Geographia Polonica (2005) vol. 78, iss. 1

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Restructuring of the Metropolitan Region of Berlin-Brandenburg: Economic Trends and Political Answers

Hans Joachim Kujath

Geographia Polonica (2005) vol. 78, iss. 1, pp. 117-136

Abstract

The article critically explores the way in which the transformation processes in Eastern Germany have combined with the European integration to affect the demographic, migratory and economic trends in, and the developing international linkages of, the metropolitan region of Berlin-Brandenburg. On the basis of the initial situation in 1990, the article pays attention to the specific pattern to the social and economic transformation since that time of different types of regions—the core city of Berlin, the suburban belt and the peripheral parts of the metropolitan region. This analysis emphasises a conflicting picture. While Berlin had hitherto been the leading European region for knowledge industries, it has clearly not yet stabilized its new economic base and is still suffering from the loss of traditional manufacturing industries. Furthermore, a par-ticular threat is posed to the smaller towns of Brandenburg's periphery by a drift into economic disaster with social erosion and depopulation. Additionally, there is evidence of an inability to cope with the dramatic economic and social changes, on the part of the restructured local and regional governments.

Keywords: transformation, core-periphery dichotomy, demography, knowledge economies, transnational economic linkages, regional institutions, governance, system, and Berlin-Branden-burg.

Hans Joachim Kujath, IRS-Leibnitz-Institute für Regionalentwicklung und Strukturplannung Flakenstrasse 28-31, D-15537 Erkner, Germany