The German Research Association (DFG) finances a research project on metropolitan regions in Europe.
The function of metropolitan regions is currently re-defined in many European states due to changes in the welfare states and ever increasing global competition. In some states such as France and Italy, but also Germany we observe the emergence of scale specific governance arrangements and planning policies. The developments in the mentioned states illustrate different pathways: in Germany bottom-up, slowly and therefore contingent upon regional contexts, in France and Italy more top down with strong incentives given by central government. Regional planning is given different emphasis. The objective of the proposed research is the description and subsequent analysis of the development paths in national spatial development policies with regard to the concept of metropolitan regions in the three states. The proposed research project seeks to find out if we can observe divergent or convergent developments. Empirically the comparison is organized around four dimensions: institutional aspects, functional aspects (competition, welfare policies), ideas (reasons and arguments) and spatial aspects. This differentiated approach allows for a more nuanced description of convergent or divergent developments. The empirical approach follows a multilevel-comparison. We compare two regions within each state and three states and six regions in total. In consequence we can distinguish national from local/regional influences.
Start: autumn 2016, duration 3 years