Avoiding Solo Cities – The benefits of tackling problems as a unified metro region, is an excellent article from the Chicago Forum on Global Cities where a panel of experts talked about the ability of metropolitan area municipal collaborations to solve problems more effectively and efficiently and make us more resilient. The areas where collaborations should be explored are in:
- Economic development/tourism
- Lobbying for funding
- Climate change
- Social issues
Avoiding solo cities: The benefits of tackling problems as a unified metro region
Collaborating with nearby jurisdictions creates economy of scale and better odds for success, panelists said at the recent Chicago Forum on Global Cities.
CHICAGO — The point of municipal governments is to devise strategies for solving communities’ problems and keep them running smoothly. But as cities and towns swell, legal borders don’t necessarily correspond to the governance space anymore. Metropolitan area municipal collaborations more effectively and efficiently solve common problems and ease service delivery, compared with one city standing alone, said panelists at the recent Chicago Forum on Global Cities.
“We no longer know where the city starts and where the city ends. Which are the real boundaries of our cities?” said Octavi de la Varga, secretary general for Metropolis, a global association of leaders from metropolitan areas. “It’s a challenge for all layers of government.”
A number of metro areas in the U.S. have adopted this collaborative approach. Communities in the Boston area banded together to form a viable bike-share program and to develop a unified housing partnership, and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh last week announced plans to partner with other communities to explore collectively purchasing renewable energy. When Salt Lake City approved a housing plan, its leaders encouraged neighboring municipalities to follow suit, acknowledging that issues affecting one city usually bleed over to others.