City networks are an essential part of cities’ international action. They may be classified in several ways: by the type of actors that form them, by their geographical reach, by the issues they work on, or by being generalist in nature.
In Madrid’s case, the city participates in the principal global network United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), and has hosted various meetings of its governing bodies. Created in 2004 by merging a range of networks, UCLG was one of the main results of Habitat II (held in Istanbul in 1996). Its emergence has led to talk of the beginning of a phase of the institutionalisation of cities’ international action. This new phase could culminate in securing a seat at the global table for cities, in other words, a specific space and formal recognition of participation for cities within the United Nations system (Salmerón, 2016).