The emergence of new city platforms on the international stage: The imperative of reconfiguring the ecosystem of networks

Publication date:
Maruxa Cardama, Secretary General, Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport; former Senior Policy Specialist at Cities Alliance-UNOPS

Decades of pioneering municipalism, the progressive recognition of the transformative potential of urbanisation and the gradualempowerment of cities and regions as major players in the national and international arenas have witnessed the blooming of organised networks of local and regional governments. The panorama has dramatically evolved since the municipalism movement began in the 20th century. Today we are witnessing an increasingly varied and complex ecosystem of city and region networks. In this convoluted environment, it is often hard to grasp the ultimate raison d’être, the distinctive results and the governance and accountability mechanisms of individual networks as well as of the municipalism movement as a whole. In order to fully understand the great challenges and opportunities of the current ecosystem, it is essential to open spaces for bold interrogation by voices both within and outside the system that are questioning its strategic development. For, ultimately, without a reconfiguration of the system that addresses its critical challenges and the viability of individual networks the municipalism movement is at risk in the long run.