Iván Tosics, managing director of Metropolitan Research Institute will be among the speakers of the conference “Medium Sized Towns in European Spatial Structure”, organized by the Hungarian Central Statistical Office.
Client: Metropolitan Authority of Barcelona
Duration: November 2017 – December 2017
The Metropolitan Authority of Barcelona contracted MRI to evaluate the operation of five metropolitan areas in Europe in order to gain practical suggestions on how to intensify the metropolitan cooperation around Barcelona. The metropolitan areas under analysis were Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Manchester, Stuttgart and Zürich. From these five metropolitan areas Stuttgart has the strongest governance structure with a directly elected parliament; Greater Manchester has weaker legitimacy but stronger metropolitan identity, more competences in service provision. The Zürich Metropolitan Area Association has common projects with limited influence so far, but it has an approved metropolitan spatial plan. A somewhat weaker cooperation characterizes Copenhagen, where a strong metropolitan spatial plan is created by the national government, but there is no institutional framework for further metropolitan cooperation in place. A similar level of cooperation operates in Amsterdam, where the institutional structure is evolving incrementally, but they lack the proper spatial framework, and the cooperation is mostly based on bi- and multi-lateral negotiations.
Barcelona Metropolitan Area is more developed than any of these metropolitan features still there are approaches and tools that may be interesting for them like having a directly elected president, building partnership with economic actors, acquiring more devolved competencies, improving the efficiency of spatial planning.
The study elaborated by MRI, Addressing the Metropolitan Challenge in Barcelona Metropolitan Area, was presented in a workshop on the 15 of June 2018 for the decision makers of the Metropolitan Council of Barcelona.
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.
INTERREG IVC. Lead partner: Berlin-Brandenburg
CATH_MR explored sustainable transport solutions in seven European Metropolitan Regions: Oslo/Akershus in Norway; Gothenburg in Sweden; Berlin-Brandenburg in Germany; Vienna-Lower Austria; Budapest-Central Hungarian Region in Hungary; Ljubljana Urban Region in Slovenia; and Rome-Lazio Region in Italy. MRI staff was involved as experts on the Budapest research tranche.
European Commission: 6th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP6)
MRI was member of a large Europe-wide research consortium. The Institute’s specific task was to identify key planning and urban governance types accross the European Union, and to develop social indicators for land use change processes.