A regiopolis is a city outside the core of a metropolitan area that serves as an independent driving force for development within a larger region. The concept is used to develop midsized urban regions within regional, national and global contexts.
A regiopolis region is based on regrouping smaller scaled centers with a high functional importance for their hinterland.
Common caracteristics of regiopolis’ include:
- The “medium” population size (not the biggest city within a country, but a size that matters within the national context)
- Of good accessibility combined with a good infrastructure
- Of high economic importance
- Location of global players and hidden champions
- A concentration of an innovative potential
- A university
What do Regiopolis’ provide medium sized cities?
These cities and their subordinate regions are currently given little attention by the general public and political spheres. Hence it makes any kind of development difficult, may it be cultural, economic or academic progress. To bridge this gap in the urban system, the concept of regiopolis was been created.
The status of Regiopolis affirms:
- During the revision of the regional planning models the minister conference for spatial planning in the model of “growth and innovation” must take the role and significance of regiopolis’ in these extended metropolitan suburban zones into account.
- The status of regiopolises must receive particular attention in the federal-states fiscal equalization and in urban financial compensation.
- In the regiopolises the political and economic decision-making and control functions of these economies are to be focused on the innovative and competitive potential in the regiopolis regions
- They are to be used with respect to their endogenous strengths and opportunities in order to secure social and environmental needs with a sustainable economic growth.
- Regiopolis take over the metropolitan cross-border gateway functions in national peripheral space in a multiplicative supplement.
- Similar to the metropolis structure a German regiopolis network is to be created. As an advocacy of these growth cores with the aim to shape and develop their identity internally and to pool their national and international lobbying.
The case of Rostock
Rostock is the urban centre in between the metropolitan areas of Hamburg to the west, Szczecin to the east, Copenhagen-Malmo to the north and Berlin to the south. The region is the German gateway to the Baltic States, Russia and to Scandinavia. The Rostock region lies on the European axis connecting the Baltic and the Adriatic Sea.
Rostock, as the largest city of the federal state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, is also its economically strongest city hosting a major port hub, more than 30 of the state’s 100 largest enterprises and as a major tourist destination with nearly 800,000 yearly cruise passengers. With more than 800 years of history, the annual Hanse Sail event is an example of the city’s rich cultural heritage as a Hanseatic trading city on the Baltic sea.
Rostock is also a central pole of innovation and education. The university of Rostock is Northern Europe’s oldest and largest institution with a history of 600 years. The region is also a location in the BioConValley research network.
Read the presentation by Andreas Schubert, strategist and urban development project manager of the Hanseatic city of Rostock, at the Innovative City Forum, July 2017, Nice France.