Themes of the Congress
Globalisation and rapid urbanisation accelerate the process of metropolisation. Metropolitan dynamics redefine and recompose territories where people live, work and consume. The multiple interactions of actors, scales and functions shape today's performing territories. These systems of interactions between flows of people, goods, capital and ideas are components of a "metropolitan space". However, these large territories not only face conflicting objectives -speed or slowness, distant linkages or proximity, attracting mobile creative people or nursing local talents- but also have to adapt to rapid transformation of their environment. How do metropolises change and what will the next generation of metropolises look like ?
However, large metropolises are not representative of the majority of urban settings, in particular of the so-called “intermediate” metropolises. Often their institutional arrangements are not adequate to support their position in the global economy. These intermediate territories are in need of innovative governance to organise a meaningful cooperation with their public and private stakeholders. The challenge is to differentiate world metropolises whose functions have grown wider, from intermediate metropolises that have a more regional relevance while maintaining significant local connections at the municipal level.
The choice of Lyon and Grenoble as host cities of the INTA35 Annual Congress illustrates the diversity of alliances and cooperation between territories and acknowledges the critical question posed by the differentiation of development strategies of intermediate metropolises.
Rapid urbanisation creates spatial specialisation and segregation: can the metropolitan scale help to devise corrective strategies like in Lyon, Bordeaux, Turin, Lima, Stuttgart, Durban, Gdansk or Fukuoka?
Are metropolitan systems better at capturing value from the new economy and can the private sector find new opportunities at the metropolitan level like in Vancouver, Singapore, Malmö, Kuala Lumpur, Antwerp, Grenoble, or Geneva?
What are the consequences of a metropolitan process in terms of cooperation, alliances and governance procedure as in the cases of Rotterdam and the Randstad, Greater New-York, Bogota and Cundinamarca, Rostock and Northern Germany, Greater Madrid and Getafe, Prague and Bohemia, Katowice and Silesia?
What are innovations for metropolises to become more environmentally responsible as the preservation of natural assets and heritage is part of the attractiveness of a territory like in Zurich, Tainan, Lisbon, Tallinn, Warsaw or Oujda?
Capitalising on its past congresses in The Hague, Kuala Lumpur, Kaohsiung and San Sebastian on metropolitan development, and the most recent work on the future of metropolises in Bogota (Latin America) and in Getafe and Bordeaux (Europe), INTA conceives its 35th Annual Congress as a further step to clarify the debate on the changes and transformation occurring in the urban development process.
The Congress day-by-day
The development policy of intermediate metropolises will be unravelled through a narrative pointing to the main directions to reach a sustainable future – fair governance, social equity, economic integration and environmental responsibility; each considered through the interactions that make up the metropolis: identity and image representation, urban projects, cooperation and alliances and, finally, the ecology of mobility.
A half-day technical visit, 2 days of plenary sessions and one-day workshops halfway will provide all participants the opportunity to reflect on today’s challenges for intermediate metropolitan territories.
INTA urban policy practitioners and policy makers are convened in a permanent international forward-looking think-tank, the World Urban Development Council, which meets twice a year to appraise major trends and issues on world urban policy.
The think-tank aims to anticipate changes in the urban society and to allow INTA to maintain its conceptual edge so that different views on sustainable urban development and emerging trends and challenges can be presented to its membership. The World Urban Development Council is the place where both the major changes and future avenues of urban development are reassessed. The debates inside the Council position INTA as a thought leader and a force for proposal with public and private urban development players throughout the world.
Metropolises come together to devise strategies of cooperation and governance, to reach goals such as effective management of resources, urban quality and attractiveness. Alliances between intermediate metropolises and their surroundings can bring their development policies into play on a larger scale.
Are environmental policies more efficient when treated at the metropolitan level? How can metropolitan development policy take suburban and rural areas into account? What are the responses of rural areas to the concentration of activities and facilities in the metropolitan core?
The metropolitan dimension often suffers from a lack of representation, while it exists as a daily reality for an increasing number of people who experience it in their work, leisure, travel and way of living. The creation of a public space to express and share metropolitan narrative, created by local authorities might be the condition to the construction of a metropolitan identity. How to encourage the strengthening of a complex vision of a collective identity including symbolic, temporal, economic, cultural aspects?
Intermediate metropolises are introducing innovative governance procedures while organizing their cooperation; what makes them different from large metropolises and what are the specific answers they are able to give to the competitive issues they are dealing with.
Capitalising on diversity and complementarities, organising polycentric metropolises and their mobility systems, integration of their urban and rural areas. Which scenario for the governance of intermediate metropolises: network of cities, agglomerated proximity or other patterns of alliance.
Promotion of metropolitan cooperation, realisation of large-scale infrastructure, trade-offs and concentration of facilities requires negotiation on different territorial levels: regional, national and international.
Can the dimension of the intermediate metropolis be combined with a localised participative democracy to foster loyalty and implement the metropolitan project? Is it capable to stimulate social and environmental improvement for the benefit of all? How can a shared metropolitan identity be developed?
The complexity of metropolitan development comes out from the interaction between regional and local scales, the knowledge economy and productive economy, and is embodied in projects and initiatives. How can intermediate metropolises become more attractive, creative and influential? Which mechanisms and what kind of strategies do socio-economic actors have to manage?
Approaches to cooperate at the international level, attracting and retaining talent, fostering knowledge and know-how. How can an intermediate metropolis stimulate economic development and innovation through mobilising scientific and industrial resources on a local level?
The metropolitan area is punctuated by flows that determine both its economic vitality, its inclusion in a regional or global system and the quality of life for its inhabitants. Today, access times characterize cities as well as the physical occupation of space: access time to connect to major international cities, access times to stations and airports, time to journey on intercity routes and time of access to urban or suburban neighbourhoods.
At a time when metropolitan territories are structuring themselves, modifying the patterns of operation and of governance systems, and when, at the same time, the tourism economy is changing with the explosion of the ICT, it seems necessary to review the development strategies that could allow the metropolises to emerge as touristic destinations.
Able to build strategies on the four pillars of sustainable development, the intermediate metropolises could become touristic destinations, and their tourism development can play a key role in accelerating their recognition either in testing new governance practices, or as a factor of urban regeneration or even as a support for greater diversity and openness to others.
Tourism is, for many remote places or islands, the main vector of development, and it impacts deeply on the organization of the territory, from the spatial, financial and even political points of view. Being a highly competitive business, tourism needs to questions its own content and practices to ensure its own sustainability. To make tourism a key factor of balanced development, a marker of solidarity between territories, implies a critical assessment of governance and planning process of these fragile territories.