Steering the Metropolis

Steering the Metropolis

Metropolitan Governance for Sustainable Urban Development

Coordinator: David Gómez-Álvarez
Editors: David Gómez-Álvarez, Robin Rajack, Eduardo López-Moreno, Gabriel Lanfranchi
Assistant editor: Deborah Gonzalez Canada
Proofreaders: Sheila Mahoney and Alexis Arthur
Graphic editorial designer: Alfonso Avalos
Managing editor: Melissa Amezcua

Dr. Joan Clos, Executive Director, UN-Habitat

Steering the Metropolis is an enriching in-depth comparative analysis of metropolitan governance
worldwide that comes at a crucial moment of the implementation process of the New Urban Agenda,
the outcome document of Habitat III, adopted in Quito (Ecuador).
Habitat III consolidated the vision of urbanization as a strategic issue for sustainable development.
This new vision builds on the transformative power of urbanization as an endogenous source of prosperity and growth and of how urbanization contributes to the national economy and to generating employment. Indeed, metropolises have become key actors in this process as true engines of innovation, economic growth, and development.

However, urbanization is taking place at a very rapid speed, and many national, metropolitan and local governments can no longer control the process. In many cases, metropolitan and local governments have not been given the means to address these challenges, paving the way for the dysfunctional problems of the metropolis. If the challenges of our metropolises are not steered and governed properly, urbanization could become in serious strategic risk for humanity, deepening the existing social inequalities, poverty, insecurity, and lack of efficient transport systems, among other problems.

In fact, metropolitan governance tends to be a politically contested issue that intrudes into existing
governance models between the layer of subnational and local levels. As cities are growing and metropolitan areas are getting more complex, there is an emerging need to find a specific solution to the governance of that reality.

This process tends to conflict with the existing government structures. In many places of the world, it
ends in a lack of action, postponement, and protracted political negotiations between the different levels of power. Attention is therefore required to serve the needs of the people and to solve the political architecture for effective metropolitan governance.

The book presents a rigorous analysis of the most pressing challenges of metropolitan governance and policy measures to address them, constituting an invaluable and innovative tool for sub-national (regional/provincial) and local governments in their efforts in achieving sustainable urban development.

By examining these complex issues surrounding metropolitan governance, Steering the Metropolis serves as an authoritative study on urban governance developed by senior renowned experts on the science and art of urbanization.

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