The purpose of the network is to co-ordinate and promote research on the metropolitan regions in western Europe, bringing together research from a range of disciplines including spatial planning, housing, property and construction, social and economic geography, and government and political studies. A key aim of the group will be to bring together academics and practitioners to discuss and analyse the theory and practice of regional-level governance.
The network will use London, Paris and Berlin as case studies. The initial focus will be on the rapidly changing contemporary governance structures within London. The group’s focus will be on reviewing recent policy and practice and informing the development of new policy and governance arrangements. The network will incorporate work on London and the South East by academics based in institutions outside the UK and in its second stage will examine comparative research and policy issues relating to other European cities, focusing on Paris and Berlin. These two cities have been selected as in common with London, they also are the locus of active debates as to the governance relationship of the core city to the wider metropolitan region and as in both cities have both academic researchers and research institutes related to governance institutions which are actively engaged in the debates on regional governance. These debates can inform the developing debate as to the future of strategic planning and governance in the wider London and South East metropolitan region within the new context of localism which dominates the UK Government’s agenda, and will also inform parallel debates in academic, professional and political networks in Paris and Berlin.