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


  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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, vol. 27(5), pages 922-939, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envirc:v:27:y:2009:i:5:p:922-939

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jose-Luis Hervas-Oliver & Jose Albors-Garrigos & Blanca de-Miguel & Antonio Hidalgo, 2012. "The role of a firm's absorptive capacity and the technology transfer process in clusters: How effective are technology centres in low-tech clusters?," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(7-8), pages 523-559, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. DECOVILLE Antoine & DURAND Frédéric & SOHN Christophe & WALTHER Olivier, 2010. "Spatial integration in European cross-border metropolitan regions: A comparative approach," LISER Working Paper Series 2010-40, LISER.
    2. Kristina Zumbusch & Roland Scherer, 2015. "Cross-Border Governance: Balancing Formalized and Less Formalized Co-Operations," Social Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(3), pages 1-21, July.
    3. OMRANI Hichem & CHARIF Omar & GERBER Philippe & BÓDIS Katalin & BASSE Reine Maria, 2012. "Simulation of land use changes using cellular automata and artificial neural network," LISER Working Paper Series 2012-01, LISER.
    4. SOHN Christophe, 2012. "La frontière comme ressource dans l'espace urbain globalisé. Une contribution à l'hypothèse de la métropole transfrontalière," LISER Working Paper Series 2012-25, LISER.
    5. SOHN Christophe & REITEL Bernard, 2012. "Le rôle des Etats dans la construction des régions métropolitaines transfrontalières en Europe. Une approche scalaire," LISER Working Paper Series 2012-42, LISER.
    6. DURAND Frédéric & NELLES Jennifer, 2012. "Cross-border governance within the Eurometropolis Lille-Kortrijk-Tournai (ELKT) through the example of cross-border public transportation," LISER Working Paper Series 2012-16, LISER.
    7. Fricke, Carola, 2014. "Grenzüberschreitende Governance in der Raumplanung: Organisations- und Kooperationsformen in Basel und Lille," Arbeitsberichte der ARL: Aufsätze,in: Nimm's sportlich - Planung als Hindernislauf, pages 62-78 Akademie für Raumforschung und Landesplanung (ARL) - Leibniz-Forum für Raumwissenschaften.
    8. WALTHER Olivier & REITEL Bernard, 2012. "Cross-border policy networks in the trinational region of Basel," LISER Working Paper Series 2012-26, LISER.
    9. repec:irs:cepswp:12-26 is not listed on IDEAS

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