Following the general assembly and the award ceremony for exemplary projects, the 8th World Congress of Metropolis came to a close today. In the Berlin House of Cultures, guests from all over the world will be given an official farewell dinner this evening. On Sunday, many of them, however, will seize the opportunity of enjoying the Carnival of Cultures along with participants in the Youth Congress.In the closing press conference a balance was struck and information given on the core activities of Metropolis in the time ahead by Joan Clos mayor of Barcelona and president of Metropolis, Ingeborg Junge-Reyer, senator for urban development Berlin, David Miller, mayor of Toronto, Gary Prattley, executive director, Federal State New South Wales of Australia, Sydney, Patrick Ramiaramanana, Antananarivo, Francine Senécal, vice president of the executive committee of Montreal, Jesse Calvert, Toronto, representative of the Youth Congress. Joan Clos expressed his sincere thanks to the organising team for the hospitality and commitment shown during the whole preparation and the implementation of an ambitious programme. Congress participants had seen Berlin as an attractive metropolis that has outstanding projects to show in many fields of urban development and valuable experiences to share in a dialogue on sustainable solutions. The Senator for Urban Development Ingeborg Junge-Reyer stated, the Congress was a great success for Berlin. The city has found many new friends all over the world. The Berlin urban development policy with its emphasis on sustainability and involvement in the political decision-making process has met with great interest. Being the president of the Commission "Urban Mobility Management" of the Congress she was very delighted to see a "declaration on sustainable mobility management" to be adopted in Berlin as a common foundation to intensify the transfer of knowledge and experience during the action period 2005 - 2008. The mayor of Toronto, David Miller, invited members of the Metropolis Board of Directors to come to Toronto for a first consultation regarding the forthcoming activity following the 8th World Congress in 2006. Gary Prattley expressed his thanks for the decision to hold the 9th World Congress in Sydney in 2008.
Finally, Joan Clos informed on the findings presented during the general assembly this afternoon. The Metropolis Award 2005 for exemplary projects of urban development was presented to the cities of Antananarivo/Madagascar, Seoul/ South Corea, and Alexandria/Egypt. Antananarivo was granted the first prize for the re-urbanisation of a densely populated district, Seoul for its new bus system and Alexandria for a project of sustainable waste management. He expressed his appreciation for the projects and recommended all cities to harness their experiences for their own projects. The Action Plan 2005 - 2008 adopted by the general assembly is aimed at progress to be achieved for the sustainable development of metropolises and at enhancement of citizens´ living conditions. For this to happen, the exchange of knowledge and experiences between members is to be intensified, the cooperation with other international organisations to be extended and representation of metropolises at international organisations to be strengthened. A preparatory task force to create a ""World Bank of Cities" for the funding of development projects is to be set up under the chairmanship of Île-de-France in close cooperation with the organisation "United Cities and Local Governments". The following Standing Commissions will be set up for the next three years: