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Are Cross-Border Urban Spaces European Integration Patterns at Local Level? Analysis of the Management of Urban Areas astride the "French Border"

Abstract : The border as a significant line of distinction was an important instrument of the construction of the French territory. Despite this, several cross-border agglomerations have emerged on this border. These urban spaces crossed by a border are not true urban systems: although there is a morphological continuity through the border, functional links, identities and spatial practices are more organized by the border than by the processes of the agglomeration. In the framework of European construction and the process of dismantling borders, new projects were initiated by the local public powers at agglomeration level thanks to EU incentives (Interreg programmes) with the agreement of the States. The aim of the article is to evaluate the degree of integration while distinguishing the spatial dimension (intensity of functional links, spatial practices) from the territorial dimension (intensity of cooperation and its degree of autonomy). In most cases, the territorial dimension depends on the degree of spatial integration. Furthermore, the cooperation is not most developed on borders that have been open for a long time. The elaboration of the project helps to build a territorial dimension which tries to overstep the border. The most successful projects depend on strategies shared by local communities for which the border appears more like a resource than a brake. This is especially due to the proximity between " local public powers " with extensive competences and the border. But it depends also on a strategy which tries to develop the local community in its own national territory.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01170478
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Bernard Reitel. Are Cross-Border Urban Spaces European Integration Patterns at Local Level? Analysis of the Management of Urban Areas astride the "French Border". Borders of the European Union : Strategies of Crossing and Resistance, 2007. ⟨halshs-01170478⟩

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