Planning for future

TRACK 7: Urban governance and planning profession

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

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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 a main feature 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 mobilise actors from different levels of government, sectors, and territories. Multiform management across sectors and issues (water, economy, environment, mobility, housing etc.) need 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 on planning. 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.

Urban governance and planning are some of the cross-cutting themes at this year's congress with an element of it visible in each of the other tracks. But within Track 7 these two themes will be explored and discussed in greater detail owing to the wide range of abstracts accepted for presentation in different forms, such as papers, case studies, research projects and special sessions. This track received close to 100 abstract submissions with rich and interesting content around megacity governance and planning from all parts of the world. As governance requires both top-down and bottom-up interaction in various forms between many different actors in the quest of planning, the importance of this track cannot be overemphasized. Planning for the future by exploring urban governance and planning in eight fully packed sessions of which two are special sessions will bring forth approaches, strategies and best practices for congress attendees. The sub-themes for the track include cross-border governance, territorial planning, regional cooperation, metropolis management, local leadership, metro-hub, democratic urbanism and megacities.


Session 7.1 Cross-border Governance

Megacities and large metropolis are expanding out of the national or regional limits. The different spatial management systems in each country should be articulated to better manage these megapolises. How to manage functional metropolitan areas located on several national or regional jurisdictions with contradictory laws, standards and management systems? The coordination tools are crucial for managing spatial and social dynamics, offer cross-border infrastructures and services. How should these multi-actor and multi-level spaces ensure effective cooperation and collaboration?

Session 7.2 Territorial Planning

Territorial planning covers different scales with strategic documents and regulations. The articulation is crucial to make policies a reality at the local level, to face huge challenges as climate change, social and spatial inequalities, heritage protection or limitation of urban sprawl. Territorial planning needs specific bodies to develop policies and strategies, to feed the public debates and to monitor the spatial development. Well-coordinated planning across different scales should speak governance.

Session 7.3 Local Leaderships

Building a metropolitan governance require a flexible system of decision making with local authorities, with the support of State government. What process to build the metropolitan governance? How make efficient decision making with a large number of actors? How to manage the different scales and sectors to deliver public services and invest in infrastructures? How to foster economic development efficiency through city marketing? How to ensure social and spatial equity in metropolitan areas? Local leadership is the key to manage metropolitan areas.

Session 7.4 Metropolis Management

Metropolises-as expanding-are covering several jurisdictions. Infrastructures and public services are managed on different areas. The share of competencies between the different administration levels (State, regions, local authorities) is complex. The metropolis management requires specific tool for coordinating sectors, territories and communities. The international experiences on metropolitan management offer innovation on governance and innovation mechanisms for the well-being on communities.

Session 7.5 (Special Session) Democratic Urbanism

Democratic Urbanism is a method of city-building that integrates democratic ideals into the urban design process and applies broader shared governance models to the implementation of community aspirations, creating places of deep meaning that are broadly "owned" in the civic mindset. This interactive session will include a number of case studies, short films and exercises demonstrating the value of democratic approaches to city-building, highlighting communities that have applied democratic urbanism to achieve remarkable transformations across a variety of contexts. These demonstrate our civic capacity to overcome the stark challenges of the 21st century and reinvent our communities, illustrate the advantages of a democratic method for city-building that is broader than conventional practice, one based in a collaborative approach to governance that offers guidance to local leaders across the world working on the front lines of change today.

Session 7.6 (Special Session) Using Metro-Hub

Metropolitan areas have a key role in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda. Despite being innovation and opportunities hubs, they encounter many challenges in governance, planning and financing. To support integrated approach to metropolitan development, UN-Habitat and its partners have developed the MetroHUB approach that embraces different aspects of metropolitan development and management including planning, governance and finance, that aims to foster capacity of metropolitan stakeholders on how to address and better manage urbanisation challenges at a metropolitan scale. It provides a vital pool of resources, tools and expertise for developing institutional and human capacity, directly contributing to the New Urban Agenda objective of leaving no one and no place behind.

Session 7.7 Metropolitan Governance

Metropolises, as expanding, are covering several jurisdictions. Infrastructures and public services are managed on different areas. The share of competencies between the different administration levels (State, Regions, local authorities) is complex. The metropolis management require specific tool for coordinating sectors, territories and communities. The international experiences on Metropolitan management offer innovation on governance and innovation mechanisms for the well-being on communities.

Session 7.8 Debate: Governing the Metropolis

This session is devoted to a general discussion on governing the metropolis, deliver key messages for the conference regarding governance and the role of planners and to fix recommendations for the final declaration of the conference.

The discussion will have 4 steps: keynote; debate; synthesis; recommendations for ISOCARP and the final declaration.

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