Client: ESPON EGTC
Duration: November 2016 – December 2017
MRI, under the coordination of Alterra (Wageningen University) and in cooperation with the Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research was commissioned by ESPON to implement a targeted analysis in order to evaluate the results of metropolitan governance in ten European metropolitan areas, and develop guidelines to improve the efficiency of cooperation, specifically in the field of spatial planning. In all 10 stakeholder areas 6-10 interviews were carried out and all the relevant metropolitan documents were analysed. MRI was particularly responsible for the case of Brno, Prague and Vienna.
The analysis of the cases highlighted that the benefits of metropolitan cooperation are obvious on expert level, while it is much more difficult to convince the local stakeholders. As far as win-win development projects are concerned the cooperation can be set up in a bottom-up way. In case the interests of some of the parties can be hurt at least on the short run than top-down interventions are needed: this is the case when regional or national authorities enter the process and create the legislative framework.
Spatial planning is a good tool for cooperation even in the absence of formal metropolitan organisation. This is usually one of the first steps of cooperation (just after the common transportation systems), however the strength of different spatial plans differs very much and most of them lack the tools for implementation: e.g. these plans can restrict growth where it may be harmful for nature but can hardly accelerate growth where it would be more economical. Still the SPIMA project called the attention of the stakeholders that the survey among the 10 stakeholders discovered the importance of knowledge sharing and the human factor behind the cooperation: one of the most relevant success factors turned to be leadership and putting the question into the political agenda.
Outputs of the projects are available here.