I approached the Postmetropolis Cerda Congress as an opportunity to discover the debate regarding urban matters which can often be difficult to access for a couple of reasons: on the one hand, Universities can only do so much and very often, the cutting-edge reality is not a priority; and secondly, because public or semi-public institutions devoted to managing the metropolis operate websites lacking in content and very outdated. In particular, the creation of a website to include all the conference interventions in video format and the preparation of an online bibliography was greatly appreciated.
The congress argued in favour of applying a “Cerdà gesture” (studying the existing shortcomings of the city to overcome these through the application of a multidisciplinary package of measures requiring a leap in scale on the ground) to the current metropolitan situation. Metropolitan authorities have witnessed a fall in income due to the slowdown in real estate markets and this requires us to find more secure ways to make the city work, not just those based on exceptions, such as coordinated action to highlight the urban fabric. I will draw on the case of a residential tower project in a London suburb, admittedly a metropolitan city for 45 years, to illustrate the difficulties involved.