Regions as answer to complex questions of today and tomorrow
The present-day tasks for spatial policy are complex: center reinforcement, strengthening of regional identity, circular economy, healthy environments, integral ecosystems, sustainable mobility, evolution of the population, productive cities … Although these challenges are global, they must receive an area-focused and context-bound response deriving from the DNA of regions and cities. They are also challenges that can no longer be approached sectorally, but which require a comprehensive approach.
Regions occupy an increasingly prominent place in the political and social field. The regional level combines the advantages of a supra-local control and the means to implement projects with those of local know-how, both in terms of regional knowledge and knowledge of local stakeholders. Thus the region forms an ideal intermediate platform for shaping our future. Where people can collaborate within a regional form of cooperation, synergies and greater levers are generated that allow possibilities to be explored in a forceful and coherent manner, without losing contact with the local stakeholders and regional knowledge. Such cooperation also fosters the right conditions for developing the integral policy that our regions need in order to respond to the complex challenges of today and tomorrow.
“The battle for space generally manifests itself on the regional level. An urban-regional approach is necessary in order to arrive at a better harmonization between spatial challenges and the mobility issue, since the city-region is the scale level on which most of our daily activities take place today.“ – Manifesto for a better integration between mobility, city and region, VRP, 2015
The power of regional development
As designers, planners, spatial intermediaries and process facilitators, we wish to seek these future possibilities together with the multitude of stakeholders; and this on the levels of spatial-urban development, planning but also energy, climate and mobility. After all, mobility networks, valleys and physical landscapes don´t end at the city limits.
We believe that the power of regional development lies above all in the initiation of a process, and in the setting up of strong but simultaneously flexible collaborations between regional, local and trans-regional interlocutors.
In order to set this process in motion, we as designers develop regional area visions, whereby an integrated perspective on the space and all its stratifications and relations can feed the conversation between the local, regional and trans-regional players. We are thinking here of topics such as mobility, transport, energy and climate, resilient cities and dynamic green-blue and recreational networks.
Our ambition is to obtain interaction across all scales, sectors and administrative levels in order to ultimately also be able to realize projects that generate maximum social added value.
This also requires reflection about regional ´governance´ and a clear look at potential forms of cooperation between people with different backgrounds in often complex processes and projects. The interaction will bring new tasks to light and they can be immediately linked to political and administrative decision-making and agenda setting. BUUR is also thinking together with other players about new forms of cooperation and processes for implementing concrete regional projects.