In an event that should have drawn wider attention, urban research institutes representing five Asian megacities held an inaugural forum in Seoul last Friday. Participants in the first meeting of the Megacity Think Tanks Alliance discussed risks facing megacities in Asia and cooperative measures for resolving them.
The launch of MeTTA comes at a time when the need for sharing experience and knowledge to settle urban problems is growing amid the increasing transnational competition between cities.
More than a decade into the 21st century, city economies matter more than national ones. Cities, which have become a requirement for prosperity, will be the main drivers of economic growth. Global investors increasingly tend to view the world as a network of cities rather than a collection of countries.
In these circumstances, cities are vying to enhance their competitiveness and become part of the global economy. At the same time, however, megacities around the world share a range of challenges such as natural disasters, worsening pollution, rising crime and widening income and social inequality.