Department International Planning Systems

Master project 2013

Cross-border cooperation using the example of the cooperation area “Grünmetropole”

Duration: 15th April – 10th July, 2013 (12 weeks)

Participants: 3 students

Tutors: René Fleschurz, Beate Caesar

Language: German, literature and interviews partly in English


The “Grünmetropole” is an example of cross-border cooperation in the German-Dutch-Belgian border area. Therefore the project offered the opportunity for the students to deal in a short period of time with three different countries, their various planning cultures and –processes as well as their way of cooperation.

The aim of the Master project was to analyze and evaluate basic problems and their solutions in the field of cross border cooperation. The term and definition of cross border cooperation in the study area had to be worked out. This implies: how does the cooperation operate, what is its content and what are the consequences of the cooperation? Which added value does the cooperation create for every partner? Are there discrepancies between theory and practice in the cooperation? Intensive interviews with the involved actors and an analysis of the cooperation structure were carried out to answer these questions. After an analysis of the current situation, suggestions for improvements on strengthening and future development of the cooperation were elaborated.

The starting point of the project was is the increasing loss of importance of national borders within the EU after the implementation of the EU Schengen Agreement in the 1990s. This opened new perspectives for formerly peripherally located border regions and cities.

As a part of the project the students went on a field trip to the “Grünmetropole” (Düren, Aachen, Valkenburg, Heerlen) for several days. As a part of the project the students went on a field trip in the “Grünmetropole” (Düren, Aachen, Valkenburg, Heerlen) for several days.

Impressions from the trip: 

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