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Developing polycentric settlement structures and territorial cooperation


The settlement structure of Central Europe is characterised by a few highly populated urban agglomerations and numerous small and medium-sized towns, which play an important role as regional economic and cultural centres. The development of functional relations between cities and between cities and their hinterland are essential for exploiting the competitive advantage and for the improving of a complementary development.

Specific objectives

This Area of Intervention aims at achieving a more balanced territorial development by improved urban and urban-regional cooperation. In this sense, the strategic economic and social development of cities and regions will be enhanced.


  • implementing integrated urban and regional development strategies and improved conditions for investments
  • establishing durable cooperation of metropolitan areas as well as small and medium-sized cities or agglomerations and their associations on mutually relevant topics of transnational importance
  • taking actions for urban-rural relationships with optimised material flows and with sustainable urban development patterns (e.g. solutions for urban sprawl)
  • cooperating on new approaches in the field of rehabilitation and conversion issues of urban and peri-urban functional areas
  • putting transnational urban-regional cooperation networks for optimising the joint use of infrastructure, leisure services and recreational facilities into practice
  • implementing strategic actions to optimise the urban centre structure and to improve functional linkages between urban centres
  • promoting actions to enhance the quality of the environment and open space in cities.