URMA – Improving Urban-Rural Cooperation

Between 2012 and 2014 the URMA project partners fostered collaboration between cities and their surrounding regions, thus improving the effectiveness of regional and local policies on urban-rural partnerships.

In many large European agglomerations the cooperation between cities and their surrounding regions has been intensified in the past years. Innovative cooperation efforts, as well as the institutionalisation of so-called metropolitan regions and a stronger cooperation among the actors, are deemed to make cities and regions more competitive in the course of the globalization. In this INTERREG IV C project, nine partners from six EU member states (Germany, Poland, Netherland, Spain, Italy, Bulgaria) identified different types of urban-rural partnerships and regional innovation systems, exchanged experiences on urban-rural cooperation/partnerships, and in the end helped improve the effectiveness of regional and local policies in the field of urban-rural partnerships and innovation.

The basis for the project was laid during the preceding project “Supra-regional partnership Northern Germany/Hamburg Metropolitan Region”, integrated in the action programme “Pilot Project of Spatial Planning” and financed by the German Federal Government. In this project, regional disparities were tackled and the effectiveness of regional development policies was improved by new governance structures for large scale urban-rural partnerships. Being competitive and balancing regional disparities at the same time are challenges for all regions in Europe. Due to varying project regions and wide-ranged experiences in urban-rural partnerships, URMA created valuable insights for other metropolitan areas.

The project was approved in the fourth call of the Interreg IV C Programme in December 2011.