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WORLD URBAN CONGRESS
ROSTOCK, 19-21 SEPTEMBER 2018

THE HIDDEN VALUE OF MEDIUM-SIZED CITIES

 

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The 42nd Annual Congress to be held in Germany, a first for INTA, has the ambition to facilitate the dialogue among all urban stakeholders irrespective of their scale of involvement, nor of their sector of activities: private, public or third sector. The Congress in the Hanseatic city of Rostock, in the North East of Germany, is an opportunity to understand the territorial and urban management changes taking place in one of the world's most advanced industrialised countries, and the new relationships that are being established between the federal, regional, metropolitan and rural levels in the production of an efficient, effective and enjoyable urban society. The former East German City of Rostock managed the widespread changes in society and economy in a model like way and is now a prosperous, vibrant city, currently working on a new masterplan: Rostock 2030 - preparing for its next quantum jump.

Medium-sized cities: conflict or complementarity with larger cities
Europe is a territory of predominantly medium- sized and small cities that intend to exist vis-à-vis the big cities and metropolises that are accused both of "pumping" talents and resources and hindering the innovation potential of intermediate territories. Many governments recognise that the current singular focus on large core cities is too narrow to promote genuine economic and technological development, social wellbeing and environmental resilience. In Germany the demand for autonomy has led the German medium-sized towns to claim a specific place in the territorial system by asserting themselves as "Regional cities: Regiopolis".

The concept of Regiopolis includes the small and second-tier cities that play a significant role in their regions, extending their influence beyond the perimeter of a sub-regional centre. Territories are full of interesting initiatives but innovation is carried by a multitude of actors operating in different and relatively compartmentalized spheres. This inhibits capitalization and promotes the reproduction of micro-models rather than a dynamic of change of scale benefiting the whole territory. Therefore, the priority is not so much the deployment of new technological solutions than in setting governance mechanisms at multiple territorial levels, with a strong attention to the conditions for a creative and supportive local ecosystem for social, cultural and economic innovation: these are the goals of the Regiopolis.

How to reveal the hidden value of medium-sized cities?
This central theme will be addressed through different formats: policy plenaries, exchange of experiences, technical visits, workshops, keynotes, networking. The Congress will involve a wide range of public and private German actors: Federal Ministries, Parliamentarians, Regional Authorities, Regiopolis network, investors & private developers, local operators, academics...

Advice to visitors of Rostock 
Arriving in Rostock could be a long ride when coming from Latin America, Africa or Asia; you might land in Hamburg, then travel by train to Rostock; or land in Berlin then catch a regional train, or land in Copenhagen then by train, ferryboat, and tram. So we suggest that you arrive September 18th giving yourself time to adapt to the Baltic Sea tonic environment, to the historical beauty of the Hanseatic City and to the delicate taste of the local beer. An "à la carte" discovery programme can be arranged for the early comers.


This Congress is organized by:

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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