Cohesion Policy, backbone of Europe? The role of metropolitan areas
ESPON WEEK Green and Just Recovery for all European Territories


17 June 2021


Three elements - magnitude of funds, level of institutionalization, management of funds – are under investigation in ESPON METRO to define the role of metropolitan areas in cohesion policy. The EU calls for further efforts towards a decentralisation of the programming, management and implementation functions to the metropolitan authorities. There is no doubt that institutionalize metropolitan cooperation will play an important role in this transformation.

Cohesion policy supports locally-led development strategies and empowers local authorities in the management of the funds. As the ESPON IMAGINE has demonstrated in the Milano-Bologna urban region, the development of territorial scenarios carried out through the active engagement of institutional and functional stakeholders can generate new visioning capacities and feed new alliances between places and societies.

At this workshop experienced policymakers and experts will explore opportunities, challenges, and objectives of the cohesion policy in metropolitan areas, and how a metropolitan dimension will contribute to the success of the policy in the future.

  • Date and time: Thursday 17 June 2021, 11:00 - 12:00 (CET)
  • Duration: 60'
  • Online

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Lia Brum (Metropolis | World Association of the Major Metropolises)


Stretching legs from the previous session and entering the virtual room


Welcome and setting the scene for “metropolitan approaches” to cohesion policy: ESPON METRO and ESPON IMAGINE

Piera Petruzzi (ESPON egtc) and Felipe Ferreira (Lisbon Metropolitan Area)

Opening speech “Trust-oriented vs market-oriented EU policies”

Paolo Perulli (Globus et Locus)


Metropolitan areas and EU cohesion policy: understanding how cohesion policy goals can be integrated in the planning and implementation of policies at metropolitan scale; how cohesion policy can contribute to foster better cooperation and governance dynamics at metropolitan level.

Claudia Fassero (Città Metropolitana di Torino) and Giancarlo Cotella (Politecnico di Torino) from ESPON METRO


Roundtable discussion and reaction from stakeholders: governing metropolitan areas in cohesion policy, reflections from European metropolitan areas

Alessandra Barbieri (Municipality of Florence), Alfredo Corbalan ( and EUROCITIES WG Metropolitan Areas)


Milano-Bologna urban region: engagement of  institutional and functional stakeholders to feed new territorial alliances between places and societies

Silvia Bernardi (Metropolitan City of Bologne) and Valeria Fedeli (Politecnico di Milano) from ESPON IMAGINE


Roundtable discussion and reaction from stakeholders: developing a metropolitan-regional imaginary in Milan-Bologna urban region, reflections from stakeholders

Silvia Bernardi (Metropolitan City of Bologne), Andrzej Czajkowski (City of Warsaw), Henk Bouwman (METREX)


Concluding remarks

Xavier Tiana Casablanca (Barcelona Metropolitan Area) and Piero Bassetti (Globus et Locus)

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ESPON WS Cohesion Policy, backbone of Europe-The role of metropolitan areas_14062021.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 169KB

Speakers bio web.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 516KB

Paolo Perulli.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 166KB

Claudia Fassero.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 155KB

ESPON METRO-Giancarlo Cotella.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 982KB

Alfredo Corbalan.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 162KB

ESPON IMAGINE-Valeria Fedeli.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 2.10MB

Piero Bassetti.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 130KB