Introducing harmonised development in the cross-border region between Austria and Slovakia

RegioStars 2012 FinalistThrough a series of projects and joint initiatives, the Slovak capital Bratislava and the neighbouring Austrian regions are engaged in cross-border co-operation through the BAUM project to harmonise the development of the region.

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BAUM (Bratislava Urban Regional Cooperation) is a joint initiative between the provinces of Lower Austria and the Burgenland, the Slovak capital City of Bratislava and the Bratislava Self-Governing Region. The aim is to establish a platform for all stakeholders in the BAUM region to direct its spatial development.

Since the accession of Slovakia to the EU there is greater cross-border movement in the region, with people living on the Austrian side and working on the Slovak side, and vice versa. Schools and kindergartens are full again and many children in the region are educated bilingually.

Suburban developments

The strong growth dynamics of Bratislava are affecting the rural Austrian villages through increased demand for new settlements, leisure and recreational areas. The formerly rural villages are becoming suburban towns.

There is a need for a well-balanced strategy for the future development of Bratislava and the towns in the surrounding area to limit unwelcome activities in the border region such as uncontrolled expansion.

Over the course of the BAUM project, the first cross-border urban regional cooperation management structure will be established. Creating the common platform will define the conditions for further regional development and the consensus of all stakeholders will establish clear foundations for systematic development.

Regulation and investment

Through the combination of regulations and investment activities on both sides of the border, the management structure for the city and surroundings will significantly mitigate the emergence of negative effects resulting from the expansion of the City of Bratislava.

The project involves information, cooperation, and coordination meetings for the Slovak and Austrian villages and the City of Bratislava. By formulating common perceptions about the image of the region, the project will ensure sustainable conditions for the future development of the region such as mobility, settlement development, social affairs, etc.

A new phase of cooperation is being initiated with even more specific goals such as the establishment of a multilateral expert platform (MEP) as a basis for implementing a urban and regional planning concept (URPC) – a collective vision for the region’s development that unifies the interests of all affected stakeholders.

After the project is completed, the expert platform will be retained for coordinating the future development of the border region. It will act as a continuous source of information for all decisions affecting daily life in the border region.

The cross-border urban-regional-cooperation management structure will also be retained to help in day to day communication between the Austrian and Slovak municipalities and regions.

Total and EU funding

The project “Baum – Bratislava Umland management/ Bratislava Urban Regional Cooperation” has a total eligible budget of EUR 690 959, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 587 315 for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date