Agora of Cities 2015: City networks in the international projection of local governments

Agora of Cities in Barcelona

On March 10th, Barcelona hosted the third edition of the Agora of Cities, a platform of exchange for mayors, elected representatives, civil society and private sector that are directly involved in the management of cities, aiming at promoting an ongoing debate and exchange of knowledge on local governance in order to face global challenges. The event was organized by the Barcelona Provincial Council and GOBERNA América Latina and inaugurated by the Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, the President of the Barcelona Provincial Council, Salvador Esteve, and the president of the Ortega-Marañón Foundation, José Varela Ortega.

This year's edition, entitled "The XXI Century, the century of cities", created a shared reflection on two aspects of local politics that have increasingly called for greater importance: the role of local governments in global governance and the construction of local public policies regarding international relations.

Among the more than 100 people who attended the event, there were elected representatives and senior technicians from local governments in Latin America, the Mediterranean region and Europe, in addition to local governments from the region of Barcelona.

During the event, structured in a keynote address and three roundtables, in addition to exposing successful cases of internationalization and urban networks, it was analyzed how new forms of political begin to take shape in the cities. Some participants also claimed that in order to give appropriate responses to collective challenges, local and regional governments need skills and resources.

The roundtable entitled "City networks in the international projection of local governments", moderated by Josep Roig, Secretary General of UCLG, discussed the role of city networks as a tool for global action for cities. The participants talked on how these networks contribute to international efforts of local governments and the benefits and challenges they face in a constantly changing international environment.

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Source: UCLG Committee on Decentralization and Local Self-Governments