Seminar series: Governing Complex City-Regions

  • GCRO
  • Date of publication: 30 November 2017

The GCRO is currently hosting (October and November 2017) a series of seminar-based discussions on the governance of city-regions, in a partnership with the South African Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning (SA&CP).

The seminar series draws on research undertaken by Professor Philip Harrison on the governance of large and dynamic city-regions. The seminars will use the history and experience of city-regions across the BRICS as a stimulus for a cumulative engagement over a period of a month-and-a-half. The aim is jointly to construct a shared conceptual vocabulary and to explore international approaches to improving the quality and responsiveness of city-region governance which may be resonant for our own context. The research was made possible by funding received from the Gauteng Provincial Government and it is hoped that the research and discussion will contribute to thinking and practice in Gauteng.

City-region governance is a complex matter as city-regions rarely coincide with formal administrative jurisdictions; invariably involve multi-scalar and multi-agency interactions; have institutions which are differently embedded within varying social actors; have powerful players which are not spatially confined within the region (e.g. transnational corporations); have governance processes that involve a complex intersection of formal and informal interactions; have processes and systems that reflect variant histories and politics; and, have governance requirements that require a high level of capability, responsiveness and sophistication, including increasingly demanding citizenries and a rapid pace of change. It is arguably this degree of intricacy that requires the sort of well-considered analytical and practical response that will hopefully emerge from joint engagement with different contexts, and with careful consideration of our own.

As the seminars progress, we will upload here the presentations made by Professor Phil Harrison (and later by other planned presenters).

Harrison 2017 Comparative city region governance Brazil.pdf

Harrison 2017 Comparative city region governance Moscow.pdf

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