Complexity and asymmetry within the border cities in the Basel metropolitan area. Towards an analysis of recent spatial and organizational processes

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In the European context, changes derived from the globalization process and those concerning cooperation and integration -intensified at the end of the Cold War- have led to an increasing border permeability in a number of cases. Under this framework, border urban systems become contact areas, where new opportunities for cooperation and collective development arise, but also new challenges, pressures and risks. The case of the Basel metropolitan area, where urban systems from France, Switzerland and Germany converge, is a valuable example for analysing these issues. It is a paradigm of cross-border cooperation. Nevertheless, significant asymmetries persist and new unbalanced dependencies and internal conflicts have arose. Some of the most representative projects involving transnational coordination and development, which have led in some cases to losses of complexity at the local scale, serve as an example. Cooperation, coordination and/or exploitation of cross-border differentials (Wages, prices, costs, land availability…) might be essential for the development of new optimization solutions, but they should not reduce either the complexity or the individual capacity of the urban nuclei located on both sides of the border to face uncertainty. Thus within a context of complexity, not only the potential benefits of collaborative development must be analysed, but also its implications at the local scale.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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