Ostrava is sharing knowledge and experience in the field of metropolitan cooperation

20/6 2023

April 2023 saw the launch of the project “Strengthening metropolitan cooperation and governence in Central Europe”. The project will run for three years, and the City of Ostrava is participating in order to share knowledge and experience as well as gaining valuable feedback in the field of metropolitan cooperation.

Ostrava is sharing knowledge and experience in the field of metropolitan cooperation

Other partners in the project include the cities of Warsaw, Milan, Turin, Katowice, Berlin, Stuttgart and Brno, as well as several institutions: the METREX Network for European Metropolitan Regions and Areas, Charles University in Prague, the Silesian University in Katowice, the Metropolitan Research Institute in Budapest, and the Eurocities network. Thanks to its participation, Ostrava has the opportunity to raise awareness of the city and to boost its image as a European metropolis project will also help share information about metropolitan issues with European and national institutions, ensuring that the metropolitan dimension is properly represented in the EU’s initiatives and strategic goals.

As the project’s title suggests, the participating cities will work to create a joint strategy or methodology to strengthen metropolitan cooperation and governence – including action plans tailored to the specific needs of individual metropolitan areas.

The Ostrava metropolitan area consists of 172 municipalities, with Ostrava as its natural hub. It is a polycentric area: other key centres besides Ostrava are Havířov, Karviná, Opava, Třinec and Frýdek-Místek. The area has a total population of 982 000, accounting for 82% of the people in the Moravian-Silesian Region concentrated within just 50% of the Region’s area.

The metropolitan cooperation and management concept was introduced in the Ostrava metropolitan area in 2017, applying the ITI (Integrated Territorial Investment) tool via the Integrated Strategy for the Ostrava Metropolitan Area – which is coordinated by the City of Ostrava. Currently, there is no legislative framework for the management of the Ostrava metropolitan area outside the ITI, so activities within the area are usually coordinated on the basis of partnerships and effective communication between Ostrava and other cities and municipalities.

Ostrava is implementing a number of pilot projects that offer opportunities to test solutions for metropolitan cooperation in selected areas.

By participating in the project, Ostrava has joined a network of 8 metropolitan areas from four Central European countries. All these partners will share their diverse knowledge and experiences, including examples of good practice and strategy formation.

On 30 May, there was an inaugural meeting of all participating partners in Brno – the head partner in the project. This has launched a process of experience-sharing that will culminate in specific joint activities. The budget of project MECOG-CE, no. CE0100032 is 182 000 EUR (4 368 000 CZK), of which 80% will be funded via Interreg Central Europe, 15% from the City of Ostrava's budget, and 5% by the Czech Ministry for Regional Development.

Formal participation in the project gives Ostrava and its partners (cities and other institutions) the opportunity to play an active role in shaping future EU policies and funding programmes to support metropolitan cooperation – and it also helps raise Ostrava’s profile in this field. This will further boost the city’s prestige among European cities with regard to development and strategic planning.

Our participation in the project helps us to boost the city’s metropolitan role, and it forms an integral part of Ostrava’s Strategic Development Plan, specifically its first goal – Building an Interconnected City.