New publication "Towards Urban-Rural Partnerships in Poland" available


Read the implementation plans which specify how each ‘region’ participating in the cooperation will work to integrate the lessons learnt from the project into its local / regional or if relevant national policies. ...more ›

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Lead Partner

HafenCity University Hamburg
Urban Planning and Regional Development
Prof. Dr. Jörg Knieling
Andreas Obersteg
Marta Jacuniak-Suda


Project management

REM • Consult
Mareike Korb


Conference "Urban-rural cooperation as an instrument of territorial cohesion - future perspectives" sucessfully held in Szczecin

The conference "Urban-rural cooperation as an instrument of territorial cohesion" was held on November 6, 2014 in Szczecin. The main aim of the conference was to sum up the activities of West Pomerania in the URMA project. Among the participants were URMA project partners from Germany, the Netherlands and Poland, and a wide range of stakeholders: local governments from the Central Functional Zone and the Szczecin Metropolitan Area, representatives of local governments from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, architectural and urban environment, the scientific community and representatives of the business world. Overall about 100 people took part in the conference.


The event was opened by the Vice Marshal of the Westpomeranian Voivodeship, Mr Wojciech Drożdż, Phd. He underlined the value of recommendations dedicated to urban-rural partnerships and pilot projects that showcase good tools to solve existing problems, for example in suburban areas.

During the conference the topic of urban-rural partnerships in different aspects (spatial, economic, legal and social) was widely discussed. Thematic panels tackled four issues: the origin and objectives of URMA project, implementation of pilot projects, experiences of project partners and the future of urban-rural partnerships in regional policies. The panels were moderated by Stanisław Dendewicz – Director of Regional Office for Spatial Planning of Westpomeranian Voivodeship (RBGP WZ), Marta Jacuniak-Suda (HafenCity University of Hamburg, URMA project leader) and Ewa Balanicka (URMA project manager in RBGP WZ).


One of the first panelists was Julian Jansen from the Municipality of Amsterdam, who talked about the role of METREX working group URMA and German MORO projects for analysing and promoting urban-rural cooperation. "Responsible Amsterdam" is an example of a successful project that tries to solve demographic problems by cooperation between the capital and surrounding rural areas. Marta Jacuniak-Suda (HafenCity University Hamburg) presented the background and the objectives of the INTERREG IV C URMA project in the context of territorial cohesion. Then, she explained the definition and the guiding principles of the concept of urban-rural partnerships (“URMA Approach”) and gave examples illustrating the implementation of these principles in practice as well as the challenges related to them. One of the conclusions pointed to the importance of considering the concept of urban-rural partnerships as a complementary to the statutory instruments of spatial planning and development."Recommendations on the establishment and improvement of urban-rural co-operation as a tool for territorial cohesion" were presented by Ewa Balanicka (RBGP WZ). The aim of the recommendations is to demonstrate how urban-rural cooperation could be better promoted and effectively implemented across Europe. They are addressed to policy makers on the EU, national, regional and local levels and were already handed over to the European Commission during the Open Days 2014 event in Brussels.


The pilot projects developed during URMA project were presented. Marta Jacuniak-Suda (HafenCity University Hamburg) gave an insight in pilot projects from Hamburg (cooperation along the Jutland Corridor) and Lombardy (management and governance of peri-urban areas). She also mentioned problems that appeared during the pilot implementation process and pilots' inspirational role for implementing urban-rural partnerships. Rolf Oldejans (Enschede Municipality) presented the Dutch pilot from the Twente region about the restoration of local and regional food chains. The need for cooperation, openness, giving initiative to stakeholders and making use of students were underlined. Moreover, two additional pilot projects carried out by the Regional Office for Spatial Planning of Westpomeranian Voivodeship were presented: "A Model study of the spatial plan on the example of a suburban village Wołczkowo" and "Strategic Perspectives of Black Lilac Land - programme proposals to a development strategy of the Central Functional Zone of Westpomeranian Voivodeship".


The conference participants had also the opportunity to get to know Good Practice examples collected during URMA project - inspiring actions that have taken place in the fringe between towns and villages which were already implemented in different contexts. The conference ended with a discussion on the future of urban-rural partnerships in regional policy, stressing the need for activities promoting and initiating various forms of urban-rural partnerships. New projects benefiting from URMA project experience could be a good platform for further cooperation, utilizing the potential of urban-rural partnerships in various fields.


program_konferencji_po konfer_11-12.pdf
Detailed report from the Szczecin conference (PL)


Szczecin, 28th Nov 2014


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