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userSmall towns and metropolitan cores: towards cooperation?
Small towns and metropolitan cores: towards cooperation?

The work of the international working group Small towns and metropolitan cores: towards cooperation? is progressing!

ARL International ARL International
published on 24/05/22

The work of the international working group Small towns and metropolitan cores: towards cooperation? is progressing! In the beginning of April 2022 (04-06), a hybrid meeting took place in the premises of the Spatial Planning and Environment Department of the Polytech Tours in Tours, France. With eight members being physically present and three further attending online, the group fruitfully discussed intermediate results of subgroups‘ work. Each member of the subgroups presented their findings and highlighted potential research priorities for the future activities of the working group at the same time. These priorities focus by and large on theoretical explorations of small towns located in metropolitan cores, distinct empirical studies aiming at national and EU-wide typologies, and analytical investigations of existing policies, functionalities and synergies within metropolitan areas.

The presentations were oriented around the previously delineated three research directions, which are closely related to the group's primary focus - small towns and metropolitan cores. In view of the agreed relationship perspective, these are:

  1. functional relations and socio-spatial dynamics,
  2. narratives and spatial imaginaries
  3. institutional arrangements and policies
Part of the group members attending the meeting in Tours, France. © Divya Leducq
Part of the group members attending the meeting in Tours, France. © Divya Leducq

Aside from exchanging and discussing ideas for further work during the three-day meeting, the group went on an excursion to a small town in the direct vicinity of the Tours metropolitan area - Montlouis-sur-Loire. Participants explored not only the town's interconnections with the Tours metropolitan area but also learned more about historical as well as current development trends. 

The working group members during the visit to Montlouis-sur-Loire. © Divya Leducq
The working group members during the visit to Montlouis-sur-Loire. © Divya Leducq

Lastly, upcoming organisational and research steps were identified, which resulted in a fairly unanimous agreement on the final deliverables of the international working group. Nevertheless, firstly, as an intermediary outcome, the working group aims to prepare an online seminar during the next physical meeting in Hanover on the 21st September 2022. The invitation to attend is directed at researchers interested in debating and contributing to the above-mentioned relationships between metropolitan regions and small towns in the European context.

You can find more details and the Call for Contributions here.

The next update will be available in the early autumn of 2022.

Go to the webpage of the working group