Metropolitan Governance and Spatial Planning: Comparative Case Studies of European City-Regions

By Willem Salet; Andy Thornley et al. | Go to book overview

2

Metropolitan regions in the face of the European dimension

Regimes, re-scaling or repositioning?

Stuart Wilks-Heeg, Beth Perry and Alan Harding


Introduction

This chapter considers the significance of European integration as a factor influencing governance and spatial planning in the continent's major metropolitan regions. While the book as a whole is organised around the notion that national administrative traditions and policy frameworks are crucial to understanding observable variations in metropolitan planning and governance, it is critical that the European dimension is not overlooked. Indeed, there is now a widespread recognition among scholars and policy makers that the dynamics of European economic integration have significant spatial consequences, which have become apparent at a variety of geographical scales - national, regional, metropolitan and urban (Brunet, 1989; Dunford and Perrons, 1994; Brenner, 2000; Taylor and Hoyler, 2000). Similarly, growing attention has been paid to the role that European policies are playing in reshaping governance at the sub-national level, with a number of authors pointing to the possible 'Europeanisation' of local governance (John, 1996; Atkinson and Wilks-Heeg, 2000) or the emergence of forms of 'multilevel governance' that connect European, national, regional and city-based policy makers through complex networks (Marks, 1993; Hooghe, 1996). Furthermore, from a spatial planning perspective, the influences of European economic integration on metropolitan regions, as well as the requirement for governance at all levels to take steps to counterbalance the resultant polarisation in the urban system, have specifically been recognised in the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP, 1999).

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