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: 31 March 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Joanna Kurowska-Pysz
E-Mail 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
E-Mail
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 Loures
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
VALORIZA - Research Center for Endogenous Resource Valorization - Polytechnic Institute of Portalegre, Portugal
Tel. 00351 245301500
Interests: Biosensors, Remote Sensing, Technologic Innovation, Sustainability Indicators, Ecosystem Services
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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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

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 (10 papers)

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Research

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
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
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
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 1
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
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
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
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 1
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 2
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 4
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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