UCLG-CUSP highlights the importance of “Empowering I-cities”


The UCLG Committee on Urban Strategic Planning, joined by UN Habitat, ILO, the university and city of Lleida, published a new publication aiming to visualize the role of intermediary cities and their leaders in global development and globalization.

“Empowering I-cities” underlines that the urbanization process is not only happening in big cities, but also – and even more rapidly – in intermediary ones. In fact, according to the United Nations, cities with fewer than a million inhabitants constitute more than 60% of the world’s urban today population and they are growing faster than larger urban centres.

As stated in by the Executive Director, Joan Clos, and, UCLG Secretary General, Josep Roig, These cities play an active mediating role between their surrounding territories, often agricultural, and major urban hubs and markets. By offering basic services to the urban and rural population in their surroundings and providing links to broader flows of networks, they can stimulate sustainable urban growth and provide opportunities for their regions. They are therefore increasingly considered key elements for more balanced urbanization processes.

The Lleida Forum on intermediary cities celebrated in June 2013 was an occasion to discuss these ideas with mayors from all regions, professionals, experts, academics, network representatives and development partners such as UN Habitat, International Labour Organization and Cities Alliance. The research community on intermediary cities gathered the Ciudades Intermedias network (CIMES) that has been working in this area for the past 10 years, and will continue cooperating with UCLG to coordinate the voice and reality of Intermediary cities to advocate for increased recognition and attention.

Read the publication.