Joining Forces is a European project jointly funded under the URBACT II Operational Programme, which deals with the governance of metropolitan areas, or, in other words, cooperation between the city and its hinterland. The objective of the project was to answer the question of what tools should be implemented in order to ensure effective administration and governance within the metropolitan area. Another question that was raised during the project focused on the fact how strategies help address current challenges faced by the cities (metropolitan areas) to ensure their role as engines of growth: increasing competitiveness, cohesion and ensuring sustainable development. The project, which started in October 2008 and ended in May 2010, was joined by the city of Brno together with partners from other European cities: Florence (IT), Brussels (BE), Lille (FR), Eindhoven (NL), Krakow (PL), Burgas (BG) and Seville (ES).

Individual cities were reciprocally inspired by their foreign partners. On the basis of the acquired knowledge, Brno also defined areas of possible cooperation between the city and its hinterland. At the local level, the project enabled above all cooperation between key players within the so-called Local Support Group.

During the working meetings of this expert group, the following problems of strategic and territorial planning of the Brno agglomeration were defined. These issues can be addressed through mutual cooperation: suburbanisation, transport and mobility, the labour market and knowledge economy, tourism and recreation, environment and technical infrastructure, and social area. Successfully influencing the first two areas – suburbanisation and transport – was identified by the experts as key factors in the sustainable development of the agglomeration. The project let to the formulation of so-called Local Action Plan – a document that contains a proposal for the desirable development of the Brno agglomeration, and which is one of the outcomes of the project. Additional outcomes include, for example, a description of the management of cooperation between the city and its hinterland in individual partner cities, a set of recommendations for individual levels of management, reports from individual seminars, etc.

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