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Spatial integration in European cross-border metropolitan regions: A comparative approach


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  • DECOVILLE Antoine
  • DURAND Frédéric
  • SOHN Christophe
  • WALTHER Olivier


This article analyses the process of spatial integration in ten European cross-border metropolitan regions. On the basis of three indicators, relating to flows of cross-border commuters, gross domestic product and the housing market, it suggests that spatial integration can be viewed as a process of convergence between distinct territories, resulting from the intensification of interaction between social, political and economic actors. Our results allow, firstly, confirmation of the hypothesis that the greater the economic disparities, the greater the level of interactions measured by cross-border commuting. Our work also shows that strong economic interactions have an impact on the cross-border integration of communities, measured by the proportion of residents based on the other side of the border. Finally, this article leads to three models of cross-border integration being proposed: by specialisation, by polarisation and by osmosis.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CEPS/INSTEAD in its series CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series with number 2010-40.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:irs:cepswp:2010-40

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Keywords: cross-border; metropilitan regions; spatial integration; commuters; gross domestic product; housing market; Europe;

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  1. Cameron, Gavin & Muellbauer, John, 1998. "The Housing Market and Regional Commuting and Migration Choices," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 45(4), pages 420-46, September.
  2. Christophe Sohn & Bernard Reitel & Olivier Walther, 2009. "Cross-border metropolitan integration in Europe: the case of Luxembourg, Basel, and Geneva," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 27(5), pages 922-939, October.
  3. Frank van Oort & Martijn Burger & Otto Raspe, 2010. "On the Economic Foundation of the Urban Network Paradigm: Spatial Integration, Functional Integration and Economic Complementarities within the Dutch Randstad," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 47(4), pages 725-748, April.
  4. George Petrakos & Lefteris Topaloglou, 2008. "Economic geography and European integration: the effects on the EU's external border regions," International Journal of Public Policy, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 3(3/4), pages 146-162.
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Cited by:
  1. Dimitris Kallioras & Panagiotis Artelaris & Lefteris Topaloglou & Maria Tsiapa, 2011. "Detecting the Growth Pattern(s) of the EU Border Regions: A Convergence Clubs Approach," ERSA conference papers ersa11p76, European Regional Science Association.
  2. repec:irs:cepswp:12-26 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. WALTHER Olivier & REITEL Bernard, 2012. "Cross-border policy networks in the trinational region of Basel," CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series, CEPS/INSTEAD 2012-26, CEPS/INSTEAD.
  4. repec:irs:cepswp:12-25 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. 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, CEPS/INSTEAD 2012-25, CEPS/INSTEAD.


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