46th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Enlargement, Southern Europe and the Mediterranean", August 30th - September 3rd, 2006, Volos, Greece
In a world of continuing globalization mega-city regions (MCR) are of increasing importance. MCR are defined by a high concentration of regulation, innovation and gateway functions. Planners and politicians alike recognise that competition on this new spatial scale is becoming a strategic tool to develop the whole country. So they are looking for spatial strategies to ensure economic success and sustainable development (social and spatial cohesion) at the same time. However, only little is known about the factors, which constitute MCRs, the inter-relationships within and between MCR, the primacy of individual functional urban areas within MCR and the potential methods to communicate these complex structures to politicians and stakeholders. The paper will deal with the following questions that will be tested with a case-study in the Munich metropolitan region, the so-called Greater Munich Area: (1) Which flows and inter-relationsships of knowledge based economic activities define the MCR? How is the MCR itself embedded in the global network of mega-city regions? (2) What spatial mismatch becomes recognisable when differentiating between functional and morphological polycentricity? (3) What functional polycentricity do firms in the Advanced Producer Services and in the High-Tech sectors produce when looking at their office location strategies? (4)What policy recommendations follow for sustainable spatial development? Our hypothesis is that the current perception of MCRs by local and regional stakeholders is quite inhomogeneous. There is an obvious gap between the functional logic of the competitive world and the territorial logic of the planning administrations. So we propose to look at the individual logics and the spatial reach of the stakeholders' activites. The study will use an empirical survey for the Greater Munich Area that is mainly based on commuter data, location data of firms, business communication data and interviews with firms and a selection of key stakeholders.