Current academic discussions on economic development make a case for `regional governance' in city-regions and stress the importance of varying institutional and policy-making frameworks for country-specific interpretations of `regionalization'. This article will look at the evolution of forms and structures of regional governance in two of the main urban regions in western Europe, London and Berlin. They have been chosen for their underlying structural-geographic comparability, including their international outlook and awareness of competitiveness, while at the same time representing quite different constitutional and institutional arrangements for territorial governance in general, and that for city regions in particular. Nevertheless, as shown in this article, there appears to be the common challenge of an institutional lag in the adjustment of city-regional government to the imperatives of regional economic competition. This may even go as far as institutional arrangements not only being ineffective but obstructive to the development of city-regional governance through in-built support of localist or institutionalist ambitions. Drawing new boundaries between territories of institutional responsibilities, establishing institutional `performance targets' or fiscally rewarding inter-local competition, are just some of the obstacles to building effective city regional governance.
(Reprinted by permission of Sage Publications Ltd from Hauswirth, Iris and Herrschel, Tassilo and Newman, Peter (2003) Incentives and disincentives to city-regional cooperation in the Berlin-Brandenburg conurbation. © 2003 SAGE Publications)