Metropolitan and cross-border functionality – Definitions, examples and methodologies for post-2020 programming

14 November - 2019

Organised by the European Spatial Planning Observatory Network (ESPON) and the European Urban Knowledge Network (EUKN)

The objective of this joint meeting and workshop is to examine different interpretations of the notion of functionality in metropolitan and cross-border areas, applicable methodologies for defining the parameters and perimeters of functionality as well as examples from both metropolitan governance practice and cross-border cooperation projects. The workshop will introduce both the scientific and the practitioners’ perspective for defining metropolitan and cross-border functionality in an effort to present, discuss, assess and reconcile opinions, interpretations, experiences, expectations and empirical evidence in support of post-2020 programming of functional territories.

Twelve years after the adoption of the Leipzig Charter under the German EU Council Presidency, integrated urban policy may increasingly have become part of the political mainstream in Europe, yet the implementation process still poses questions. The principles of the Charter are as relevant today as they were back in 2007, however the context has changed both from a socio-political and from a policy framework viewpoint. In the light of the ongoing developments around the redefinition of a new Leipzig Charter coordinated by the German Council Presidency in 2020, EUKN and ESPON join forces for the organization of a Joint Meeting and workshop on “Metropolitan and cross-border functionality”.

One of the aims of this Joint Meeting will be to reconcile the different understandings of the notion of functionality: indeed, cities and metropolitan areas are encountering crucial policy issues when it comes to their spatial development, due to the de facto (and sometimes de jure) existence of functional urban areas (FUAs), defining urban areas and their commuting zones. These FUAs extend beyond formal administrative boundaries: therefore, metropolitan areas often suffer from fragmented policy making. With a new draft regulation by the European Commission introducing the concept of “functional area”, the next generation of programmes post-2020 should be shaped around this concept. Which criteria make an area “functional”? And at which territorial level? The event will offer an arena to discuss the concrete methodological challenges encountered in defining functional areas both in cross-border as well as in urban contexts, exploring the numerous facets of this notion in its operational dimension.

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