Department International Planning Systems

Master project 2017

Commerce at the German-French border - The analysis of cross-border linkages as basis for spatial planning in the coordination of large-sale retail centres within the Eurodistrict SaarMoselle

Duration: 19th April – 12th July 2017 (12 weeks)

Participants: 4 students

Tutors: Prof. Dr. Karina Pallagst, Beate Caesar

Consultant: Joshua Bechtold (Universität des Saarlandes)

External planning practitioner: Christian Schreiner (Regionalverband Saarbrücken)

Language: German, literature and interviews partially in French


The Eurodistrict SaarMoselle is a cross-border region within the Greater Region. The largest city and regional centre is the regional capital of the Saarland: Saarbrücken.There are several cross-border linkages and common interests between the German and French neighbouring municipalities, associations of municipalities and citizens. The action programme „Territoriale Strategie SaarMoselle 2020“ [Territorial strategy SaarMoselle 2020] of the Eurodistricts aims at facilitating the spatial and urban built development across borders. One concrete example is the topic of retail which shall be explored as a first attempt for the common and coordinated spatial planning across borders.

In the light of different shopping behaviours, product ranges, and availability of statistical data iin a cross-border region the aim of the Master project was to develop a methodology for the investigation and examination of cross-border shopping linkages in the Eurodistrict SaarMoselle.

The project explored the requirements on analyses of linkages (Verflechtungsanalysen) to evaluate large-scale retail projects and coordinate retail development in spatial planning. This included an investigation of completed analyses of (cross-border) linkages and of coordination of large-scale retail centres. The findings were used to derivate recommendations on how to analyse and evaluate shopping linkages efficiently. Additionally, a bill of quantities to implement a analysis of linkages was developed.

The project was realised in close coordination with the regional planning association (Planungsverband) of Saarbrücken. Additionally, two expert interviews were conducted with the IHK Regensburg and the regional planning association of Saarbrücken.

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