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Municipalities affiliated to Metropolis will put their strategic focus areas on urban governance, access to services in the broadest sense and social inclusion as part of their 2015-2017 Action Plan.

This was said by Joburg Executive Mayor and newly elected Co-President of Metropolis, Mpho Parks Tau. Speaking at the end of the week- long 11th Metropolis World Congress held in Telengana, India, Mayor Tau said other priority areas of his tenure will be “innovation, placing urban development at the service of economic development and employment. Lastly, to also make gender and youth issues an integral part of every Metropolis policy priorities”.

Metropolis is a global network of 138 metropolitan cities that share innovative ideas for urban sustainability. Mayor Tau’s key role at the helm of Metropolis will be to lead the portfolio responsible for Supporting Access to Basic Services and Social Inclusion.

Mayor Tau’s ascendancy to the Co-Presidency of Metropolis follows the successful hosting of the Metropolis 2013 by the City of Johannesburg.

Mayor Tau welcomed the establishment of the Metropolis Youth, saying it will help to prioritise youth and gender issues. “This is not to say that there are not other important areas, but any institution needs to make strategic choices to be effective and impactful.”

The mayor emphasized the importance of including people in decision-making processes. “It is thus important to provide platforms to hear the various voices of people. This will enable us to ensure that when we, as Metropolis, interact with other global networks and governments; we are not disconnected from our people.”

He added that experts predict that three quarters of the forthcoming generations’ populations will live in cities. This will be by 2050. “As cities continue to grow and urbanize rapidly, the growth of global metropolitan cities will increase.”​