Connecting Systems of Secondary Cities

Nowadays, more and more people live in cities, and most of them, especially those that are called “modern cities” or “cities from the new age” are interconnected through a global system of cities. However, some cities, having less than a million people, are not are not benefiting fully from these connectivity systems and are at risk being left behind.

Those cities are called secondary cities, frequently unknown outside of their national and regional context. Many of them, especially in the Global South, are expected to face a growing number of population and massive expansions in the coming years, therefore are struggling to manage fast urbanization and economy diversification due to their lack of capacities regarding urban services and infrastructure.

As stated by the former director of Cities Alliance, William Cobbet: “The role of secondary cities is critical, because this is where the bulk of urban growth is taking place”.  

Currently, the Covid-19 pandemic has made evident the need to create a global system of connected cities, where rapid and efficient responses to global challenges can be ensured. Now more than ever, we need to rethink the concept of cities and create participatory urban planning process in order to make cities more inclusive spaces where all inhabitants enjoy equal access to services.

The following video showcases the voice of  Cities Alliance’s urban experts participating in the 9th World Urban Forum, celebrated in Kuala Lumpur in 2018. As speakers of the session “Connecting systems of secondary cities”, they highlight several strategies for equitable economic development in cities of all sizes.

This video was produced by CAD Productions.

Ivana Ivorra
Ivana Ivorra
Ivana is a technical and research assistant at GlobalCAD, specialized in communication projects.