POLYCE - Metropolisation and Polycentric Development in Central Europe: Evidence Based Strategic Options

Thematic scope

The European Commission considers the Danube Region as one of the most important areas in Europe and has set up a macro-regional strategy encouraging long term co-operation to tackle a wide range of policy challenges. The capital cities of Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Bratislava and Ljubljana wish to play an active role in this co-operation. These big cities are important drivers of development. The five cities therefore wish to strengthen their position as network of metropolises within the European and global territory. They do not only want to be the driver of development for their direct hinterland but also as a network they want to be a driver of development for the entire Danube Region as global integration zone. In order to detect opportunities for sustainable urban development at macro-regional and city-level the project shall carry out a territorial analysis at both levels.

More reading about the main areas of analysis and main results envisaged.


  • Department of Urban Development and Planning, City of Vienna (Lead Stakeholder)
  • Department for Spatial Systems Coordination, City of Bratislava
  • Department of Spatial Planning, City of Ljubljana
  • City Development Authority, City of Prague,
  • Studio Metropolitana, Nonprofit Ltd., Hungary.

Lead Partner

Vienna University of Technology - Centre of Regional Science (AT)

Detailed information on the contracted project team can be found under Transnational Project Groups.

Budget : € 349 957.26

Project’s lifetime: September 2010 – August 2012

Delivery of Reports

Inception Report: 31 January 2011
Interim Report: 29 August 2011
Draft Final Report: 27 February 2012
Final Report: 31 May 2012


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:
Michaela GENSHEIMER, e-mail: [email protected]

Main areas of analysis

  • Studying the characteristics of the polycentric system on regional and metropolitan level in order to identify competitive and cooperative aspects between the metropolises.
  • Identifying distinct characteristics and profiles of the involved metropolises.
  • Analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the metropolises and assessing their development perspectives and potentials.
  • Developing recommendations and strategies based on research findings.

Main results envisaged

Acquiring basic information on:

  • Macro-regional polycentric structures in Europe.
  • Demographic and economic structure and development.
  • Urban structure, quality of life and governance.

Acquiring specific information on:

  • Strengths and weaknesses in different aspects of metropolitan development.
  • Assets and deficits of metropolitan positioning as well as development opportunities.
  • Indicators for polycentric development on macro and meso level.
  • New strategic and cooperative initiatives.


Final Report

  • Acrobat Document | 4.57MB

Final Report - Scientific Report

  • Acrobat Document | 5.27MB

Draft Final Report

  • Acrobat Document | 1.74MB

Draft Final Report Scientific Report

  • Acrobat Document | 3.08MB

Interim Report Part a-b

  • Acrobat Document | 797KB

Interim Report Part c

  • Acrobat Document | 2.99MB

Inception Report

  • Acrobat Document | 274KB

Project specification

  • Acrobat Document | 141KB