Photography by:
  • GCRO

City-Region governance in the BRICS

  • Ongoing
  • Prof. Philip Harrison

This project explores the different forms of city-region governance across the global South, beginning with the BRICS cluster (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). City-region governance responds to the ongoing need in large urban agglomerations to mobilise collective action across administrative jurisdictions, and between diverse agents of governance, to address shared problems relating, for example, to economy and livelihood, poverty and inequality, distribution of public goods, environmental quality, and the management of unexpected crises. With their scale, complexity, dynamism, and multiple contending interests, city-regions are challenging contexts in which to achieve this. Comparative study does however provide insight into different ways for organising collective action at the scale of a city-region. There are no easy answers, or easily packaged ‘best practices’, as governance arrangements are deeply embedded in different histories, political cultures and constitutional framings, but comparative study reveals the possibility of alternative pathways. The project also shows that city-regions, as they are variously constructed, are themselves part of wider networks of ‘extended urbanisation’, and that the organisational arrangements for urban governance need to be multi-scalar, and extend even beyond current framings of the city-region.

Last updated: 10 December 2021.

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