The latest news from the PURPLE network
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Draft CoR Opinion on metropolitan areas

Nov 23, 2019

The latest draft of the Committee of the Regions Opinion "The challenges of metropolitan regions and their position in the future Cohesion policy post 2020" has been approved at committee stage and will next be submitted for plenary approval on December 04 2019.

The text for final approval now includes specific reference to metropolitan "regions" having "....strong links with peri-urban and rural areas ...." as a result of representations by PURPLE. Of course, PURPLE would also argue that much territory within "metroplitan regions" is itself peri-urban in reality. The text now also contains reference to the need to distinguish between highly urbanised and less urbanised areas, and an acknowledgement that "... the predominent model (of settlement pattern, presumably) in Europe is polycentric. There is also reference to the need to move beyond GDP as a sole indicator when calculating funding allocations (a cause PURPLE has long supported), and to the fragmented governance patterns within metropolitan areas. The text also concedes that there is in reality "... no consensus on criteria defining and delimiting Metropolitan Regions...".

The Rapporteur for the Opinion is Juraj Droba, Chairman of the Bratislava self-governing region and the draft Opinion in all offical languages can be found here:







Green4Grey materials published

Oct 23, 2019

In the aftermath of the highly successful final project conference and study visit event in late September, a full pack of event materials together with a series of project publications has now been made available at:

Amongst the new publications is a manual providing details of demonstrable good practice related to peri-urban green infrastructure as well as presentations from the day and details of various workshops and case studies from across Flanders.

The project leaflet can also be directly downloaded here

The Future of Cities report

Oct 17, 2019

The former – and, hopefully, soon to be again - European Parliament Urban Intergroup hosted the launch of the report The Future of Cities, Opportunities, Challenges and the Way Forward on Wednesday October 16.  The full document and Executive Summary have been produced as a “Science for Policy” report by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) within the European Commission.

Conceived in many ways as the successor to the 2011 Cities of Tomorrow report, the new multi-authored publication (the citation runs to eight lines), completed in April this year also had input from numerous other Directorate Generals, from the Committee of the Regions and from the CEMR and Eurocities networks. The key stated aim of the report is to raise open questions and steer discussions on the future of cities “within the science and policymaker communities”. In that sense, its authors described it as very much the beginning as oppose to the culmination of a process.

The report sets out eight key challenges for cities:

  • Affordable housing
  • Mobility
  • Provision of services
  • Ageing
  • Urban health
  • Social segregation
  • Environmental footprint
  • Climate action

It goes on to posit six possible “perspectives, towards solutions”:

  • Space and the city
  • Tech and the city
  • Cities as innovation hubs
  • The citizen’s city
  • Urban governance
  • The resilient city

The report concludes with a series of eight “main messages”, the full report also including a section on related research and policy questions “still to be addressed”

The report and accompanying text can be downloaded in full and in Executive Summary form at:

CoR Opinion on Regional Development Strategies adopted

Oct 15, 2019

Call for greater role for Regional Development Strategies

The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) last week adopted an opinion on the "Recommendations for the successful design of regional development strategies beyond 2020" led by Rapporteur Mr Adam Struzik (PL/EPP), Marshal of PURPLE Member region, Mazovia (PL)

As PURPLE members will recall, we reported at both the 30th and 31st General Assemblies that PURPLE had taken part in the public consultation and engagement exercise which shaped the text of the report.

Of particular note from a peri-urban perspective is the reference to “Territorial cooperation in functional areas” and the paragraph (No.45 in the original text) which “notes that administrative boundaries often do not correspond to economic links throughout a territory. For example, there can be important links between cities and their surrounding commuter areas, between rural and urban areas or between neighbouring regions in different countries;”

With regard to our own previous work as regards peri-urban governance the following paragraph (No.46) is also particularly welcome: “stresses that the territorial impact goes beyond local areas and administrative boundaries in almost every issue of development and decisions must be made jointly at various levels. These decisions must be preceded by a joint dialogue from the very beginning when seeking answers to these questions;”, neatly concluding two paragraphs later by recommending “… developing joint strategies for functional areas and adapting relevant strategies and programmes where possible”.

Copies of the report in all official languages can be found at:



31st PURPLE General Assembly - Registration open

Sep 4, 2019

THe 31st PURPLE General Assembly will take place in Brussels on the morning of Friday September 27 2019. Registration forms have been circulated to PURPLE members and can also be downloaded from the meetings section of this website. Anyone else wishing to attend the General Assembly is asked to contact


PURPLE at the Council of Europe

Aug 1, 2019

PURPLE Secretary General Vincent O'Connell accepted an invitation to address the Governance Committee of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities Europe CLRAE) - the assembly of locally/regionally elected representatives which is the political assembly of the Council of Europe. The event was held in Várpalota,Hungary in mid June and included a debate on rural-urban interplay which Mr O'Connell was asked to address. As well as explaining how PURPLE operates in its mission to support peri-urban regions, Mr O'Connell addressed the relationships that characterise peri-urban areas in terms of movement of people; markets and goods; resources and materials, and; governance.

The presentation was followed by a lively Q&A session lasting around 45 minutes. Fuller details will be shared at he forthcoming PURPLE General Assembly.