The Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning

Publication Metropolitan areas in Europe

Editor: BBSR Series: BBSR-Online-Publikation Issue: 01/2011 Published: January 2011 ISSN: 1868-0097 URN: urn:nbn:de:101:1-201101193205


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The phenomenon of metropolitan regions has already been much investigated and "planned" in many key policy programmes although it has not yet been comprehensively analysed from the spatial point of view and operationalised.

This is where the current study starts by discussing from the outset the issue of metropolitan functions. What turns areas into metropolitan areas? Do they represent economic key functions within a globalised economy or do historical, political and cultural factors also play a role?

The study therefore first focuses on redefining metropolitan functions beyond classical explanatory models. For that purpose, theories and patterns from the fields of social science and regional economics will be analysed. Secondly, metropolitan functions and their spatial distribution in Europe will be analysed. The result is an analytically and theoretically substantiated, comprehensive view of European metropolitan areas.

Jürgen Göddecke-Stellmann; Dr. Rupert Kawka, Dr. Horst Lutter, Thomas Pütz,
Volker Schmidt-Seiwert, Dr. Karl Peter Schön, Martin Spangenberg

in cooperation with
Gabriele Costa, Dirk Gebhardt, Heike Kemmerling, Claus Schlömer, Stefan Schmidt, Marisa Trimborn

Translation: Beatrix Thul

Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR), Bonn
Dr. Karl Peter Schön


  1. Metropolitan regions - an evidence-based policy programme
  2. Metropolitan functions - the key towards analysing metropolitan areas
    2.1 Metropolitan functions: theoretical backgrounds and models
    2.2 Redefining metropolitan functions
  3. From theory towards empiricism: metropolitan functions - indicators and measuring concept
  4. Locations and spatial distribution of metropolitan functions in Europe
    4.1 Metropolitan function "politics"
    4.2 Metropolitan function "economy"
    4.3 Metropolitan function "science"
    4.4 Metropolitan function "transport"
    4.5 Metropolitan function "culture"
    4.6 Locations with metropolitan functions in Europe - overall analysis of all functional areas
  5. Metropolitan areas - spatial concentration of significant metropolitan functions
    5.1 Density of metropolitan functions
    5.2 Defining metropolitan areas in Europe
    5.3 Functions and characters of metropolitan areas
    5.4 Classifying European metropolitan areas
  6. Conclusions for the German and European spatial development policy Notes/Bibliography


German version: Metropolräume in Europa. Analysen Bau. Stadt. Raum., Band 1, Bonn 2010
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