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Metropolitan areas: competitiveness versus solidarity. How to guarantee the Right to the City in metropolitan areas?

Thursday, 30 November, 2017

The acceleration of urbanization has given rise to metropolitan areas in which its population has increased more in a few decades than during several centuries - a variety of new territories, urban areas and life space has been created. These metropolitan “opportunities”, however, do not present themselves in the same way for all. Social, spatial and environmental tensions are increasing in many metropolitan areas. Taking into consideration this reality, a question whether if the engagement with the “competitive metropolis”, aimed at meeting “global” competitiveness between metropolitan regions, is a factor that is deepening these social and spatial tensions. How to build, if necessary, counter-tendencies and alternatives? This is a challenge increasingly being posed to all of us!  

This debate, based on a dialogue between elected officials and representatives from metropolitan territories, civil society organisations and research centres, will assess the relationship between “inclusive territories” and the “competitive metropolis” model. How can the development of the Right to the City (a city that guarantees a universal access to rights for all its inhabitants) contribute to reduce socio-spatial inequalities? How can it guide the formulation of public policies in the areas of social, spatial and environmental justice? How to achieve a generalized consideration and contribution by all metropolitan territories towards the common good in the metropolis? How to value the contribution of every territory, especially the popular and commoner ones, in order to go beyond the notions of “centres” and “periphery” and contribute to polycentric and solidary metropolitan areas? How to foster the cooperation of every local identity that is contributing to metropolitan areas? How to develop a metropolitan democracy that is “decentralized”, horizontal and participatory?


Agnès Deboulet, Université Paris 8, LAVUE (Cnrs) - Author (with C. Butin y J. Demoulin) of the UCLG Report “The role of metropolitan areas within  the agenda of local and regional governments for the 21st century

Meriem Derkaoui, Mayor of Aubervilliers

Sylvie Ducatteau, Local councillor at Aubervilliers, Vice-president in charge of international relations at Plaine Commune

Stéphane Troussel, President of the Seine-Saint- Denis Department Council

Dolors Sabater, Mayor of Badalona, in the metropolitan area of Barcelona

FacilitationPatrick Braouezec, President of Plaine Commune, territory in the metropolitan area of Paris, Co-President of the UCLG Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights