"The mission is to apply geographic expertise to problems of megacities and to the theory underlying the principles, knowledge, and methods employed in solving megacity problems. The task force should focus primarily on issues of continental and global scale, and on the restructuring of urban life over the long term, with particular reference to global change in environmental systems and the globalisation of economy, politics, and society. It will work in collaboration with relevant international scientific unions and with relevant IGU commissions and study groups." (quoted from the mission statement received from Ron Abler in 1998)
a) Research programme and participation in international committee work
Encouragement of geographical research on the structures and dynamics, the problems and policies of individual megacities, and support of theoretical approaches under a comparative view, with special emphasis on megacities of the developing countries.
Leading role of the task force in the development, promulgation and dissemination of new research topics on megacities. Broadening of the international discussion.
Definition and critical assessment of the central problems of megacities: research foci, tasks, and deficits.
Concentration on selected topics of major research foci. Scientific agenda to be defined and finalised within the task force group.
Promotion of modern methods in megacity research (Remote Sensing, Geographical Information Systems, modern qualitative methods of social sciences, in collaboration with relevant organisations).
Presence at and participation in major international conferences.
Own IGU-task force booth, itinerant exhibition, poster presence.
b) Information and services
Homepage for (i) general and public information and (ii) communication within the task force.
Information service and centre for research on megacities (e.g. statistics, map information, views (scan pictures, aerial photographs, satellite images), data, publications, bibliography, WWW-links, press contacts and news).
Communication platform for task force members and corresponding members.
In the long run: "Best practise" databank on problem solving perspectives in megacity management
c) Networks and networking
Support activities leading to a deepened exchange of information regarding megacity research, among geographers and throughout the IGU as well as interdisciplinary.
Networking with relevant organisations and initiatives.
Provide assistance with research applications within the community of geographers.
Later: Offer match making, recommendation service, "clearing house": service functions offered to decision-makers in major political tasks.
Later: Recommend and procure concise state-of-the-art contributions for international media, match making in expert service.
Later: Offer high-level seminars and workshops for external decision-makers (development cooperation).