GCRO participates in 12th Metropolis World Congress

  • GCRO
  • Date of publication: 03 July 2017

The 12th Metropolis World Congress was held in Montreal, Canada, from 19 – 22 June 2017. The congress is the annual meeting of the Metropolis network of major cities and metropolitan areas, and brings together urban leaders and decision-makers, academics, and public, private and community stakeholders to engage around an array of local and global issues. The 2017 Metropolis congress was themed Global Challenges: Major Cities in Action, and attracted 127 city mayors, in part because of the particular focus on metropolitan governance.

The conference theme was reflected in the session co-organised by GCRO, the University College London’s Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP) and the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG). The session focused on ‘Urban observatories and the governance of city-regions’, and it brought together a range of perspectives on the role of knowledge and partnerships in supporting urban decision-making. The session was facilitated by STEaPP’s Dr Carla Washbourne, and included Rashid Seedat (GPG) and Thembani Mkhize (GCRO), who explored the role of urban observatories in strengthening the relationship between academic research and municipal government functions. The role of formal partnerships and their diverse structure modalities were presented through emerging research from STEaPP into existing and currently operational urban observatories, and the case study of the GCRO as a purpose-designed platform for multi-disciplinary urban research. The session strengthened the existing network of shared interest in evidence-based governance, and deepens effective practices within this space. In particular it builds on the UN Habitat III Urban Future event (October 2016, Quito), facilitated by STEaPP, GCRO and GPG.

Thembani Mkhize participated in the learning session titled Economic Development for Inclusive Cities: Combating Inequalities in Urban Regeneration with the Social Economy. The session was an interactive on-site workshop on innovative practices in urban regeneration in four cities (Montreal, Seoul, Barcelona and Johannesburg), and and included a site visit around the thriving business centre. Thembani co-presented with Christo Botes (Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA)) a presentation entitled ‘Inclusive Urban Regeneration in Johannesburg: The Case of Ekhaya Residential City Improvement District in Hillbrow’. The presentation emphasised the innovative practices and principles of the Ekhaya Neighbourhood Improvement Programme, most notably ‘social capital’, ‘social networks’ and ‘social cohesion’, which set it apart from other improvement districts and/or urban regeneration initiatives in Johannesburg.

Thembani Mkhize (GCRO), Rashid Seedat (GPG) and Dr Carla Washbourne (STEaPP)

Thembani Mkhize presenting in the Economic Development for Inclusive Cities session


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