The Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning

Research Project: Application of European model solutions in German regions

Project briefing

  • Status Completed
  • Project duration December 2014 – November 2016
  • Programme MORO

In the context of transnational cooperation programmes (Interreg B), German municipalities and regions, stakeholders from the business and scientific sectors and associatons and their European project partners develop multifarious solutions for an integrated spatial development. The research project investigated how the results of this transnational cooperation can be better utilised through wide dissemination and implementation (known as "capitalisation") and by linking them intelligently with other programmes and initiatives. At the same time, a concept for a potential Demonstration Projects of Spatial Planning (MORO) field of research was formulated and thematic networking activities involving project partners and the specialist public were established.

Project duration: December 2014 - November 2016


Germany is highly involved in transnational cooperation (Interreg B) in the following transnational cooperation areas: Alpine Space, Central Europe, North Sea Region, North-West Europe, Baltic Sea Region and, in future, also in the Danube Region. Stakeholders from the public administration, business and scientific sectors and from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) collaborate in interdisciplinary cooperation projects to develop exemplary solutions to the challenges Europe is currently facing, including demographic change, adapting to climate change, sustainable energy supply, new mobility concepts and regional competitiveness.

Qualities of European model solutions

The set-up of transnational projects in which model solutions emerge is very particular: They involve many international partners with different specialist backgrounds and ways of working. As a result, they tend to be laboratories in which new solutions to important spatial and regional planning problems can be developed and tested through mutual learning, knowledge transfer, expertise and joint activities. The aim is to develop the specific features of transnational projects further and to systematise them in order to be able to identify and describe model solutions.

Potentials and limits of capitalising on transnational model solutions

The thematic evaluations of transnational projects available to date show that transnational cooperation has in many cases produced model solutions. Although individual projects and programme areas have begun to capitalise on project results more systematically than in the past using project clusters and suitable strategies, it can be assumed that there is considerable as yet untapped potential in this area. The same can, not least, also be said regarding the exchange across programme areas.

Potentials and limits of linking up with programmes and initiatives

One potential added value of transnational projects may be to link up project activities and project results with other programmes and initiatives at European, national, regional and local level. Ideas and feasibility studies can, for example, emerge from Interreg projects that serve to prepare and mobilise investments from investment programmes at various spatial levels. Interreg projects can also take up policy objectives, for example those adopted at EU level, and incorporate them into concrete implementation projects. Based on an analysis of available studies, it is assumed that there are potential thematic area-specific links.


Against this backdrop, the research project essentially had the following three objectives:

  • to examine how the results of transnational cooperation can be better utilised: first, by widely disseminating and applying ("capitalising") model solutions and, second, by linking them intelligently with other programmes and initiatives;
  • to formulate a concept for a potential MORO field of research "transnational model solutions" that initiates model projects on appropriate capitalisation and link-up activities;
  • to lay the foundations for a permanent transfer of "European model solutions" in the course of a project through thematic platforms and networks.

The research project was carried out by the German Institute of Urban Affairs in Berlin in cooperation with the Institute for Systematic Management and Public Governance (IMP-HSG), St. Gallen, and blue! advancing European projects, Munich.


  • Brigitte Ahlke
    Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development
    Division RS 3 "European Spatial and Urban Development"
    Phone: +49 228 99401-2330

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