Efficient Regional Governance as a Prerequisite for Sustainable Regional Governance: The “Joining Forces” Approach of Stuttgart Region (Germany)


City Profile:

Is the capital and largest city of the state of Baden-Württemberg in southwest Germany. The sixth largest city in Germany, Stuttgart has a population of 600,068. The city of Stuttgart ranked 21st globally in Mercer's 2015 liveability rankings, and 6th in Germany behind top-ranked cities such as Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Munich. For economic and social innovation, the city was ranked 11th globally, second in Germany after Hamburg and 7th in Europe in 2009 out of 256 cities. otal GDP of Stuttgart is €33.9 billion, of which service sector contributes around 65.3%, industry 34.5%, and agriculture 0.2%.




Thomas Kiwitt has an Engineering Diploma in environmental and spatial planning and is the Director of the Planning Department of the Verband Region Stuttgart (Stuttgart Regional Association). He is on the Managing Committee of the Network of European Metropolitan Regions (Metrex) and a lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences, Stuttgart.

Dorothee Lang graduated in history and political science. After a career as a journalist, she worked in press and public relations for various local councils. She heads the Policy and PR division of the Verband Region Stuttgart.



Stuttgart Region is among Europe's most prosperous areas, characterized by a thriving industry and growing immigration. To maintain quality of life and competitiveness, the provision of building land and adequate infrastructure, as well as the protection of open spaces and the adaptation to climate change, have become high-priority issues. As none of these challenges can be tackled within the boundaries of one municipality, an intensified cooperation between cities and their metropolitan hinterland is crucial. Stuttgart Region's "joining forces" approach is designed to coordinate the activities of 179 confident municipalities in the field of urban and economic development. The "Verband Region Stuttgart" functions as a public body on supra-municipal level, and is responsible for regional public transport, economic development promotion, comprehensive regional planning, development of open spaces, and marketing. The members of the regional assembly are elected in a direct ballot, which underlines the political dimension of regional governance.