Expert discussions at ARL Online Conference
On 14 March 2023, the International Affairs Team at the ARL Headquarters hosted an online conference on "Cities and Metropolises in France and Germany". The event was part of a French-German collaboration that recently resulted in the publication of a research report by the ARL. Nearly 60 participants from various European countries attended the four-hour event to discuss the challenges and opportunities for urban and regional development in Europe.
During the conference, experts from different European countries provided insights into converging European spatial and urban development policies. They discussed the similarities and differences in regional development policies between France and Germany, both of which face challenges such as post-industrial change, shrinking cities, rapid growth, urban sprawl, climate adaptation, and the need for sustainability.
The conference also addressed issues such as crisis management, sustainable settlement structures, mobility, and smart cities. The speakers emphasised the significance of cultural and diversity factors in addition to economic factors in the EU Cohesion Policy and highlighted the often underestimated role of small towns, as they are home to approximately one-third of the EU population.
The event concluded with a panel discussion where the speakers raised the issues addressed during the day to a European level. The contributions and discussions have shown the importance of sharing knowledge and experience across borders to find solutions to the challenges cities and metropolises as well as small and medium-sized towns all across Europe are facing. The book project should serve as a stepping-stone towards continued collaboration for similar purposes in the future.
Read the detailed report on the conference here.