City regions in pursuit of SDG 11: Institutionalising multilevel cooperation in Gauteng, South Africa
De Visser, Jaap
De Visser, Jacobus Wilhelm
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Metropolitan areas are becoming more and more important in shaping the future of the planet. In 2017 there were 34 megacities worldwide, i.e. cities with a population of over 10 million. It is expected that this number will grow to 41 by 2030 (United Cities and LocaJ Governments (UCLG) 2017a, p. 44). There arc many more smaller urban conglomerations that can be defined as metropolitan areas, using criteria such as continuous growth, levels of density and perhaps most importantly, functional interdependence (UCLG 2017a, p. 44). Metropolitan areas are growing fast and face tremendous challenges. In both developed and developing countries, they experience sprawl, social fragmentation, economic challenges and environmental threats. In developing countries this is compounded by the reality that 880 million people worldwide live in slums, most of them within metropolitan areas (UCLG 2017a, p. 46). The growth of metropolitan areas presents tremendous opportunities for an increase of the well being of the city dwellers within them, but the reality is that many of the challenges fly in the face of the aspirations of Goal 11 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).