METROBORDER – Cross-Border Polycentric Metropolitan Regions

Thematic scope

Metropolitan regions are generally seen as drivers for territorial development in the national context, as well as drivers for economic, social and cultural development on a European and global scale. Many border regions dispose of specific potentials but also specific barriers for a cross-border polycentric metropolitan region. However, cross-border areas appear to be systematically underestimated in their development opportunities so that awareness about specific advantages needs to be improved.
This is why this project addresses cross-border metropolitan regions in Europe in relation to the policy aim of polycentric development. It aims at identifying criteria, potentials and governance practices based on available ESPON evidence for polycentric cross-border metropolitan regions in Europe and proposing options for development strategies towards a multilevel approach for two case study regions (Upper Rhine Region and the Greater Region).

Please read more about the main areas of analysis and main results envisaged on the next page.


Lead partner

University of Luxemburg (Luxembourg)
Detailed information on the contracted project team can be found under Transnational Project Groups.

: € 250.000,00

Project’s lifetime: January 2009 – December 2010

Delivery of Reports

Inception Report: 9 April 2009
Interim Report: 28 February 2010
Draft Final Report: 31 October 2010
Final Report: 31 December 2010


Reports will be published once they are approved by the ESPON Monitoring Committee

More information

Please contact the Project Expert at the ESPON Coordination Unit:
Sandra DI BIAGGIO, e-mail: [email protected]

Main areas of analysis

  • General analysis - identification of the main characteristics of cross-border metropolitan regions in Europe (e. g. functions supported in the national and in the cross-border contexts).
  • Specific analysis of the positions of the case study regions in relation to the general aspects addressed by the general analysis.
  • Analytical support for strategy building - development of options for internal and external strategy building in the case study regions.
  • Generalisation and communication of results, lessons learned and good practice (presentation of potentials and threats in relation to cross-border metropolitan development as well as policy responses).

Main results envisaged

  • Identification of and common reference framework for the main functions of cross-border metropolitan regions and for governance structures and application of the framework in the case study regions.
  • Map of metropolitan polycentric cross-border areas and their predominating functions with regard to global, EU and national level.
  • Analysis of the particular territorial potentials and challenges and the main threats for the case study areas, both internally and externally, and identification of the added value of (further) progress as a polycentric cross-border metropolitan region (which measures and where).
  • SWOT analysis of the case study areas as a support for strategy building, milestones and timing for an implementation of the strategy.
  • Indications for actions related to the EU and the national level where and to which degree potentials for cross-border metropolitan areas exist.
  • Presentation of appropriate instruments to promote a metropolisation process from the national level in a multilevel governance setting.


Final Report

  • Acrobat Document | 16.75MB

Draft Final Report

  • Acrobat Document | 2.68MB

Draft Final Report - Annex

  • Acrobat Document | 2.40MB

Interim Report

  • Acrobat Document | 22.31MB

Inception Report

  • Acrobat Document | 531KB

Project Specification

  • Acrobat Document | 61KB