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Cross-border metropolitan integration in Europe: the case of Luxembourg, Basel, and Geneva


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  • Christophe Sohn
  • Bernard Reitel
  • Olivier Walther


In this paper we question the integration processes in three small cross-border metropolitan areas: Luxembourg, Basel, and Geneva. By referring to an original analysis framework, we evaluate the nature and intensity of the functional and institutional integration and highlight the elements that structure the cooperation between the actors. The analysis shows that there is not necessarily a reciprocal link between the size of the functional area and the extent of the cooperation. Whilst no metropolitan-sized organisation is on the agenda in Luxembourg, the example of Basel and Geneva shows that the presence of a national border offers an opportunity to invent original forms of governance, to increase the autonomy of the local authorities by different types of cooperation which transcend the institutional and territorial divides, and to promote the international character of the metropolitan centre. In a context of global competition, these features represent an undeniable benefit.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Pion Ltd, London in its journal Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy.

Volume (Year): 27 (2009)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 922-939

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Handle: RePEc:pio:envirc:v:27:y:2009:i:5:p:922-939

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Cited by:
  1. SOHN Christophe & REITEL Bernard, 2012. "Le rôle des Etats dans la construction des régions métropolitaines transfrontalières en Europe. Une approche scalaire," CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series 2012-42, CEPS/INSTEAD.
  2. repec:irs:cepswp:12-26 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. SOHN Christophe, 2012. "La frontière comme ressource dans l'espace urbain globalisé. Une contribution à l'hypothèse de la métropole transfrontalière," CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series 2012-25, CEPS/INSTEAD.
  4. DECOVILLE Antoine & DURAND Frédéric & SOHN Christophe & WALTHER Olivier, 2010. "Spatial integration in European cross-border metropolitan regions: A comparative approach," CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series 2010-40, CEPS/INSTEAD.
  5. OMRANI Hichem & CHARIF Omar & GERBER Philippe & BÓDIS Katalin & BASSE Reine Maria, 2012. "Simulation of land use changes using cellular automata and artificial neural network," CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series 2012-01, CEPS/INSTEAD.
  6. WALTHER Olivier & REITEL Bernard, 2012. "Cross-border policy networks in the trinational region of Basel," CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series 2012-26, CEPS/INSTEAD.
  7. DURAND Frédéric & NELLES Jennifer, 2012. "Cross-border governance within the Eurometropolis Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai (ELKT) through the example of cross-border public transportation," CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series 2012-16, CEPS/INSTEAD.


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