Sustainable urban development strategies and BMA

The European Commission’s Joint Research Center (JRC) has published a new Handbook of sustainable urban development strategies. The handbook provides methodological support to cities, managing authorities and other stakeholders involved in the design and implementation of urban and metropolitan strategies under cohesion policy. The Brno Metropolitan Area has also been involved in the preparation of the document and serves an example of good practice in relation to preparation and implementation of the Integrated Development Strategy of the Brno Metropolitan Area 2014-2020.

The handbook focuses mainly on sustainable urban development supported by the European Regional Development Fund. In this context, the handbook is conceived as a study presenting examples of good practice, which are analyzed through various case studies. The handbook suggests how to address key challenges during the strategy development process through specific examples and links to existing tools and manuals. The handbook targets local authorities, managing authorities and all other relevant stakeholders involved in the design and implementation of strategies and is structured into six chapters, each addressing one of the building blocks of the EU’s approach to sustainable urban development. The handbook is divided into six subchapters: 1. Strategic dimension; 2. Territorial focus; 3. Management; 4. Integration; 5. Financing and finance; 6. Monitoring.

The example of the Brno Metropolitan Area is part of chapter 2. Territorial focus. The chapter describes the process of defining the territory for the implementation of urban and metropolitan strategies and the so-called functional approach to metropolitan and urban areas. You can read here, for example, about the SPIMA project, that deals with strategic planning in metropolitan areas. On the example of the Integrated Strategy of the Brno Metropolitan Area 2014-2020, the authors describe the process of delimitation of territory (FUA), setting a participatory approach to the creation and implementation of Integrated Strategy. In conclusion, the authors also mention the large BMO dataset (Brno Urban Grid) and cooperation with universities, for example in the creation of the Atlas of the Brno Metropolitan Area or other analyzes and questionnaire surveys. “It seems particularly relevant that the functional area approach has been internalised by other processes, becoming a catalyst for innovative institutional metropolitan cooperation.”

During the autumn of 2020, regular seminars of the Urban Development Network (UDN) took place. These seminars reflected published handbook and its individual chapters. Seminar no. 2 entitled Territorial focus: Defining the right spatial dimension for your urban strategy took place on 9 November. The team from Brno Metropolitan Area presented on this occasion a shift from the Integrated Strategy 2014-2020 towards a new period and an ongoing update. You can find the video and our contribution at the youtube channel EU in my region.