Increasing the competitiveness of urban areas through stakeholder cooperation

The City Regions project was launched to help increase the competitiveness of urban regions through integrated urban-rural development

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City Regions brought public authorities together to discuss best practices in land use and transport schemes. © Henry Pfeifer City Regions brought public authorities together to discuss best practices in land use and transport schemes. © Henry Pfeifer

" Strengthening the functional relationships between the major cities and their surrounding areas is decisive when it comes to the full exploitation of competitive advantages and promoting polycentric development in the macro-region. "

Peggy Sacher, City Regions project manager, City of Leipzig

The ongoing migration of people to cities in – already around 70 % of Europe’s population lives in cities – has made space in urban centres highly valuable. The need for land for housing, commerce and industry is increasing along with a consequent need for improved transport systems.

Identifying best practice

However, the City Regions project was set up to bring together city authorities and suburban regions to identify best practices for networking and to negotiate land-use management structures and new transport schemes. “Within the framework of the project, core cities and surrounding municipalities consult together on plans of action, division of responsibilities and financing, thus improving regional competitiveness,” says Peggy Sacher, project manager of City Regions, City of Leipzig.

The project established pilot partnerships to achieve long-term agreements for land use management. For example, in Halle/Leipzig, partners established joint management of commercial areas using a network that capitalises on the comparative advantages of municipalities located within the urban region. In Wroclaw and Lower Silesia, various municipalities now cooperate, as a result of the project, in the protection and development of green areas, management of pre-school education and development of park-and-ride strategies.

Strategic planning

In the Graz urban region, the principles of ‘gentle mobility’ have been extended to rural areas, while in Prague, strategies have been developed to manage road investments throughout the greater metropolitan region. In the Turin metropolitan area, the project launched a process of strategic planning to introduce a new quality of metropolitan cooperation between the city and its surrounding municipalities.

The partners involved in the project’s transnational network produced a position paper and recommendations about the effectiveness of taking a macro-regional and peri-urban approach towards European strategies for development of urban regions.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “City Regions  – Increasing the competitiveness of urban regions through integrated urban-rural development” is EUR 1 600 420, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 1 252 900 from the Operational Programme “Central Europe” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date

19/12/2014