World Metropolitan Day – Statement October 7, 2020

World Metropolitan Day 2020

7 October 2020

  1. Complementing our 5 October Statement on World Habitat Day 2020, ISOCARP fully supports the World Metropolitan Day initiative to acknowledge the particular challenges and opportunities created by large city-regional or metropolitan areas, that are rapidly increasing in size and numbers: 25 new metropolitan areas appear each year. Their rapid expansion are transforming large territories. The governance is becoming more complex to manage public services, economic development, natural risks, heritage conservation, land and real estate management, environmental concerns. This complexity requires multilevel and inter-sectoral governance. There are no best practices, only learning and by doing and sharing.
  2. Metropolitan areas are the most innovative and productive spatial organization in human kind history, the result of a long globalization process. But they are in crisis with high level of congestion, overcrowding, pollution and inequalities. They are directly impacted by finance economy that shapes large cities with empty apartments, ghost cities despite of housing demand, and migration from equipped city centres to sub equipped suburbs.
  3. Metropolitan areas are seriously challenged by climate change, loss of biodiversity, digitalization of the economy, change on the energy mix, international migrations, demographic changes or democratic movements, decentralization processes, and now pandemics. New technologies and change of behaviour open new opportunities to design and plan cities with higher uncertainty for the future.
  4. It is still early to assess the pandemic impact on metropolitan areas, but the confinement of people also shows new potential for teleworking, e-education, virtual congresses, and telemedicine. The territorial management of large cities and metropolitan areas in in question. In fact, the crisis open new opportunities to reshape city management and planning. It is an extraordinary opportunity to implement the principles of the New urban agenda and reach the objectives of the Development Goal 11 to make cities and human settlements more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
  5. City and regional planning professionals are key actors to support civil society and decision makers to understand these transitions, find solution, develop policies and strategies to manage large city regions. The development of the International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning, adopted by UN-Habitat in 2015, and related manuals provide methodologies to better manage large cities within inclusive processes that involve inhabitants, users, academicians, migrants, economic actors, and institutions. Today, city and regional planning is a process, a platform for dialogue between all actors that requires knowledge, expertise, participation, iterative processes. It is a tool to strengthen social links and build societies.
  6. Since 1965, the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP) brings together highly qualified planners from more than 85 countries worldwide, who work in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Members of the Society share a common interest in cooperation and international networking to facilitate the improvement of our cities and territories through planning practice, training, research, and education. ISOCARP dedicated its last year World Planning Congress to the planning and management of metropolitan areas, held in metropolitan Jakarta, Indonesia – resulting in the Jakarta Declaration.
  7. We call upon all members and partners of ISOCARP to support the place-based process to recover better and greener during and after the pandemic, disasters, and conflicts in their own professional activities. We invite all urban stakeholders to take part in our upcoming 56th (and first virtual) World Planning Congress on ‘Post-Oil Cities/Planning for Urban Green Deals’, spread out between 8 November 2020 and 4 February 2021, co-hosted by UN-Habitat and Urban Economy Forum.

Message for the World Metropolitan Day from the Mayor of Teheran

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