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«ESPON 2006 Programme ESPON 1.4.1 „Small and Mediumsized Towns (SMESTO)“ Interim Report Commissioned by: Ministry of the Interior and Spatial ...»

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ESPON 2006 Programme

ESPON 1.4.

1

„Small and Mediumsized Towns (SMESTO)“

Interim Report

Commissioned by:

Ministry of the Interior and Spatial Planning

of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg,

Directorate for Spatial Planning DATer

ESPON 2006 Programme

ESPON 1.4.

1

„Small and Medium-sized Towns (SMESTO)“

Interim Report

Commissioned by:

Ministry of the Interior and Spatial Planning

of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg,

Directorate for Spatial Planning DATer

TRANSNATIONAL PROJECT GROUP

Österreichisches Institut für Raumplanung (ÖIR), Austrian Institute for Regional

Core team:

Studies and Spatial Planning [AT] Peter Schneidewind, Gabriele Tatzberger, Bernd Schuh Nordregio, Nordic Centre for Spatial Development [SE] Ole Damsgaard, Alexandre Dubois, Erik Glørsen NOMISMA S.p.A [IT] Roberta Benini Project Partners: Bundesamt für Bauwesen und Raumordnung (BBR), Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning [DE] Peter Schön, Lars Porsche, André Müller University of Tours, Laboratoire CITERES [FR] Jean-Paul Carrière Stanisław Leszczycki Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization (IGSO);

Subcontractor:

Polish Academy of Science [PL] Piotr Korcelli, Tomasz Komornicki Universitat de Lleida, Departamento de Geografica y Urbanismo (UIA-CIMES) [ES] Carme Bellet, Josep Maria Llop, Joan Ganau, Montse Guerrero, Josep Ramon Mòdol, Aaron Gutiérrez West Hungarian Research Institute, Academy of Science (HAS CRS) [HU] Mihály Lados Österreichisches Institut für Raumplanung (ÖIR) (Austrian Institute for Regional Studies and Spatial Planning) A-1010 Wien, Franz-Josefs-Kai 27 Tel.: +43 1 533 87 47, Fax: +43 1 533 87 47-66, e-mail: oir@oir.at │ www.oir.at Vienna, September 2005 / ANr. A 2937.70 CONTENTS

1. Objectives and Scope of the Study 5

1.1 Terms of Reference 5

1.2 Workplan and Methodology 6

1.3 Methods applied 14

1.4 Timeline 15

2. Definitions (Draft Report on WP 2) 17

2.1 Different approaches of defining urban areas in Europe 17 2.1.1 Administrative approaches to urban areas

–  –  –

1. OBJECTIVES AND SCOPE OF THE STUDY

1.1 Terms of Reference The ESPON 1.4.

1. project aims at an improvement of the knowledge about the role of small and medium sized towns (SMESTOs) in spatial development. This comprises in our understanding of the Terms of Reference the definition of small and medium sized towns (on a European level) analysing their role in spatial development differentiated according to their geographical context, their economic performance, their function and size or accessibility or specialisation in a certain sector finding typologies of the regions regarding small and medium sized towns on the NUTS 3 or 2 level analysing the specific potentials and challenges of small and medium sized towns.

With this scope of tasks the study shows strong conformity with the “future guidelines” for European cities mentioned already in the “Pathways of urban development in the European Union” published in 1997 (EU – Commission COMM(97)197final). This communication paper mentioned the requirement for the Commission to play a role in providing support for urban development as EU policies show direct effects on the quality of living and development in cities and towns. This support lies amongst other in the procurement of information about the role and functions of cities as asked for within this project.

It is clear from the description in the ToR, that although there is a rich base of information already compiled in the ESPON projects, this project will have an introductory character in many respects. Particularly the statistical and other empirical evidence about SMESTOs and their regions is yet little investigated and mainly restricted to regional and national level. A study on European SMESTOs has not been attempted so far.

1.2 Workplan and Methodology The Work on this study has been organised within five work packages, each being led by one of

the core team’s partner:

Work Package 1: Identifying European Small- and Medium-sized Towns (SMESTOs) Review of Small and medium Sized Town definition across ESPON space (task 1.1) Recent analyses of European cities illustrate two dominant comparative approaches of cities in

Europe:

Rozenblat and Cicille’s study entitled European cities – a comparative analysis published by DATAR in 2003, favours an approach based on urban agglomerations. In this perspective, cities are delimited as continuous settlement areas reaching a certain demographic mass.

ESPON study 1.1.1., entitled Potentials for polycentric development in Europe, and published by a research consortium lead by Nordregio, illustrates an approach based on urban regions, also referred to as “functional urban areas” (FUAs). In this perspective, functional criteria, (e.g. travel to work areas), are used to delimit each city.

Rozenblat and Cicille quite rightly point to the difficulty of delimiting these functional areas.





ESPON 1.1.

1. has to some extent shown that these problems can be overcome, by using the concept of “Potential Strategic Urban Horizons” (PUSH). These PUSH correspond to overlapping areas where neighbouring cities could potentially develop their functional area, based on time-distances covered by most inhabitants in their daily life. Considering these overlapping areas, rather than traditional mutually exclusive labour market areas, one avoids many of the delimitation problems, and creates a more realistic picture of how urban nodes relate to each other in terms of territorial governance.

Whether one considers functional areas or agglomerations, one however always first needs to identify which central nodes one should depart from. When looking at large European cities, the identification of these nodes is relatively unproblematic. Indeed, both the agglomeration and the functional area will meet the selection criteria (e.g. demographic mass), except for a few intermediary nodes. Determining whether a city should or should not be taken into account is therefore a marginal issue, compared to the delimitation of its area.

CELINE ROZENBLAT, PATRICIA CICILLE (2003) Les villes européennes – analyse comparative, Délégation à l'aménagement du territoire et à l'action régionale (DATAR), ISBN: 2-11-005362-3.

The situation is quite different with regards to Small and Medium Sized Towns (SMESTOs).

Indeed, identifying which nodes should be considered is in this case the core issue; the approach taken in terms of delimitation will determine which nodes are taken into account to a much greater degree than in the case of larger cities, as one is dealing with much larger numbers of nodes, with relatively closer population figures. The review of definitions used across ESPON Space is consequently of considerable importance for any further analysis.

A priori, we may consider that three statistical approaches prevail in Europe:

A morphological approach, each SMESTO corresponding to a settlement area, A functional approach, each SMESTO corresponding to an integrated zone in terms of social and/or economic activity, An administrative approach, each SEMSTO corresponding to an area defined as urban, as a result of predetermined quantitative criteria (e.g. a population threshold, a prevailing type of economic activity) or of a political process (statutory rights of the commune).

These three approaches may co-exist in each country. The first task of WP1 is to review the prevailing approaches, and to describe how and to what end they are being applied.

Data availability at the scale of SMESTOs (task 1.2) For a future quantitative study to be possible, these general recommendations outlining the ideal approach of defining SMESTOs will be developed (see task 5.2). In order to assess the viability of such an approach we will inquire the situation in terms of data in terms of territorial governance and policy relevance, may need to be adapted to the situation in terms of data availability.

The second part of WP1 will therefore focus on data availability, listing basic indicators which can be obtained at the level of SMESTOs in each country. These indicators would include

among others:

–  –  –

Endowment with public amenities.

Workpackage 2: Analyses of the Roles and Functions of SMESTOs Scope of functions of SMESTOs (task 2.1) It will be one of the most striking results of WP 1 to see how widespread the notion of SMESTO is perceived within Europe, mainly depending on geographic and institutional factors of the individual member state. As has been pointed out earlier most of the academic and policy literature on urban development and on the relation between urban cores, urban agglomerations and the non-urban, i.e. rural areas is concentrated on the major cities2.

We first have to distinguish the SMESTOs, the subject matter of this project, as a group and individually from the metropolises (no matter how small these may be on a global scale). A differentiation which cannot only rely on numbers (of inhabitants or else) alone but has to take into account the different functions of metropolises and SMESTOs on the one hand side and between the SMESTOs on the other hand.

The findings from ESPON 1.1.1, especially the MEGA’s as a group of cities complementary to SMESTOs serve as a starting point, assuming that MEGAs per definition and in the real world are functionally complete, whereas SMESTOs tend to be specialized on, or dominated by, one or a few functions within the wide range available.

The literature survey on the “non-MEGA” urban system in Europe which is the content of this task will also serve as a main input to the WP 3 (typology) but first of all feed the description of the major roles of SMESTOs with (analytical, historic and geographic) evidence within the following two tasks.

Socio-demographic roles (task 2.2)

Within this task the role of SMESTOs with respect to their dynamics in terms of population is analysed by drawing on policy oriented and academic literature. The issues relate to the population decline in many SMESTOs and to their function as population growth poles in a number of other cases stand in the center of this task. Also the repercussions of aging and other changes in the structure of the urban population will be elaborated.

Besides the role of providing (sub-urban?) living space of generally high quality and besides forming obstacles to an ever faster decline of some smaller towns the SMESTOs play quite different roles along the continuum from centre to periphery.

EURICUR (European Institute for Comparative Urban Research) (2004) National Urban Policies in the European Union, Erasmus University Rotterdam, ESPON Population changes – positive or negative – within the SMESTOs are cause and effect of the new spatial (re)organisation of many public sector activities, of provision of public amenities and other centrally provided services. This is mainly due to technological changes referring to Information Society and to transport, but also reflects the necessity for many SMESTOs to react to declining efficiency of service provision caused by population decline and to limitations in their financing power.

The balance between enhanced inertia in some places and circumstances and the increased mobility of urban population in others has yet to be found – at least in theory.

Economic roles (task 2.3) Economic spatial theory identifies a number of economic benefits and drawbacks of cities.

(Agglomerating and congesting forces) Basically these two forces balance the developments and sprawling of cities in a sense that has produced life cycle models3 of city development (i.e. urbanisation, de-urbanisation and reurbanisation) The new development of the sustainable city4 movement tries to put these forces into the context of city size and urban development thresholds which makes them relevant for the research question at hand. Basically they build a correlation between city size and its sustainability. In other words it is assumed that there has to be an optimal city size where the above mentioned agglomerating forces counterbalance the congesting forces in such a way that a general long term equilibrium could be achieved. Empirical observations suggest that this “optimal size” will be found within the range of SMESTOs.

The range of performance differences among the SMESTOs, the degree of specialization in the spatial division of labor and contemporary “Central Place” theory will come into focus of this task.

Specific potentials and challenges for SMESTOs (task 2.4) In a concluding step of the survey this task identifies the potentials and challenges of SMESTOs in the future spatial development of Europe. This comprises economic and demographic function but also has to take into account institutional aspects.

see Van den Berg L., Burns L.S., Klaassen L.H. (1987): Spatial Cycles; Aldershot; Gower see e.g. Capello R., Nijkamp P., Pepping G. (1999): Sustainable Cities and Energy Policies; Springer; Berlin, Heidelberg Kearns5 and Keating et al.6 discuss local governance approaches which involve a transfer of power away from elected local authorities towards other organisations. This offers a new dimension in the city typology discussion namely new modes of regulation in space. This implies the rise of new territorial frameworks for action on the local and regional level. Selforganising processes include new patterns of partnerships which imply new spatial models.

The governance aspect has to be seen as a particular potential of SMESTOs allowing them to be closer to the citizen and more flexible to react on the citizens needs.

Workpackage 3: Typologies of Small and Medium-sized Towns and their Respective Regions Typologies for SMESTOs on European Level (task 3.1) Taking the findings of WP1 and WP2 as starting points the identification of appropriate

typologies of SMESTOs is based on three main elements:



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