Metro-Matrix Theory » Governance

Metropolitan Genoma
  Pedro B. Ortiz The Metropolitan Genoma Metro-Matrix Theory
  Rural population is rapidly moving to urban areas. This is a result of the development process since mid 20 C. Urban areas are growing fast. Many are becoming poly-nuclear metropolises. Only 3 cities in history had reached the 700.000 population threshold. We have now 600. Much of this growth is been informal and uncontrolled. This is going to be the inheritance of the present generations to the future ones.
The uncontrolled growth is mostly due to the fact that we have a large knowledge on how to deal with cities; we have been developing urban knowledge for many years, but we lack the knowledge to deal with metropolises. The 10 fold difference in size, from a 1:5.000 scale to a 1:50.000 one, requires a different approach to economic, social, physical and institutional approach. The DNA of cities and Metropolises is radically different.
We need a Discipline of Practice, (Metropology?) to deal with the new phenomenon of metropolises and the challenge of their management. The Physical framework was addressed in the book ‘The Art of Shaping the Metropolis’ (1) but we lack a general theory on how internal phenomena work and how interactions between components, sectors, instances or elements can be understood and managed. 25 years of metropolitan practice, where these principles were applied and whose response defined the process of conceptual building, result in this paper. The aim of it is to provide the first step to what we understand is the Genoma of the Metropolis. Many steps lay before us in this process.
What if Metros were Nations?
  United Nations Metropolitan Governance Political Federal Participation GDP Economic ouput
  Metropolises are enormous machines of production. Economies of scale accumulation of knowledge and innovation coupled with location advantages and collective intelligence make of metropolis the leading force of evolution and improvement in the world. Not nations anymore. But metropolises, as a very recent phenomenon, feared both by nations and cities, lack the required government institutions to play their role. If Metropolises would become independent they would be among the top nations of the world. Nations don’t want to grant management capacity in fear of their power. Should multilaterals play the game of 200 years old nations, as instruments of these, or should acknowledge a new world equilibrium that will impose itself before 50 years? Should metropolises be nations?
Metropolitan Governance stripped naked
  Metropolitan Metropolis Governance Urban Politics Revolution Federal Metro Matrix
  Metropolises are a new phenomenon that their administrations do not know how to handle. This discussion goes on with multiple examples of attempts and alternatives. Due to the factors involved and their possible combinations, the number of such alternatives rises to the hundreds, if not thousands. We must strip down all these dead leaves.

Metropolises are not cities. Their DNA is different; it makes them more like national structures than municipal ones. The multiplicity of issues, sectors and stakeholders that they encompass requires a dialogue that more reflects complex national political mechanisms than the unitary municipal ones. There are three basic kinds of national administration systems: unitary, federal and confederate (e.g. France, USA, and Europe, respectively). Actual efforts among metropolises, backed by national and multilaterals interests, are pushing for confederated development. This path, however, has a limit, which is sovereignty. The national unitary approach can be the path to decentralization or devolution. National governments do not like metropolitan management, either because there is limited political benefit or because metropolises can represent large portions of national power. A federal system for metropolises, with direct accountability to the metropolitan population, is within the scope of interest of neither the municipalities involved nor national governments. We have a long and winding road ahead, but let’s at least remove the slippery leaves from it.
Metropolitan Institutions and Policies
  Metropolitan Governance Madrid Latin-america LAC
  Do you choose a tool before you know what is the task? Then why do you set up Metropolitan Governance systems before you have defined what they have to perform? First define what has to be done in the Metropolis, then design the Institutions that have to run it.
Keep in mind Metropolises are as complex as States and decision making is much more the result of balance among Economic Efficiency, Social Equity and Environmental Sustainability than a simple result of an Urban Master Plan. You have to Plan, but in a different manner. Not hierarchical, you have to Plan through dialogue among many players: a Matrix Dialogue.
And remember as well: you have to overcome the disjointed incrementalism of a Confederate System and break down the retractable delegation of the Unitary State.
Good luck!
Proyectos Interinstitucionles
  Chess Tripod CT Governance Sustainable Method Urban Metropolitan Matrix Planning
  Inter-jurisdictional projects (projects to be developed in coordination among several administrative levels or spheres of competence) require governmental management.

Territorial projects, where several administrations (local, metropolitan, regional and/or national) share responsibilities and competences, require a special dialogue among those responsible administrations.

This paper looks at the way to develop a set of ethical tools that respect and interact between these administrations for the benefit of the project implementation, the administration’s (political) success and the final objectives of stakeholders and citizens.