Planning for future

TRACK 7: Urban governance and planning profession

congress team: Eric Huybrechts, Franc  & Jennilee Kohima, Namibia

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      TOPICS

Planning, policy and politics surrounding the megacity.

City production by the people: participation and informality.

Governance: from models to pragmatic paths, from top-down to bottom-up approaches.

Addressing the mega-scale and the neighbourhood.

Organisation and technical support for managing the megacity.

Taking the lead through diplomacy, branding and international networks. 

Non-state actors in urban governance.


Large cities and megacities are the main features of human settlement in the 21st century. The level of complexity of large cities requires new governance systems that are different from traditional urban and municipal administration. Soft power is necessary to mobilize actors from different levels of government, sectors and territories. Multiform management, across sectors and issues (water, economy, environment, mobility, housing etc.), needs to share visions, strategies and policies with the support of technical bodies, political platforms and a variety of actors. Building the structures of a functioning megacity is an iterative process, which ranges from the very local to the regional and metropolitan scales. New methodologies are emerging and this will be an opportunity to share the experiences of building large scale governance and consider the consequences of planning. How do the planning models of the megacity differ from those of city regions and established metropolitan conurbations? How can governance be strengthened, moving from theoretical models to pragmatic paths? What technical bodies should be put in place to support the process?

People participation is different in a megacity, with more complex relations between local communities, local governments and metropolitan governance. Informal dynamics also represent a bottom-up approach to the expansion drive of the city. How robust and fair are these underlying forces? Can they be captured for an enhanced and better future?