Border Futures - Sustainability of cross-border cooperation

Project duration

03/2014 - 2016

Contact persons

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Karina M. Pallagst, Dipl.-Ing. M.Sc. Beate Caesar

Project description

“Border Futures – Zukunftsfähigkeit Grenzüberschreitender Kooperation“ (-Future viability of cross-border cooperation) is the title of a working group of a subdivision of the Academy for Spatial Research and Planning (ARL) of the German federal states Hesse/Rhineland-Palatinate/Saarland. Karina Pallagst head of the department IPS leads the working group together with Andrea Hartz, director of the planning office AGL The management is done by Beate Caesar, scientific assistant of IPS. The research will be conducted for approximately two years. The working group unites stakeholders from science and practice and will focus the research on the topic of cross-border cooperation against the background of current developments and trends.

Cross-border Cooperation is an issue that is examined by the German Spatial Planning research since several years and many experiences in the practice of common planning and organization exist. The immediate borders of the working group’s territory exist to France, Luxemburg and Belgium. Structural border regions, however, transcend this border area like the Upper Rhine Conference and lately the Greater Region, sponsored by INTERREG resources. While the structures for a cooperation have been formed through governmental agreements and certain forms of organization, the conditions for cross-border cooperation develop further according to societal challenges. Cross-border cooperation is additionally strongly shaped by the European cohesion policy that has started into a new programming period in 2014, which implicates a reorientation for the European cross-border cooperation and its projects and programmes. Furthermore, there are new planning and steering instruments like the European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) whose concrete implementation is in many cases still affected by uncertainties.

The aim of the working group “Border Futures” is to deal with the issues of cross-border cooperation that are relevant in planning practice and illuminate the practice with new findings in the European context.

The following research questions are very relevant in the research and are to be answered amongst others:

  • Which current theoretical discourses (research in border areas and planning theory) are relevant for border regions and which implications do they have for the border areas in the territory of the working group?
  • Which current framework conditions apply to border regions today in the area of conflict of old issues (e.g. traffic situation, commuters) and new challenges (e.g. energy transition)?
  • Which policies, concepts and strategies evolved in the territorial development of border regions and do they comply with contemporary planning? Which findings can be derived for the border regions of the working group territory? How can these be differentiated according to the diverse conditions  and requirements of border regions?

The online publication can be accessed here.