Rethinking the ecosystem of international city networks: Challenges and opportunities

The seminar seeks to analyse the changing dynamics of the ecosystem of city networks during the past years, focusing on how the main platforms operate, what influence they have on global agendas, what services they provide to their partners and how they coordinate their efforts

ACTIVITAT REALITZADA
3 juliol 2018 - 09:00h
LOCALITZACIÓ: CIDOB, sala Jordi Maragall, Elisabets 12, 08001 Barcelona
ORGANITZAT PER: CIDOB

Objectiu

In recent years, cities have consolidated their position as major players on the international scene. Yet, their ambition to project themselves internationally and to influence global agendas is not a new phenomenon. Cities have operated as organized networks for decades. The first international organization of cities, the International Union of Local Authorities (IULA), was created in 1913. Towards the end of the past century, the regional integration processes of the 1990s rung in a proliferation of city networks, especially in Europe (but also in Latin America, Africa and Asia). In 2004, the founding of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) as a platform for international municipalism marked a turning point. 

Since then, city networks have played an important role in defining and implementing some of the main global agendas. Today, their involvement in the COP (Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC), their success in adding a territorial dimension to the 2030 Agenda, or their participation in the Steering Committee of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation, are good examples of how city networks are making their voice heard. They have achieved that new measures aimed at tackling global challenges take into account their needs, interests and aspirations. While much remains to be done, cities have gained a seat at the global table. 

However, at the same time, the growing prominence of the urban question in international agendas has caused a reconfiguration of the ecosystem of city networks that is not always coherent. Multiple platforms have emerged that promote initiatives related to cities and that try to engage with traditional international actors, especially governments and international organizations, but also civil society and the private and knowledge sectors. 

This reconfiguration of the ecosystem of city networks brings with it both risks and opportunities, especially for traditional networks that until recently occupied this space almost exclusively. The risks are tied to the diffusion of efforts and the lack of complementarity and coordination; all of which potentially translate into communication problems with the international organizations behind the major global agendas. However, these diverse efforts to promote the international presence of cities also harbour opportunities in that they open up spaces that foster alliances with different actors that are central to promoting better urban policies. 

The seminar seeks to analyse the changing dynamics of the ecosystem of city networks during the past years, focusing on how the main platforms operate, what influence they have on global agendas, what services they provide to their partners and how they coordinate their efforts. By zooming in on the strategies that networks have been developing to enhance their influence and make their operations more effective, the seminar will examine in more detail the added value they provide. In short, the objective is to identify the challenges and opportunities posed by the reconfiguration of the traditional ecosystem of city networks as a result of the increasing centrality of the urban question; a centrality that is in part explained by the effectiveness of the work of traditional networks in recent years.

 

 

Arxius

Participants

SPEAKERS

Giovanni Allegretti

Giovanni Allegretti

Co-director, Independent Authority for the Guarantee and Promotion of Citizen Participation, Tuscany Region

Paola Arjona

Paola Arjona

Technical Director, Red ALLAs, City of México

Jordi Bacaria

Jordi Bacaria

Director, CIDOB

Ana Lisa Boni

Ana Lisa Boni

Secretary General, Eurocities

Marina Canals

Marina Canals

Secretary General, Educating Cities

Maruxa Cardama

Maruxa Cardama

Senior Policy Specialist, Cities Alliance

Braulio Díaz Castro

Braulio Díaz Castro

Deputy Director, Knowledge and Communication Management, Euro-Latin American Alliance of Cooperation among Cities (AL-LAs), International Affairs Office Mexico City Government, CDMX

Nelson Fernández

Nelson Fernández

Director of International Relations, Montevideo City Council, Technical Secretariat Mercociudades

Agustí Fernández de Losada

Agustí Fernández de Losada

Director, Global Cities Programme, CIDOB

Eva García Chueca

Eva García Chueca

Scientific Coordinator, Global Cities Programme, CIDOB

Mehrnaz Ghojeh

Mehrnaz Ghojeh

Senior Urban Development Specialist, City Leadership Laboratory, University College London

Arnau Gutiérrez

Arnau Gutiérrez

Deputy Director General for International Affairs, Networks and Multilateral Organisations, Madrid City Council

Johannes Krassnitzer

Johannes Krassnitzer

International Coordinator, ART Programme, UNDP

Lina Liakou

Lina Liakou

Regional Director for Europe and the Middle East, 100 Resilient Cities

Laura Pérez

Laura Pérez

Councillor for Feminisms, LGBTI and International Relations, Barcelona City Council

Emmanuelle Pinault

Emmanuelle Pinault

Head of City Diplomacy – Political Engagement, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group

Felip Roca

Felip Roca

Deputy Director of International Relations, Barcelona City Council

Emilia Saiz

Emilia Saiz

Secretary General, UCLG

 Xavier Tiana

Xavier Tiana

Secretary General, MedCities

Octavi de la Varga

Octavi de la Varga

Secretary General, Metropolis

Rethinking the ecosystem of international city networks: Challenges and opportunities ACTIVITAT REALITZADA

09:00h Opening remarks

Laura Pérez, Councillor for Feminisms, LGBTI and International Relations, Barcelona City Council

Jordi Bacaria, Director, CIDOB

09:15h Key aspects to understanding international city networks

Agustí Fernández de Losada, Director, Global Cities Programme, CIDOB

09:30h Panel 1: The role of city networks on the international stage. Challenges for a new global governance

Emilia Saiz, Secretary General, UCLG

Respondents:   Giovanni Allegretti, Co-director, Independent Authority for the Guarantee and Promotion of Citizen Participation, Tuscany Region

                       Johannes Krassnitzer, International Coordinator,  ART Programme, UNDP

                       Felip Roca, Deputy Director of International Relations, Barcelona City Council

Moderator:      Paola Arjona, Technical Director, Red ALLAs, City of México

11:00h Coffee break

11:30h Panel 2: The emergence of new city platforms on the international stage. Opportunities and challenges

Emmanuelle Pinault, Head of City Diplomacy – Political Engagement, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group

Respondents:   Xavier Tiana, Secretary General, MedCities

                         Arnau Gutiérrez, Deputy Director General for International Affairs, Networks and Multilateral Organisations, Madrid City Council

                         Lina Liakou, Regional Director for Europe and the Middle East, 100 Resilient Cities

Moderator:       Maruxa Cardama, Senior Policy Specialist, Cities Alliance

13:00h Lunch

14:00h How to optimize the potential of international city networks?

Mehrnaz Ghojeh, Senior Urban Development Specialist, City Leadership Laboratory, University College London

14:15h Panel 3: How to move towards complementarity between networks?

Ana Lisa Boni, Secretary General, Eurocities

Respondents:   Octavi de la Varga, Secretary General, Metropolis

                         Marina Canals, Secretary General, Educating Cities

                         Braulio Díaz Castro, Deputy Director, Knowledge and Communication Management, Euro-Latin American Alliance of Cooperation

                         among Cities (AL-LAs), International Affairs Office Mexico City Government, CDMX 

Moderator:        Nelson Fernández, Director of International Relations, Montevideo City Council, Technical Secretariat Mercociudades

15:45h Concluding remarks

Eva García Chueca, Scientific Coordinator, Global Cities Programme, CIDOB

16:15h End of seminar