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Urban observatories and the governance of city-regions

Culwick, C; Washbourne, C-L; (2017) Urban observatories and the governance of city-regions. Presented at: 12th Metropolis World Congress, Montreal, Canada. Green open access

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The imperative for enhanced research and evaluation capabilities to inform the governance of city-regions is well acknowledged. Furthermore, a continuing intention lies in strengthening the relationship between academic research and the functions of city government. However, securing this collaboration effectively has proved elusive, not least because of the divergent purposes, cultures and rhythms of these institutions, and significant structural constraints that contribute to continuing insulations between them. Urban observatories can play critical roles in decision-making, providing research and analysis relevant to the successful implementation of many global commitments, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the New Urban Agenda. The role of urban observatories has been specifically highlighted because of the need for reliable, high resolution urban datasets, specific to cities and the immediate city-regions within which they operate and effective knowledge exchange. While urban observatories are relatively well catalogued through activities such as the UN-Habitat Global Urban Observatory (GUO), there is a paucity of detailed information globally regarding the way in which these observatories operate, specifically: how they employ and manage partnerships, and which methodologies they use in creating, processing and disseminating their knowledge. This session aims to showcase, explore and promote discussion around the functions of existing institutions involved in the generation and analysis of data to support urban decision-making. The session will present both a global perspective on urban observatories, and focus in on a case study profiling the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO), a research agency that exists as a partnership between two local universities, the Gauteng Provincial Government, and local municipalities in Gauteng, South Africa. The session is designed to strengthen the existing network of shared interest in evidence-based governance, and deepen effective practices within this space. In particular it builds on the UN Habitat III Urban Future event (October 2016, Quito), which was facilitated by STEaPP, GCRO and the Gauteng Provincial Government.

Type: Conference item (Presentation)
Title: Urban observatories and the governance of city-regions
Event: 12th Metropolis World Congress
Location: Montreal, Canada
Dates: 19 - 22 June 2017
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://montreal2017.metropolis.org/
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > STEaPP
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10087565
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