INTA35Congress resizedExit, Voice, Loyalty



INTA's 35th World Urban Development Congress took place in the Rhone-Alpes region in the cities of Lyon and Grenoble, France, 6-10 November 2011. The Congress was organised in partnership with Grand Lyon, Grenoble Alpes Metropole, the City of Grenoble and the City of Lyon among other partners.

Globalisation and rapid urbanisation accelerate the process of metropolisation. Metropolitan dynamics redefine and recompose territories where people live, work and consume. The multiple interactions of actors, scales and functions shape today's performing territories. These systems of interactions between flows of people, goods, capital and ideas are components of a "metropolitan space". However, these large territories not only face conflicting objectives -speed or slowness, distant linkages or proximity, attracting mobile creative people or nursing local talents- but also have to adapt to rapid transformation of their environment. How do metropolises change and what will the next generation of metropolises look like?

However, large metropolises are not representative of the majority of urban settings, in particular of the so-called “intermediate” metropolises. Often their institutional arrangements are not adequate to support their position in the global economy. These intermediate territories are in need of innovative governance to organise a meaningful cooperation with their public and private stakeholders. The challenge is to differentiate world metropolises whose functions have grown wider, from intermediate metropolises that have a more regional relevance while maintaining significant local connections at the municipal level.


The choice of Lyon and Grenoble as host cities of the INTA35 Annual Congress illustrates the diversity of alliances and cooperation between territories and the critical question posed by the differentiation of development strategies of intermediate metropolises.
The comparison of the strengths and challenges of the metropolises in the Rhone Alps with other intermediate cities around the world helps to produce a better understanding of the possible, the probable and even the improbable scenarios: to reduce the uncertainty related to changes, to respond pragmatically to questions about the future, to identify critical issues and develop actions that will have to be deployed to ensure a sustainable development. Under this development, how can economic actors respond in innovative ways to cope with growing fiscal weight of their energy bills, with the new requirements of public purchasing, and with consumers who are increasingly sensitive to environmental issues?

o    Rapid urbanisation creates spatial specialisation and segregation: can the metropolitan scale help to devise corrective strategies like in Lyon, Bordeaux, Turin, Lima, Stuttgart, Durban, Gdansk or Fukuoka?
o    Are metropolitan systems better at capturing value from the new economy and can the private sector find new opportunities at the metropolitan level like in Vancouver, Singapore, Malmö, Kuala Lumpur, Antwerp, Grenoble, or Geneva?
o    What are the consequences of a metropolitan process in terms of cooperation, alliances and governance procedures as in the cases of Rotterdam and the Randstad, Greater New-York, Bogota and Cundinamarca, Rostock and Northern Germany, Greater Madrid and Getafe, Prague and Bohemia, Katowice and Silesia?
o    What are innovations for metropolises to become more environmentally responsible as the preservation of natural assets and heritage is part of the attractiveness of a territory like in Zurich, Tainan, Lisbon, Tallinn, Warsaw or Oujda?

Capitalising on its past congresses in The Hague, Kuala Lumpur, Kaohsiung and San Sebastian on metropolitan development, and the most recent work on the future of metropolises in Bogota (Latin America) and in Getafe and Bordeaux (Europe), INTA conceives its 35th Annual Congress as a further step to clarify the debate on the changes and transformation occurring in the urban development process.





The INTA35 Congress has questionned the public and private actors through their actions and their positioning in the new metropolitan areas.

Visit for the full programme and to download the speakers' presentations

Read the conclusions of the Congress

Download the report on the Congress done by La Metro (in French)

See the pictures gallery of the event

Watch the videos of the Congress


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International Urban Development Association

A global membership association of urban policy-makers and practitioners to share knowledge, experience and tools for integrated territorial development.  // READ MORE