Barcelona/Nairobi, 1 October 2020 – UN-Habitat and Metropolis will co-host a virtual meeting on “Metropolises facing the pandemic” on 7 October which is World Metropolitan Day 2020.

The COVID-19 crisis has focused the world’s attention on the importance of metropolitan leadership. The pandemic is having a huge impact on all areas of life in metropolitan areas but also provides an opportunity to rethink the role of metropolitan governance in crises. World Metropolitan Day, which marks the anniversary of the Montréal Declaration on Metropolitan Areas (2015), provides an opportunity not only to focus on the importance of metropolitan governance to create more sustainable, liveable and healthy cities; but also the challenges and opportunities created by the pandemic.

During the ongoing World Metropolitan Day 2020 campaign, metropolitan governments and a wide range of institutions worldwide (private companies, academic institutions, civil society organizations, multilateral entities, city networks and urban influencers) have been sharing initiatives aimed at accelerating a positive transformation in cities as a response to COVID-19 and at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The pandemic requires coordination across all the administrations at different levels and the urban-rural continuum, and rethinking the current metropolitan governance systems.

While being recognized as engines of economic growth, metropolitan areas are also the source of major inequalities and environmental challenges. The measures brought in to control COVID-19 have probably exacerbated this phenomenon. Moving forward metropolitan governance must prioritize the issue considering that around a third of the population, nearly 2.6 billion people currently live in metropolitan areas.

The event will bring together various local governments representing Buenos Aires, Barcelona Metropolitan Area, Barcelona City, Municipality of Cordoba, Madrid City, Mexico City and Montreal along with the Asian Mayors Forum, UCLG Africa, and the Marmara Municipalities Union, among others entities.

This event will take place in the framework of the Urban October, a month of celebrations that begins with World Habitat Day on 5 October focusing on Housing for All:A Better Urban Future and ends with World Cities Day on 31 October under the theme Valuing our communities and cities.

For more information on the World Metropolitan Day campaign and registration for the event, please visit:   


About Metropolis

The World Association of the Major Metropolises (Metropolis) is the global network of major cities and metropolitan areas.

Metropolis brings together the governments of 141 urban agglomerations worldwide. We serve as the hub and platform for metropolises to connect, share experiences, and mobilize on a wide range of local and global issues, in addition to being the focal point of worldwide experience and expertise on metropolitan governance.

Metropolis operates, as well, as the metropolitan section of the World Organisation of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) since its constitution in 2004.


About the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)

UN-Habitat works in over 90 countries supporting people in cities and human settlements for a better urban future. Working with governments and local partners, its high impact projects combine world-class expertise and local knowledge to deliver timely and targeted solutions.

For more information please contact

Marta Briones / 

Susannah Price