UCLG and Metropolis: Connecting with a world of learners


UCLG and Metropolis gathered city leaders, development partners and networks to debate on learning practices in diverse urban frameworks in order to plan their agendas on City-to-City Learning. This first joint meeting brought together 60 high-level urban thinkers and experts from around the world.

The exchange session was held in Barcelona, from 12th to 14th September and permitted sharing and comparing methodologies for knowledge exchange with local and metropolitan governments and associated networks. It also set the bases for building a learning agenda for the upcoming years, identifying possible services and activities to develop and reinforce.

On the first day, the sessions were directed towards discussing methodologies and receiving inputs on learning initiatives from diverse stakeholders. These were used to build a collective overview on the three main questions addressed during the day: How are networks and cities learning? What is being learned and Who needs to learn?

Building on the conclusions of the first day, the second day focused on obtaining insights on expectations and demands from UCLG members and associate networks in order to define a role for UCLG in learning and establish priorities. The session also counted with Tim Campbell, an expert on city learning, who highlighted the changes in UCLG “opening and partnering with others” and by this, creating broader “clouds of trust”. The result was the construction of a roadmap draft establishing focus areas and strategic actions on a short term, medium term and long term basis. As summarized below:


Short term:


–        Facilitate peer learning

–        Communication and visibility

–        Knowledge management

–        Brokering/Intermediation


Medium & long term:


–        Research: Monitor and evaluate learning outcomes

–        Joint efforts for resource mobilization


Finally, on the third day, conclusions of Metropolis and UCLG were shared and possible synergies were outlined between both organizations. Participants were encouraged to follow up on upcoming activities and identify their main interests and possible collaboration.


As a step forward, both organizations agreed in following up to precise the strategy of learning, to integrate it into a calendar of decision making and to specify activities, accompanying the working groups and involving more partners and members.

For more information, find the outcomes of this three-day strategic meeting here:


–     Full written summaries of all the sessions

–     Selected photos

–     Tim Campbell’s presentation on “Smart Cities and beyond”