New Metropolis Observatory


| Subject: International Relations

The purpose of the Metropolitan Observatory is to detect innovative trends in metropolitan areas

On 21 November, the AMB and the largest city network in the world, Metropolis, organised the conference ‘The challenge of large cities: Presentation of the Metropolis Observatory', at the CIDOB Foundation of International Studies in Barcelona, as a sort of launch of this new knowledge platform to detect new trends in cities and deal with the growing transformation phenomena that metropolitan areas are experiencing.

The conference, opened by the AMB director of the International and Cooperation Division, Oriol Illa, and the secretary general of Metropolis, Felip Roca, had the participation of world leaders in governing large cities: Mariona Tomàs, UB professor and specialist in metropolitan issues, pointed out the current trends in large metropolises, such as their territorial reorganisation and new layouts and distribution of spaces. Edgard Piterse, director of the African Centre for Cities, developed the challenges that the cities must handle, such as finding balance between global and local affairs that affect citizens. And several representatives from the metropolitan areas of Montreal, París, San Salvador and the AMB, with its general manager, Ramon Torra, debated the different way in which to handle and manage these matters.

The presentation of the new Metropolis Observatory was in charge of Octavi de la Varga, Metropolis executive director. He stressed the importance of this new space for exchanging knowledge that will provide technical and political tools for facing the large economic, social, cultural and environmental transformations that metropolises are experiencing, transformations that will intensify in the near future, since –according to forecasts– seven out of 10 people will live in cities by 2050.

The meeting also put metropolitan cooperation on the table as a road to attain the sustainable development goals for the United Nations 2030 Agenda, and there was a debate surrounding this topic among attendees.

When closing the session, Alfred Bosch, vice-president of the AMB International and Cooperation Division, stressed the importance of incorporating the metropolitan vision in the governance of cities and the territory, and how the new Metropolis Observatory will favour internationalisation and the exchange of knowledge on metropolitan governance, identifying the impact of growing urbanisation on sustainable development, city planning, mobility, equality, safety and housing in cities.


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    Fundació CIDOB Barcelona

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