Special Issue "Sustainable Cross-Border Cooperation: Common Planning, Policies, Strategies, Methods and Activities"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Joanna Kurowska-Pysz
Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Applied Sciences, Research Institute on Territorial and Inter-organizational Cooperation, WSB University, 41-300 Dąbrowa Górnicza, Poland
Interests: public management, territorial governance, cross-border cooperation, inter-organizational cooperation, knowledge management, innovation
Dr. Rui Alexandre Castanho

Guest Editor
Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Dąbrowa Górnicza, 41-300 Dąbrowa Górnicza, Poland; Environmental Resources Analysis Research Group (ARAM), University of Extremadura, 06071 Badajoz, Spain; VALORIZA—Research Centre for Endogenous Resource Valorization, Portalegre 7300-110, Portugal; ICAAM—Institute for Agrarian and Environmental Sciences, University of Évora, Évora 7-671, Portugal
Interests: cross-border-cooperation; common sustainable planning; land use planning; sustainable development; landscape reclamation; tourism and eco-tourism planning; low-density and peripheral territories development; ecosystem services
Prof. Dr. Luís Carlos Loures
Website
Guest Editor
VALORIZA - Research Centre for Endogenous Resource Valorization, Polytechnic Institute of Portalegre, Portugal
Interests: Environmental Impact on Mediterranean Ecosystems;Sustainable Management; Environmental planning; Landscape Architecture; Spatial and Environmental Planning; Low-density planning; Climate Change adaptation; Circular Economy
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the last few years, the increase in studies and research related to cross-border cooperation (CBC) has been noticed all over the globe. They mainly concern the common planning process, cross-border policies and strategies, as well as the methods of cross-cooperation and different cross-border activities with a wide influence on the sustainable development of borderlands.

We can investigate different models of cross-border cooperation: Bilateral partnerships, cross border alliances, clusters, as well as networks. The phenomenon of diverse but effective cross-border cooperation helps to overcome interregional differences, as well as enabling to achieve a synergistic combination of various potentials and resources for creating new value, added to borderlands.

Contextually, cross-border cooperation fosters interactions, relationships, partnerships and synergies through the activities of different actors in cross-border processes, as well as support the European Union cohesion policy. Starting from the common planning process, through common policies and strategies, using specific cross-border cooperation methods, partners develop different cross-border projects, activities and initiatives that lead to common growth and sustainable development.

These processes show their relevance, they are multidisciplinary, and influence several fields, such as spatial planning, territorial governance, public management, entrepreneurship, transport, and environmental protection. These are just a few examples. In fact, all the above issues, and many others, are intrinsically connected with cross-border cooperation processes, presenting influence over territorial sustainability and vice-versa. In this regard, this Special Issue aims to provide a significant set of studies and works which are relevant to enrich the field of knowledge concerning cross-border cooperation problems towards achieving the so-desired territorial sustainability of borderlands.

Considering the relevance of sustainability in cross-border context as well as the fast development of new literature in the field, this Special Issue will enrich the literature with a large scope of sub-themes.

Thus, based on the interactions among cross-border cooperation and the associated topics, it is expected that new paths of research will raise the development of new studies, as well as enable further research sustained by the Special Issue outcomes.

Dr. Joanna Kurowska-Pysz
Dr. Rui Alexandre Castanho
Dr. Luís Loures
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Sustainable Development in Cross-Border Cooperation
  • Territorial Governance
  • Common Planning
  • Policies and Strategies Focused on Borderlands’ Development
  • Spatial Planning in the Cross-Border Cooperation Processes
  • Accessibility and Connectivity – Cross-Border Transportation Networks
  • Public Participation and Public Management in Cross-Border Relations
  • Cross-border Projects Supported by European Union Funds
  • Cross-Border Entrepreneurship
  • Inter-organizational Cooperation, Alliances, Clusters and Networks focused on Cross-Border Cooperation
  • Marketing and Advertising Strategies for Borderlands
  • Common Environmental Protection on Borderlands
  • Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Processes in Cross-Border-Cooperation
  • Other Topics Related with Sustainable Cross-Border Cooperation

Published Papers (20 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Role of Competences of Graduates in Building Innovations via Knowledge Transfer in the Part of Carpathian Euroregion
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10592; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410592 - 18 Dec 2020
Abstract
Cross-border cooperation within the framework of the Carpathian Euroregion provides the possibility of building the processes of education at universities that would facilitate knowledge transfer from the universities to the business sphere, which is particularly significant in terms of forming innovations. The aim [...] Read more.
Cross-border cooperation within the framework of the Carpathian Euroregion provides the possibility of building the processes of education at universities that would facilitate knowledge transfer from the universities to the business sphere, which is particularly significant in terms of forming innovations. The aim of the research conducted was the analysis of the key competences that have an impact on the level of innovativeness of the graduates of the universities of a business profile in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Romania. In the methodology used, a systematic literary review of the acquired references from the databases of ProQuest, Emerald, SCOPUS, and the Jagiellonian Library was applied from the outset. Subsequently, a small number of foreign and Polish research works conducted in the sphere of the stipulated subject matter of the competences of graduates, as well as their innovativeness were identified and ascertained. This facilitated the specification of the cognitive gaps as follows: There was no prior research relating to the Carpathian Euroregion and the transnational cooperation, with particular consideration given to the role of graduates of universities in terms of shaping change in this area. In empirical research, a survey method was chosen as it enabled, among other things, the quantitative description of specific aspects declared as the competences of graduates in the chosen research group. The research conducted reveals that there are no stipulated ways of ranking the essential competences directed at innovativeness, thus the decision-makers at the universities in the Carpathian Euroregion must consider what way and what activities they may use to connect the development of competences. The results acquired and the conclusions drawn may serve the transfer and adoption of good practices from individual countries and regions to other European and non-European ones. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Euroregions and Local and Regional Development—Local Perceptions of Cross-Border Cooperation and Euroregions Based on the Euroregion Beskydy
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7834; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187834 - 22 Sep 2020
Abstract
The cross-border regions, which are the peripheral regions, are struggling with m troubles. They often include high unemployment, insufficiently developed infrastructure, or inadequate language skills of residents, which are barriers to exploiting the potential of such regions. One kind of remedy is the [...] Read more.
The cross-border regions, which are the peripheral regions, are struggling with m troubles. They often include high unemployment, insufficiently developed infrastructure, or inadequate language skills of residents, which are barriers to exploiting the potential of such regions. One kind of remedy is the assumption of the European Union’s regional policy, under which Euroregions are created. These units, constituting a form of cooperation between the regions of the European Union member states, candidate countries, and the regions of their neighbors, with the support of local and regional authorities, constitute support for the competitiveness and development of border areas. The purpose of this study is to verify how people perceive the activity and effectiveness of Euroregions, as well as to try to determine whether they think Euroregions contribute to local and regional development. In this research, an online and self-administered survey was used, with two parts: one related to Euroregions in general, and the other to a specific, selected Euroregion. Despite the fact that the Polish experience has not been as long as in other parts of Europe, the results show that the Euroregions are positively evaluated by people, and they rate them as important for development of the regions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Scenarios for the Development of Multimodal Transport in the TRITIA Cross-Border Area
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7021; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177021 - 28 Aug 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
As the demand for transport is growing, more and more attention is being paid to its quality aspects. These include, among other things, efficiency, safety, and a continuous effort to reduce external costs. That is why the transport policies of the EU countries [...] Read more.
As the demand for transport is growing, more and more attention is being paid to its quality aspects. These include, among other things, efficiency, safety, and a continuous effort to reduce external costs. That is why the transport policies of the EU countries and individual regions are increasingly addressing the issue of sustainable transport development. Multimodal transport, which is seen as a key element to effectively counterbalance the dominant role of vehicle transport in the economic progress of the European Community, plays an important role in these programmes. For consistency and continuity of freight flows, cooperation between neighbouring countries and regions is essential. The future of multimodal freight transport within the cross-border area of Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia is not as evident as the transport policies imply. Therefore, the purpose of the paper is to identify a set of factors determining the development of multimodal transport within the cross-border area of TRITIA (The European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation of the four regional governments of Moravian-Silesian Region (CZ), Opole Voivodeship (PL), Silesian Voivodeship (PL) and Žilina Self-governing Region (SK)) and to develop four scenarios, the execution of which in the 2030 perspective depends on the implementation of cross-border infrastructure and organisational projects and the increasing level of cooperation in the field of multimodal transport. The article contains the methodology for developing scenarios of multimodal freight transport development. The research showed that initiating activities targeted at the development of multimodal transport within the cross-border area requires the involvement of all participants in the process, i.e., all countries (Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia), along with many different stakeholders. The future development of multimodal transport as provided for in the scenarios is not linearly correlated with the increase in cooperation and the number of implemented infrastructure and organisational projects. It is vital for future research to define the role of stakeholders both in terms of cooperation and collaboration development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Eurocities of the Iberian Borderland: A Second Generation of Border Cooperation Structures. An Analysis of Their Development Strategies
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6438; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166438 - 10 Aug 2020
Abstract
The new territorial structures for the governance of the borderlands between Portugal and Spain (Eurocities) constitute a novel and exciting example of a local commitment to cross-border cooperation (CBC). The Eurocities are feasible institutions in very close cities and municipalities, and have always [...] Read more.
The new territorial structures for the governance of the borderlands between Portugal and Spain (Eurocities) constitute a novel and exciting example of a local commitment to cross-border cooperation (CBC). The Eurocities are feasible institutions in very close cities and municipalities, and have always had intense relationships. With different speeds, formats and intensities, Eurocities have been forming along the European Union’s internal borders. Compared to other types of cooperation entities created mainly at regional or sub-regional scales (Euroregions and Eurodistricts), Eurocities are created at the municipal or local level, which are the most relevant protagonists of cross-border flows and relations. These new institutions are established based on different common objectives, such as economic dynamism, tourism, mobility, sustainability and access to funding, among many other fields of common interest. The present research deals with the geographical and institutional framework of these new Eurocities on the Portuguese–Spanish border, where they have increased in recent years. Their beginnings, evolution and characteristics are analyzed through a review work. In many cases, Eurocities become responses at the local and municipal scales. Some of these Eurocities have gone one step further by becoming a European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC), such as Chaves–Marín or Guadiana Eurocity. In addition, some of these second-generation CBC structures are integrating into higher regional levels, such as in the case of the Río Minho EGTC. Furthermore, the present study enables us to identify factors, such as the offer of common equipment and services offer, Eurocitizenship, enhancing access to European Funds, or the marketing and advertising of the Eurocity, as some of the critical factors for the success of the Iberian Eurocities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Improving Coherence in a Cross-Border Public Transport System: Lessons from the Greater Copenhagen Region
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 6208; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12156208 - 01 Aug 2020
Abstract
Greater Copenhagen is often cited as a good example of cross-border cooperation. Shared historical contexts and socio-political willingness have meant that considerable resources have been invested into the development of infrastructure in this region. The Öresund fixed link constitutes the most important element [...] Read more.
Greater Copenhagen is often cited as a good example of cross-border cooperation. Shared historical contexts and socio-political willingness have meant that considerable resources have been invested into the development of infrastructure in this region. The Öresund fixed link constitutes the most important element of this infrastructure, facilitating a cross-border public transport system which ties the region together. This public transport system in turn underpins the social, economic and environmental sustainability of the cross-border region. The aim of this study is to investigate the issues at play with respect to improving the coherence of this cross-border public transport system, in relation to ticketing and public transport information in particular. This study comprises the compilation and analysis of the perspectives of the actors involved in and affected by the development of the cross-border transport system. In total, twelve semi-structured interviews were conducted. Six predominant themes emerged from the analysis of the empirical material: “Focus on the customer”, “The Other Side”, “Tidying up at home first”, “Political challenges”, “Back to basics” and “The low-hanging fruits”. It became apparent that the prioritization of internal and organizational issues in the first instance could mean compromises, not only for cross-border cooperation but also for the customer’s (the passenger’s) experience. Results suggest that improvements to coherence in this transport system will most likely take the form of incremental changes and adopting common standards. This is opposed to the development of common systems, or of a significant departure from existing systems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Mission-Oriented Approach for (Cross-Border) Regional Development
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 5181; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125181 - 25 Jun 2020
Abstract
During the times of the COVID-19 pandemic, nations have issued unprecedented border closures around the world, yielding abrupt impacts on the movement of goods and people. This has heavily affected the quality of life in border regions, which are often found to be [...] Read more.
During the times of the COVID-19 pandemic, nations have issued unprecedented border closures around the world, yielding abrupt impacts on the movement of goods and people. This has heavily affected the quality of life in border regions, which are often found to be at a disadvantage when compared to other regions in terms of employment, accessibility, social services and economic growth. Based upon developing threads in the literature concerning the untapped potential for development in border regions, we argue that the Mission-Oriented Approach (MOA) can fit well with the ambitious goal to revitalize those territories in the aftermath of the pandemic. Despite the surge of MOA in discourses on innovation policy, we seek to implement it in a regional development perspective, pursuing both economic and social policy objectives. The authors unravel the policy concept of MOA into three main aspects: (I) address a sound societal challenge; (II) Research & Development (R&D) regional agenda embedded in a cross-border regional development vision; (III) mobilizing multiple cross-sectorial projects. Through a desk study analysis, the authors draw insights from selected case studies where these aspects have been implemented to inspire policy intervention in the aftermath of COVID-19. This paper presents the MOA theoretical model, which has potential explanatory power in other cross-border regions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Effectiveness of Precision Agriculture Management Systems in Mediterranean Small Farms
Sustainability 2020, 12(9), 3765; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093765 - 06 May 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
While the world population continues to grow, increasing the need to produce more and better-quality food, climate change, urban growth and unsustainable agricultural practices accelerate the loss of available arable land, compromising the sustainability of agricultural lands both in terms of productivity and [...] Read more.
While the world population continues to grow, increasing the need to produce more and better-quality food, climate change, urban growth and unsustainable agricultural practices accelerate the loss of available arable land, compromising the sustainability of agricultural lands both in terms of productivity and environmental resilience, and causing serious problems for the production-consumption balance. This scenario highlights the urgent need for agricultural modernization as a crucial step to face forthcoming difficulties. Precision agriculture techniques appear as a feasible option to help solve these problems. However, their use needs to be reinvented and tested according to different parameters, in order to define both the environmental and the economic impact of these new technologies not only on agricultural production, but also on agricultural sustainability. This paper intends, therefore, to contribute to a better understanding of the impact of precision agriculture through the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)/remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) techniques in small Mediterranean farms. We present specific data obtained through the application of the aforementioned techniques in three farms located along the Portuguese-Spanish border, considering three parameters (seeding failure, differentiated irrigation and differentiated fertilization) in order to determine not only the ecological benefits of these methods, but also their economic and productivity aspects. The obtained results, based on these methods, highlight the fact that an efficient combination of UAV/RPAS and NDVI techniques allows for important economic savings in productivity factors, thus promoting a sustainable agriculture both in ecological and economic terms. Additionally, contrary to what is generally defended, even in small farms, as the ones assessed in this study (less than 50 ha), the costs associated with the application of the aforementioned precision agriculture processes are largely surpassed by the economic gains achieved with their application, regardless of the notorious environmental benefits introduced by the reduction of crucial production inputs as water and fertilizers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Cross-Border Mergers and Acquisitions of Local State-Owned Enterprises: The Role of Home Country Government Involvement
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 3020; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12073020 - 09 Apr 2020
Abstract
Existing literature tends to treat enterprises as a whole when measuring government intervention. However, in Chinese region-specific institutional development, ultimate control (i.e., local government) tends to control multiple enterprises. This paper considers the enterprises controlled by the same ultimate controller as a portfolio, [...] Read more.
Existing literature tends to treat enterprises as a whole when measuring government intervention. However, in Chinese region-specific institutional development, ultimate control (i.e., local government) tends to control multiple enterprises. This paper considers the enterprises controlled by the same ultimate controller as a portfolio, which is used to measure government intervention by comparing the differences of the enterprises in the portfolio. This paper uses the data of Chinese listed local state-owned enterprises (LSOEs). and we assess whether local state ownership benefits or offsets LSOEs’ cross-border mergers and acquisitions (CBM & A) activities. We propose a new measurement of government intervention to explain the mechanisms through which government influences the cross-border mergers and acquisitions of local SOEs. The experimental results show that government intervention and region-specific marketization institutional development negatively moderate the effect of government internationalization subsidies and government intervention on CBM & A separately. However, government internationalization subsidies, government intervention, and region-specific marketization enhance the CBM & A effect of state ownership separately. This study explores the benefits of government involvement in local SOEs. The value of this paper is to provide a novel perspective, including the intermediary effect of government intervention and the market environment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Accessibility Dynamics and Regional Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) Perspectives in the Portuguese—Spanish Borderland
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1978; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051978 - 05 Mar 2020
Cited by 7
Abstract
Accessibility plays a major role in achieving sustainable transport, and therefore urban and regional sustainability. The urban public transport system promotes mobility and realizes a large part of urban movements. Moreover, improving accessibility in order to promote sustainable transport requires the application of [...] Read more.
Accessibility plays a major role in achieving sustainable transport, and therefore urban and regional sustainability. The urban public transport system promotes mobility and realizes a large part of urban movements. Moreover, improving accessibility in order to promote sustainable transport requires the application of new concepts and indicators as a powerful tool in the process of creating a balanced urban transport system. In this regard, one of the main goals of this research is to present an overview of the relevant accessibility indicators and assessment of accessibility in regional Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) in order to transcendence challenges and obstacles for sustainable transportation in these regions along of Portuguese-Spanish border. This paper focuses on the accessibility of cross-border cooperation scenarios along the border regions of Alto Alentejo (Portugal) and Badajoz (Spain) where the Case Study Research Method (CSR) made it possible to recognize accessibility as a key factor in territorial success. Also, accessibility analysis can assess improvements as well as regional imbalances. In addition, this methodology can be used to identify missing links, which requires new investments enabling long-term sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Can Cross-Border Healthcare Be Sustainable? An Example from the Czech-Austrian Borderland
Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 6980; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11246980 - 06 Dec 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Cross-border public services are considered to be one of the possible tools to eliminate the periphery position of border regions. The Czech part of the Gmünd/České Velenice divided twin town faces the problem of very distant healthcare, as the closest hospital on its [...] Read more.
Cross-border public services are considered to be one of the possible tools to eliminate the periphery position of border regions. The Czech part of the Gmünd/České Velenice divided twin town faces the problem of very distant healthcare, as the closest hospital on its side of the border is at around a 50 min car-drive, whereas the hospital in Austrian Gmünd is within several minutes reach. This paper analyses whether cross-border healthcare provision could help to eliminate this problem. It describes the EU legislative framework for the cross-border healthcare provision and states that it has been rather underused until now, with a minor exception of the situation between European Communities’ founding members. In the Gmünd/České Velenice context, the functional partnership run by the Lower Austria as the key actor was created. Its ability to use the INTERREG programme has helped to create conditions for a sustainable cross-border healthcare, but only as a partial solution restricted on an outpatient care. The main identified barriers are of administrative nature. To a partial surprise of authors, the mental barrier plays a minor role and could be overcome by systemic measures implemented by partners of this initiative. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Return Migration and Tourism Sustainability in Portugal: Extracting Opportunities for Sustainable Common Planning in Southern Europe
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6468; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226468 - 17 Nov 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
This study contributes to the knowledge of decision-makers on how tourism, small and medium-sized enterprises, return migration, and cooperation strategies can contribute to growth and sustainable development in rural areas. More specifically, it uses the Portuguese case to answer the following question: can [...] Read more.
This study contributes to the knowledge of decision-makers on how tourism, small and medium-sized enterprises, return migration, and cooperation strategies can contribute to growth and sustainable development in rural areas. More specifically, it uses the Portuguese case to answer the following question: can the expectations and perceptions of emigrants provide directions for sustainable tourism development and common planning in order to contribute to rural development? The results obtained in a study developed in Portugal, through the application of a questionnaire survey of 5157 Portuguese emigrants, confirm the validity of this question. It is concluded that there are the emigrants at an active age (29–39 years old) and with a house in a rural area that have a greater propensity of returning, investing, and gaining employment in the area of tourism in Portugal, and they also have more training and professional experience in this area. Similarly, considering the experiences and migratory characteristics of these emigrants, it is argued that there is a strong probability that the return of emigrants from Southern European countries will contribute to the development of tourism in the rural areas of these countries. Besides, the study enables the identification of recommendations and directions for sustainable common planning in the political–strategic, financial–economic, resource sustainability, and sociocultural fields. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Good Urban Governance and City Resilience: An Afrocentric Approach to Sustainable Development
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5514; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195514 - 05 Oct 2019
Cited by 10
Abstract
Good urban governance is a multidimensional concept that focuses on the improvement of the quality of living conditions of local citizens, especially those of marginalised and disadvantaged communities. Cities face various adversities and challenges, such as unsustainable use of natural resources, lack of [...] Read more.
Good urban governance is a multidimensional concept that focuses on the improvement of the quality of living conditions of local citizens, especially those of marginalised and disadvantaged communities. Cities face various adversities and challenges, such as unsustainable use of natural resources, lack of housing and infrastructure, the prevalence of poverty, rapid urbanisation, crime, disasters and effects of climate change. City resilience is an inclusive process that refers to a city’s ability to sustainably manage unexpected and expected risk-related events. In addition, it includes a city’s capacity to adapt to future challenges from a strategic and spatial perspective. This paper aims to analyze the nature of sustainable development in general. More specifically, it sets out to analyze the importance of urban governance in Africa and the interrelationship of good urban governance and city resilience. The purpose is to provide a theoretical underpinning and a practical orientation for the role that urban governance could play in sustainable development. The methodology is based on a document analysis by way of an intensive literature study. The qualitative description of the findings focused on the themes that emerged from the research and the manner in which they were conceptualised. It was established that while African countries have experienced certain successes, there have been many challenges as far as ‘good’ and ‘sustainable’ urban governance is concerned. Results indicated that the notion of ‘good urban governance’ is a prerequisite for African countries to design and execute sustainable development initiatives successfully. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Identifying Processes of Smart Planning, Governance and Management in European Border Cities. Learning from City-to-City Cooperation (C2C)
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5476; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195476 - 02 Oct 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Nowadays, especially in a European environment, it is almost given that border cities cooperate, or should cooperate. Nevertheless, several obstacles are jeopardizing the cities cooperation prosperity. Therefore, the understanding of most of the factors and processes possible involved in the success or failure [...] Read more.
Nowadays, especially in a European environment, it is almost given that border cities cooperate, or should cooperate. Nevertheless, several obstacles are jeopardizing the cities cooperation prosperity. Therefore, the understanding of most of the factors and processes possible involved in the success or failure of Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) strategies and projects are pivotal to seek long-lasting territorial sustainability. Contextually, the study enables to identify three most influential factors and processes that should be considered to achieve territorial sustainability of CBC projects of City-to-City Cooperation (C2C) from a political-strategic perspective, being: Connectivity—movement between cities; political commitment; and the developing of common planning master plans. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Competences of Graduates of Higher Education Business Studies in Labor Market I (Results of Pilot Cross-Border Research Project in Poland and Slovakia)
Sustainability 2019, 11(18), 4988; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11184988 - 12 Sep 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
The analysis of the experiences of cross-border countries shall facilitate the identification of the most helpful and useful tools to improve the process of adaptation of young people into the labor market. The goal of the higher education system, as part of cross-border [...] Read more.
The analysis of the experiences of cross-border countries shall facilitate the identification of the most helpful and useful tools to improve the process of adaptation of young people into the labor market. The goal of the higher education system, as part of cross-border cooperation, is to develop professionally competent, service-oriented, principled and productive citizens in Poland and Slovakia. There are a lot of factors influencing the possibility of undertaking rewarding jobs by students and graduates that are related to their degree, especially the supply and demand of business related jobs which plays a significant role in the process. The analysis of degree programs, the views of working students, graduates and employers, followed by the preparation of a research report and relevant recommendations may have a beneficial effect on the profile and quality of education and the future of graduates in the countries included in the study, as well as in other countries which are interested in the outcomes of the project. The objective of this article is to present the results of research on how graduates of higher education business studies develop in terms of the skills, knowledge and characteristics which enable them to be employable in Poland and Slovakia. The applied research methodology combines the analysis of subject-related literature with empirical research. The questionnaires for data collection constituted a survey for independent completion. The adopted method allowed a numerical description of trends, attitudes and opinions in a selected group. It also facilitated a comparison of the results of the studies of Polish graduates and Slovakian graduates. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Main Problems of Railway Cross-Border Transport Between Poland, Germany and Czech Republic
Sustainability 2019, 11(18), 4900; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11184900 - 07 Sep 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
Railway cross-border transport is a special case of railway transport, which, due to the necessity of crossing the state border, raises many difficulties. They result from factors, among which the most important are other power systems, control systems, a variety of regulations regarding [...] Read more.
Railway cross-border transport is a special case of railway transport, which, due to the necessity of crossing the state border, raises many difficulties. They result from factors, among which the most important are other power systems, control systems, a variety of regulations regarding traffic management or even problems with communication, resulting from the different languages. These difficulties involve a number of consequences for the fluency and efficiency of transportation, but more importantly, have negative effects on safety. The article describes the main problems of cross-border transport on the example of Poland and two neighbouring countries (Germany and Czech Republic), which are also members of the European Union. For this purpose, in cooperation with the Polish railway undertakings, an analysis was carried out of processes conducted by these in the field of cross-border transport and identifies the main problems in this area. As part of the conducted research, potential solutions and improvements were also proposed. The article focuses solely on the issues of crossing the border and manoeuvring operations at stations close to the German and Czech borders, inasmuch as these processes constitute the largest area of activity of Polish railway undertakings within the framework of rail cross-border transport. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Czech–Polish Cross-Border (Non) Cooperation in the Field of the Labor Market: Why Does It Seem to Be Un-De-Bordered?
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2855; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102855 - 20 May 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
The Czech–Polish border is almost 800 kilometres long. Since 1991, 6 Euroregions and two European Groupings of Territorial Co-operation (EGTC) were created and have been conducting cross-border cooperation (CBC) along the entire length of the border. This was probably also the institutionalisation of [...] Read more.
The Czech–Polish border is almost 800 kilometres long. Since 1991, 6 Euroregions and two European Groupings of Territorial Co-operation (EGTC) were created and have been conducting cross-border cooperation (CBC) along the entire length of the border. This was probably also the institutionalisation of cross-border co-operation, what has helped to reach and maintain a high level of mutual Czech–Polish relations. What can therefore be considered striking or surprising is a rather low level of cross-border labor mobility between the labor forces of both countries. Authors therefore attempted to identify projects and initiatives in the field of the cross-border labor market along the entire border. Research showed that the CBC stakeholders don’t prioritise co-operation in the field of the labor market, as they don’t see any real cross-border demand. There are some exceptions, driven mainly by the automotive and mining industries in Czechia attracting a Polish workforce. The main reason for the relatively low level of Czech–Polish cross-border co-operation in the field of the labor market is an absence of a major economic engine on either side of the border, rather than any kind of hostile or re-bordering sentiments in mutual relations between subjects from both countries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Using Native Vegetation Screens to Lessen the Visual Impact of Rural Buildings in the Sierras de Béjar and Francia Biosphere Reserve: Case Studies and Public Survey
Sustainability 2019, 11(9), 2595; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11092595 - 06 May 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Tree screens have a demonstrated role in lessening the visual impact of buildings nonintegrated aesthetically by means of filtering façades. This is particularly useful on village fringes and in areas bordering urban green spaces. However, the role of other vegetal structure such as [...] Read more.
Tree screens have a demonstrated role in lessening the visual impact of buildings nonintegrated aesthetically by means of filtering façades. This is particularly useful on village fringes and in areas bordering urban green spaces. However, the role of other vegetal structure such as climber species, and their optimal percentage for façade filtering, have not been measured yet. The main objectives of present study were: (1) To guess if climber species have a similar positive role to lessen the visual impact of a façade than tree species, and (2) to compare optimal percentage of coverage for both vegetal structures. To explore them, we designed three percentages of partial-concealment vegetation screens (0% none, 40–50% medium, 70–80% high), comprising tree or climber native species from a study area, in eight buildings from the same region. As a result, 24 final infographics were evaluated by two groups of interviewees: 27 local people and 39 non-local university students. Respondents had to assess the integration of the building in terms of visual preference using an ascending scale with 5 options from “Very poor” = 1 to “Very good” = 5. The results show a clear linear positive response of participants when increasing the percentage of coverage by both types of vegetal screens. However, positive significant valuation over 3 points on average was reached before in tree species screens (3.06, in 40–50% of façade coverage) than in climbing species screens (3.02 in 70–80% of façade coverage). Finally, there was a high consensus in responses when both groups polled were compared. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Euroregion as an Entity Stimulating the Sustainable Development of the Cross-Border Market for Cultural Services in a City Divided by a Border
Sustainability 2019, 11(8), 2232; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082232 - 13 Apr 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
This article discusses the issue of the sustainable development of the Polish-Czech cross-border market for cultural services in a city divided by an international border. The article uses the example of Cieszyn and Český Těšín, a city divided following the decision of the [...] Read more.
This article discusses the issue of the sustainable development of the Polish-Czech cross-border market for cultural services in a city divided by an international border. The article uses the example of Cieszyn and Český Těšín, a city divided following the decision of the Council of Ambassadors in 1920. The research carried out so far indicates the main constraints in the harmonious functioning of the cross-border market for cultural services in this city, such as: The different cultural policies implemented on both sides of the city, the language barriers, as well as some legal and administrative differences. Therefore, the authors undertook research aimed at recognising the role of Euroregional structures in stimulating the sustainable development of this region. On the basis of an analysis of the Cieszyn Silesia Euroregion’s documentation, and the results of qualitative and quantitative research, this article describes the role of the Euroregion in building a cross-border market for cultural services. The presented results shows that the level of familiarity with cultural events organised in Cieszyn and Český Těšín within the framework of Interreg cross-border projects, is much higher than the familiarity with cultural events that are organised without financial support received through the Euroregion. Recommendations were also prepared that could constitute the principles of a common cultural policy, not only for Cieszyn and Český Těšín, but also for other European cities in the Schengen Area, which, like Cieszyn and Český Těšín, have been divided by an international border. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Geobotanical Study of the Microforests of Juniperus oxycedrus subsp. badia in the Central and Southern Iberian Peninsula
Sustainability 2019, 11(4), 1111; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11041111 - 20 Feb 2019
Cited by 13
Abstract
We have studied Juniperus oxycedrus L. subsp. badia (H.Gay) Debeaux in the central and southern Iberian Peninsula, where the macrobioclimate ranges from Mediterranean-pluviseasonal-oceanic to Mediterranean-pluviseasonal-continental, and the thermotype from the thermo- to the supramediterranean. The relevés were taken following the Braun-Blanquet phytosociological methodology. [...] Read more.
We have studied Juniperus oxycedrus L. subsp. badia (H.Gay) Debeaux in the central and southern Iberian Peninsula, where the macrobioclimate ranges from Mediterranean-pluviseasonal-oceanic to Mediterranean-pluviseasonal-continental, and the thermotype from the thermo- to the supramediterranean. The relevés were taken following the Braun-Blanquet phytosociological methodology. A statistical treatment was applied to establish a separation among Juniperus communities. To understand the presence of Juniperus communities in territories dominated by species in the Quercus genus, we applied Thornthwaite’s formula to calculate potential evapotranspiration. The general cluster analysis clearly distinguishes two groups of plant communities and separates the different associations in each group. All the plant communities growing on rocky crests and in extremely steep sloping areas are significantly influenced by the soil. The ombroclimatic index does not explain the presence of plant communities influenced by substrate, so we proposed a new ombroedaphoxeric index which explains the presence of Juniperus communities in territories with a thermotype between the thermo- and supramediterranean. The areas of distribution of Juniperus species are expanding due to the spread of rocky areas; this phenomenon causes an increase in edaphoxerophilous areas and a decrease in climatophilous ones. We propose four new plant associations, with updated structures and floristic compositions. Efficient conservation is possible in both the territories studied (Spain and Portugal) through the implementation of specific cross-border cooperation projects. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
How to Reach the Eurocities? A Retrospective Review of the Evolution Dynamics of Urban Planning and Management on the Iberian Peninsula Territories
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 602; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030602 - 23 Jan 2019
Cited by 9
Abstract
Cities have been designed according to their needs and challenges—i.e., structural, social, and technological advances. The city can be understood as a centre where our past, present, and future coexist. Furthermore, cities reflect the actual tendencies and directions, as exemplified by globalization and [...] Read more.
Cities have been designed according to their needs and challenges—i.e., structural, social, and technological advances. The city can be understood as a centre where our past, present, and future coexist. Furthermore, cities reflect the actual tendencies and directions, as exemplified by globalization and cross-border cooperation. Similarly, the creation of Eurocities in Iberian Peninsula territories can be an example how these processes can be implement and use the territories’ development, based on shared resources of neighbouring cities. Contextually, the paper addresses not only urban planning models as well as Eurocities case studies, but also projects of planning and territorial management within Iberian Territories—i.e., of the cross-border cooperation projects and strategies. Throughout the present research it was possible to understand the creation and genesis of Eurocities projects and strategies. Furthermore, the research was able to define a timeline of the process of urban and common planning carried out on the Iberian Peninsula, from the past to the present. Moreover, the study reveals the disadvantages or obstacles present during the Eurocities creation, as well as some interactions among planning methodologies, tools, and public policies and the Eurocities conception on the Iberian Peninsula. Full article
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