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Title: Regiopolis  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Metropolis, Metropolitan area, Stralsund, Urban geography, Schwerin
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


The red circles indicate the 34 possible regiopolises in Germany. The existing metropolitan areas are displayed by orange clouds.

A regiopolis is a city outside a metropolitan area, that serves as an independent driving force for development within a larger region. The concept is used to develop midsized urban regions within regional, national and global contexts. For its surrounding region, the term regiopolitan area is used and may be shortened to regio.

The term “regiopolis” is a combination of the words region and polis (Greek: city), and is used in the context of urban and regional planning. It has been developed by the professors Iris Reuther and Jürgen Aring in Germany in 2006.[1] To use and further develop their common potential, a strong cooperation between the regiopolis, its surrounding region and the closest metropolitan areas is fostered.


In contrast to a metropolis a regiopolis is a characterization of smaller scaled centers with a high functional importance for their hinterland. Thus they are mostly situated outside of metropolitan areas. Further characteristics are

  • The size (not the biggest city within a country, but a size that matters within the national context)
  • A good accessibility combined with a good infrastructure
  • A high economical importance
  • Location of global players and hidden champions
  • A concentration of an innovative potential
  • A university.

These characteristics have mainly been developed within the German framework; it is aimed to develop them further within a European context.[2]

Regiopolis Rostock

Rostock city harbour during Hanse Sail
The first German city region working with the regiopolis concept is [3] They aim to build up a national and a European network of regiopolis, comparable to the network of European Metropolitan Regions and Areas.[4]

Characteristics of the Rostock Regiopolis

Location of the Rostock Regiopolis
  • Rostock is the urban center in between the metropolitan areas of Hamburg to the west, Stettin to the east, Copenhagen-Malmö to the north and Berlin to the south;
  • Rostock region is the German gateway to the Baltic states, Russia and to Scandinavia;
  • Rostock is the economically strongest city of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania;
  • Rostock Port is a major hub[5] in Northern Germany;
  • more than 30 of the 100 biggest enterprises in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania operate in Rostock Region;
  • the oldest university in Northern Europe is located in Rostock;
  • Rostock is the biggest city in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, with more people moving in than moving out;
  • Rostock Region lies on the European axis connecting the Baltic and the Adriatic Sea;[6]
  • Rostock is host to the annual “Hanse Sail” event;
  • Rostock is the major destination of city tourism in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania;
  • Rostock Region is a location within the “BioConValley[7]” research network.


  • The concept of Regiopolis was developed at the University of Kassel in 2006;
  • Rostock was the first city to adopt the concept;
  • since 2009 it has been more and more widely discussed within the region;
  • the term is increasingly adopted by the federal and the state governments;
  • in 2009 the first congress of German Regiopolises was initiated by the Rostock Region;
  • in 2010 the first mayors’ conference of Rostock Region was held;
  • in 2011 an informal meeting of representatives of potential other regiopolises was held in Berlin;
  • in 2012 the agency of the Regiopolis has been established;
  • A cooperation agreement has been signed by the main partners of Regiopolis Rostock - City of Rostock, administrative district Rostock, chamber of commerce Rostock, Ministry for Energy, Infrastructure and Regional Development Mecklenburg Western Pomerania and the planning association Region Rostock.
  • In March 2013, the Regiopolis Rostock organized the workshop for “potential Regiopolises and other city-regions cooperation” in Berlin.
  • In April 2013, the festival regio:polis has been organized for the first time. It displays the plurality of arts and cultural events in the Regiopolis of Rostock.
  • A taskforce for the future development of the Rostock Regiopolis was established in 2013.
  • In 2014, the Regiopolis Rostock celebrated the regio:polis festival[8] again, this time with partners from [9]

See also


  1. ^ Prof. Dr. Iris Reuther (FG Stadt- und Regionalplanung, Universität Kassel): Präsentation "Regiopole Rostock". 11 December 2008, retrieved 13 June 2009 (pdf).
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
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