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


  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:irs:cepswp:2010-40

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cameron, Gavin & Muellbauer, John, 1998. "The Housing Market and Regional Commuting and Migration Choices," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 45(4), pages 420-446, September.
    2. Samuel Carpentier & Philippe Gerber, 2009. "De la mobilité résidentielle à la recomposition des espaces de la vie quotidienne," Post-Print halshs-01075755, HAL.
    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, vol. 47(4), pages 725-748, April.
    4. 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.
    5. 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, vol. 3(3/4), pages 146-162.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. WALTHER Olivier & REITEL Bernard, 2012. "Cross-border policy networks in the trinational region of Basel," LISER Working Paper Series 2012-26, LISER.
    4. repec:irs:cepswp:12-26 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:irs:cepswp:12-25 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. 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.

    More about this item


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

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy

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