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Regional Cooperation

International Metropolitan City

In both Germany and Europe, metropolitan regions are considered the drivers of regional development. They essentially consist of one or several big cities and they are located in a region with a high concentration of inhabitants and jobs or a closely interwoven surrounding region. At the European level they fulfill key economic functions, including in particular decision-making and control functions, for example (public authority, business and financial decision-making centers), innovation and competition functions (generating technological/scientific, social and cultural innovations) and a gateway function (incorporation into national and international flows of goods, persons and information). In the guidelines and action strategies for spatial development in Germany the focus is on the 11 European metropolitan regions inside the country. Frankfurt/Main is the metropolis that forms the center of the FrankfurtRhineMain European metropolitan region which is also a member of the Initiative Group for European Metropolitan Regions in Germany, the IKM.


Regional Linkages

Commuters heading to work in Frankfurt © IHK Frankfurt am Main (2014): Mobile workforce - commuter links within the area served by the Frankfurt Chamber of Industry and Commerce

Commuters heading to work in Frankfurt © IHK Frankfurt am Main (2014): Mobile workforce - commuter links within the area served by the Frankfurt Chamber of Industry and Commerce

The emergence of urban regions arises primarily through the development of intense linkages between the core cities and their surrounding region. Noteworthy in this regard are, for example, business linkages or commuters (to work, to shop, to enjoy their leisure time). In the context of Frankfurt/Main these linkages can be far more extensive and run as far afield as Giessen, Fulda, Aschaffenburg and Darmstadt and even beyond. In fields such as drinking water supplies or fresh air corridors, there are intensive links and interaction. Moreover, the FrankfurtRhineMain region is one of those prospering most economically and seeing strong growth in the number of inhabitants and employees. This is true of both the core city and most local authorities in the surrounding regions. Great challenges in this regard include providing sufficient housing, managing the increasing volume of traffic, advancing the social infrastructure in line with requirements, and securing the quality of both the environment and life, and this includes in light of climate change.

Given the intensive links between the city and region, at the level of the urban region, too, the focus is on devising viable strategies and solutions for the above-mentioned challenges in the final instance. All the local authorities need to make their specific contribution to this undertaking. Current figures on the different trends are to be found in the regional monitoring reports by the FrankfurtRhineMain Regional Association.


State and Regional Planning

Planning tiers in Hessen © Cuity of Frankfurt Dept. of Planning

The State of Hessen State Development Plan (LEP 2000) has in recent years been completely updated in the conext of several amendment processes. The fourth and last change came into force on Sept. 4, 2021. As part of the updating, emphasis is laid on the great importance of the City of Frankfurt/Main as the engine driving development in the state and region as well as the need to intensify regional cooperation. Further information on State of Hessen land planning can be found in the  State Planning portal. The City of Frankfurt actively voices its suggestions for state and regional planning as official statements.

The City of Frankfurt participates through the City Planning Dept. in the GFB Large Frankfurt Ring Hessen State Program. Since 2019, support has been provided under the terms of the program for projects by local authorities that seek to create new affordable housing in a radius of 30 minutes by train or inside Frankfurt. In September 2020 the City of Frankfurt also entered into a partnership agreement with the State of Hessen. Through the City Planning Dept., among other things, the realization of the urban planning ideas competition for the Mertonviertel / Lurgiallee area was supported by the State of Hessen. For details on the GFB please click here.

At the regional level, the City of Frankfurt is located within the scope of the Darmstadt District Council and is a member of the FrankfurtRhineMain Regional Association (RVFRM). The South Hessen Regional Assembly and the RVFRM are responsible for the South Hessen Regional Plan and the Regional Land Use Plan. The City of Frankfurt Planning Dept. supports the city’s delegates discharge their duties in the Regional Association’s Chamber and in the South Hessen Regional Assembly.

The South Hessen Regional Plan /Regional Land Use Plan 2010 (RPS/RegFNP 2010) is unique in Germany. The planning tool was introduced with the change to the Regional Planning Act of 1998 and brings together the two otherwise customary levels of local authority land use plans and regional plan in a single body of planning. Click here for further information compiled for you.


Contact partner(s)

Mr. Ludwig Korte

Telephone: +49 (0)69 212 47907
Fax: +49 (0)69 212 30731