Launch of the “Emergency Governance Initiative for Cities and Regions” – Monitoring the impact of COVID 19 and its aftermath

UCLG, Metropolis and the London School of Economics Cities are joining forces to analyze the impact of the current global health crisis and the recovery process on the governance of our cities and territories. Local and regional governments are conscious that our world will never be the same and we will need to build responses to create safer and sustainable communities.

The initiative will build on the COVID-19 outbreak knowledge and practices currently being collected and shared as part of the Cities for Global Health and the #BeyondTheOutbreak initiatives developed by Metropolis and the UCLG network, including the USE Platform and Global Observatories.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic is having and will have dramatic consequences on all dimensions of life as we knew it. The outbreak has also made many the deficits of our societies even more evident, including the need to update of our governance structures to responding to complex, global realities and emergencies.

Local and regional governments around the world have stepped up to the challenge and are working tirelessly at the first line of defense of public service provision and social cohesion with the commons at the heart of the response.

Nevertheless, there is evidence worldwide that empowered local leadership and strengthen multilevel governance systems are nowhere were they would need to be to respond to the new reality. There are great concerns about the safeguarding of local democracy, the protection of human rights frameworks and the sustainability of the public service provision. At a moment when governments at all levels need to play a significant role, it will be critical to develop new competences and capacities.

Aware of these paramount challengesthe Emergency Governance Initiative for Cities and Regions aims at contributing to provide insights on how to build capacities to elaborate urban/territorial responses to complex emergencies and the governance of grand global challenges. It should further provide the local and regional government networks with the tools to facilitate renewed knowledge exchange.

Started in May and with regular publications the Emergency Transitions Monitor, will collect and analyze data on how cities and regions are transitioning in and out of emergency modes, monitoring to what extent crisis response experiments may become fixtures of post-crisis recovery governance. A final report to be published in 2021 will summarize the most relevant insights, knowledge and evidence on emergency governance at subnational levels.

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