counts on headquarters located in Seoul, and four regional centers: Cairo, Mashhad, Mexico City and Paris (Île-de-France). Formerly located in Montreal, the headquarters have been transferred to Seoul after a decision taken at the METROPOLIS Annual Meeting in Guangzhou, in 2012.

Metropolis Annual Meetings

METROPOLIS is governed by a Board of Directors which meet once per year. METROPOLIS Structure

The Board of Directors meetings also constitute an opportunity for major cities to exchange knowledge and experiences:

Forums of Metropolitan Mayors

METROPOLIS will carry out a profound political reflection on city development and the evolution needed, organizing Forums of Metropolitan Mayors to coincide with its statutory meetings, as well as events organized by its partners.

Metropolis International Women Network

Created in 2005, one of the core goals of this international space for exchanges and cooperation between women is to improve women’s representation in local and metropolitan governments in decision-making processes.

In 2011, METROPOLIS joins the UCLG Standing Committee on Gender Equality to create the Metropolis-UCLG International Women’s Network, which will be presented at the next International Women forum held in Paris in 2013.

METROPOLIS International Women Network webpage

Metropolis Awards

The METROPOLIS Awards, presented every three years, are a recognition of the projects submitted by the Association’s member cities which have successfully and with measurable results delivered on a project or experience that warrants international recognition because of its contribution to improving the citizens’ quality of life.

METROPOLIS Awards webpage

Publications and communications

METROPOLIS produces a range of publications and information available to members and the public. This includes:

In addition, Metropolis undertakes a series of actions intended to promote internal communication among its members and increase the presence of the Association in the field of urban development and international relations.


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