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Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 360; doi:10.3390/su9030360

Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) in Southern Europe—An Iberian Case Study. The Eurocity Elvas-Badajoz

1
Environmental Resources Analysis Research Group (ARAM), University of Extremadura, 06071 Badajoz, Spain
2
Polytechnic Institute of Portalegre, Portugal and Research Centre for Spatial and Organizational Dynamics (CIEO), University of Algarve, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Tan Yigitcanlar
Received: 15 December 2016 / Accepted: 27 February 2017 / Published: 1 March 2017
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Abstract

The experiences of cross-border cooperation (CBC), undertaken not only in Europe but throughout the world, have enabled areas to gain greater importance in recent decades at an international level, showing potential for integrative functions and joint development as exemplified by several CBC projects. The present paper assesses the impact of CBC projects by analyzing a protocol established in 2013 between the cities of Elvas and Badajoz, which induced the creation of the Eurocity Elvas-Badajoz. The paper kicks off with a critical review on territorial factors for success in CBC areas, considering the analysis of several case studies throughout Europe. The lessons learned, taken from the analyzed case studies, and the identified territorial success factors were used as assessment points for the investigation of the target study area, the Eurocity ElvasBadajoz. The investigation explores public participation perceptions towards the identification of what changes with respect to standards of life with the CBC project, providing the current state of affairs and identifying where to place efforts in order to reach sustainable development for the region. While being a transition area, it presents several opportunities for growth. These opportunities have not yet been object of analysis and debate with respect to lasting, sustainable successful growth. The present research enables the identification of several territorial factors for success in the study area, such as the connectivity/movement between cities and strong political commitment. From the identified critical factors, it was possible to highlight the importance of public transportation as a priority for achieving success in this CBC project. View Full-Text
Keywords: spatial planning; sustainable development; cross-border-cooperation; territorial cohesion; Eurocity spatial planning; sustainable development; cross-border-cooperation; territorial cohesion; Eurocity
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Castanho, R.A.; Loures, L.; Cabezas, J.; Fernández-Pozo, L. Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) in Southern Europe—An Iberian Case Study. The Eurocity Elvas-Badajoz. Sustainability 2017, 9, 360.

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