METREX Expert Group: Intra-Metropolitan Polycentricity in Europe

The central objective is to identify major challenges, to reflect current methods, practices, routines and debates and to share lessons and experiences with regard to the performance, applicability and implementation of the concept of polycentricty in the respective metropolitan areas that are represented by the group.

Polycentricity is one of the key concepts coined by the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP) in 1999 to frame strategic planning at the transnational level. In recent years, however, the concept of polycentricity (and its inherent expectations, diverse understandings and interests) has been increasingly trickled down as well to the regional level, to guide in particular spatial development within metropolitan areas.

On the initiative of the Office of Regional Planning of the Stockholm County Council a so-called Expert Group has been constituted within the METREX network of European Metropolitan Regions and Areas to consider common issues of interest in this respect. Practitioners from a dozen of metropolitan areas across Europe have been gathered to explore three thematic strands that are closely related to the concept of polycentricity 'within' metropolitan areas:

a) metropolitan governance and the implementation of plans and policies,

b) urban sprawl and climate change response, and

c) functional labour division between centres and economic competitiveness/resilience.

The central objective is to identify major challenges, to reflect current methods, practices, routines and debates and to share lessons and experiences with regard to the performance, applicability and implementation of the concept of polycentricty in the respective metropolitan areas that are represented by the group.

Nordregio's role in co-operation with Susan Brockett, Plan og Prosess (Hakadal, Norway), is to support, assist and advise the activities of this Expert Group, to organise and moderate workshops as well as to document and synthesise the outcomes. A report is foreseen for autumn 2010.

Participating metropolitan areas

  • Veneto
  • Warsaw/Mazovia
  • Frankfurt/Rhein-Main
  • Paris/Île-de-France
  • Rotterdam - The Hague
  • Sofia
  • Naples
  • Helsinki
  • Emilio-Romagna
  • Tri-City (Gdansk, Gdynia and Sopot)
  • Metropolitan Region Central Germany (Leipzig, Dresden, Erfurt, Magdeburg etc.)
  • Stockholm