Task: The issue is not only how we plan and manage the form and shape of the world’s megacities, but how we govern our cities that no longer have a singular core that expand across new territories and regions and across competing political jurisdictions. Discuss the inherent local and international political challenges of this emerging issue (600 words).
Sustainability is the number one goal for world cities in the near future. The way of planning and managing the shape of cities in order to attain this and other objectives is closely linked to the present local and international political challenges. Until 2050 another 3.1 billion people have to be reasonably integrated into the world’s urban areas (see UN 2008). Out of it results the issue of how to govern such intensely growing localities effectively in particular against the background of globalization – representing the major challenge, with many of the applied policies being “formulated as a response to global economic pressures” (Saito and Thornley 2003, p. 666).
Globalization displays some distinctive global trends, which in turn bring new local political challenges with it: firstly, the process has entailed a decline of the nation-state, amounting to a shift of power towards entities on the subnational level, i.e. cities. Such a decentralization brings about more autonomy, and thus also more responsibilities for local governments with regard to planning and decision-making compared to some decades ago.
Furthermore, there is a visible trend towards more deconcentration in metropolitan areas all over the world, which according to Hall result in a complex “polycentric” metropolitan system with a bigger number of households and a spreading suburbanization (1999, p. 7f.). This in turn results often, and especially in developing countries, in an enormous number of authorities being responsible at the same time (municipalities, provincial and regional administrations, councils etc., all assigned to different ministries in charge of planning and governance, but often with different or even competing development priorities and policies, see Newman and Thornley 2004, p. 33). Such a fragmentation with a lack in cross-sectoral coordination brings about serious administrative impediments, which in turn hamper effective city management, all in all affecting governance negatively.
- Quote paper
- Natalie Züfle (Author), 2008, Planning Urban Growth , Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/180117