Demonstration Projects of Spatial Planning (MORO) Integrated planning in the German-Polish Interaction Area

Teaser: In the project, cross-border structures and processes of integrated planning are currently being developed in four model projects. These are intended to offer solutions to spatially relevant challenges that arise in one or more of the five fields of action of the Common Future Vision for the German-Polish Interaction Area – Horizon 2030 (in short: CFV 2030).


The German-Polish interaction area faces major structural problems such as population loss, ageing or structural weakness away from the metropolises. At the same time, there are a large number of actors in the region who do not accept the obstacles to development as given and unchangeable and who are committed to the common homeland.

The interconnections between territorial authorities and task bearers are now intensive and well-established; nevertheless, in many cases they are fragile and depend heavily on human resources capacities and expertise in planning and implementation. At the same time, language and intercultural skills can be further developed. Desirable are deeper and established co-operations, the use of synergies instead of uncoordinated “side by side” - in short: a common planning and communication culture.

The “Common Future Vision for the German-Polish Interaction Area - Horizon 2030” (in short: CFV 2030), adopted on 1 December 2016 by the Spatial Development Committee of the German-Polish Governmental Commission for Regional and Cross-Border Cooperation, is a defining document and the result of intensive bilateral cooperation in spatial planning. It paints a positive and encouraging picture for the future of the interaction area: People and institutions work together more intensively and successfully, and questions of public services are solved together through communication and cooperation, which sustainably improves the quality of life of the population. The area is a household name in spatial development in both countries and is also regarded by the relevant actors in Europe as an example of borders overcome. Projects that were launched in the course of implementation have become established.

The MORO research field “Integrated Planning in the German-Polish Interaction Area” is intended to help twin cities and other interwoven local authorities in the interaction area to further develop their role as motors and laboratories of bilateral cooperation - and thus radiate positively into the German-Polish interaction area.


Up to five projects were sought in the German-Polish interaction area that develop model cross-border structures and processes in the field of integrated planning. Each of them should offer solutions to spatially relevant challenges that arise in one or more of the five fields of action of the Common Future Vision 2030:

  1. Taking advantage of polycentric settlement patterns
  2. Improving transport links
  3. Investing in people
  4. Promoting sustainable growth
  5. Providing the setting for a high quality of life

Answers to the following questions should also be found:

  • How can the concept of the CFV 2030 reach the people in the German-Polish interaction area? How can it be translated into practical action on the ground?
  • How can integrated planning approaches in the German-Polish interaction area - and especially in the closer neighbourhood area along the Oder and Lusatian Neisse rivers - make people's lives easier? How do they contribute to the joint shaping of the common region and also have an effect beyond the local environment?
  • How can concrete and successful initiatives and projects be made permanent in order to exploit the region's potential together in the long term?

Five regions in the German-Polish interaction area were selected from the twelve project applications received, of which four have started project development so far:

“Three Countries - One Future - Cooperation in the German-Polish-Czech Interaction Area”

In this project, the county of Görlitz works together with the county of Zgorzelec and the Institute for Territorial Development in Wroclaw (IRT). The project aims to create a stable structure in the border triangle of Saxony-Lower Silesia-Czech Republic to improve cross-border communication and cooperation in a trilateral context. Within the framework of coordinated cooperation, the partners will jointly face challenges such as demographic change, structural weakness, climate change and the consequences of the Corona pandemic. This will make an important contribution to the implementation of the Future Vision 2030.


“Key elements of cross-border urban development in the European Twin City Frankfurt (Oder) & Słubice”

In the project submitted by the Frankfurt-Słubice Cooperation Centre, the city of Frankfurt (Oder) and the municipality of Słubice are setting the course for integrated, cross-border urban development in the period up to 2030. At the heart of the project is a German-Polish communication and participation process in which the administrative leadership of both cities, together with the urban planning departments and the Frankfurt-Słubice Cooperation Centre, will involve municipal politics, institutions, civil society actors and interested citizens as well as external experts. The result will be broad social and political support for the implementation of a concrete development vision for the twin city of Frankfurt (Oder) and Słubice 2030.

“ITF DE-PL - An attractive cross-border integral interval service”

The Upper Lusatia–Lower Silesia Transport Association (ZVON), in cooperation with the passenger association PRO BAHN e.V. and Stowarzyszenie Polsko-Niemiecka Kolej Pasażerska - the Polish partner association of the Initiative deutsch-polnischer Schienenpersonenverkehr (KolejDEPL) - would like to find out how the rail passenger transport offer between Germany and Poland can be better networked and coordinated. The aim is to reduce overall travel times in public passenger transport, not only across borders. The basic approach is to draw up a target timetable for the entire Common Future Vision 2030 area. The Lower Silesia Voivodeship and the Eastern Saxony region represent the pilot region for more detailed planning and for the first implementation stage.


“Two countries. Two cities. One Future.”

The applicant, the city of Seelow, and its Polish partner, the city of Kostrzyn nad Odrą, are two anchor cities in the Oder-Warthe region. Services for the public are concentrated in both towns. In addition to their public service functions, the city centres in particular have local supply functions; at the same time, however, they are also centres of social life for both cities and the surrounding region. Maintaining the function of the city centres is important for the development of the cities. The towns of Seelow and Kostrzyn want to face these challenges together. Together with the active inner-city stakeholders, they want to work out steps and lines of action, determine transferability to both cities and draw up a joint strategy paper for inner city development. This will be accompanied by citizen participation in various formats and coordinated actions.

The implementation of the fifth selected project, “Masterplan Grenzlinie – Koncepcja ramowa – Linia graniczna”, cannot be continued until further notice due to a decision by the municipal council of the municipality of Ostseebad Heringsdorf on 19 December 2021:

“Masterplan Grenzlinie – Koncepcja ramowa – Linia graniczna”

The municipality of Ostseebad Heringsdorf and its partner, the city of Świnoujście, already decided in 2016 on a project for the joint development of the border strip between the Baltic Sea beach and the stop of the Usedomer Bäderbahn (UBB) on Swinemünder Chaussee. The aim of the project is to ensure sustainable development by linking the potential of the natural and cultural areas with the potential for tourism. The main focus will be on the development, revitalisation and use of the area for youths and young adults both from the region itself and for out-of-region guests in the Baltic Sea region. The project is to be further developed in cooperation with the city of Świnoujście and the participating authorities on the German and Polish sides.

Details on the individual projects can be found on the German-Polish Spatial Planning Portal



Professor Böhm und Partner

Gregor-Mendel-Str. 9, D-14469 Potsdam

Mr Martin Reents, Mr Christian Gering



Division RS 3 “Europäische Raum- und Stadtentwicklung”

Phone: +49 228 99401-2227


German-Polish cooperation Cross-Border Cooperation