In autumn 2016, the city of Trnva, together with 17 surrounding municipalities, founded the association MFO (Mestská funkčná oblasť krajského mesta Trnava) in order to develop the Trnva city region by both initiating and fostering cooperation within this functional urban area.
The CapaCity Workshop City Region Trnva – Status Quo and Development Opportunities, organized by the Austrian KDZ-Centre for Public Administration Research and the Slovak Institute KOM (Komunálne výskumné a poradenské centrum, n.o.), aimed at providing support and impulses for cooperation with regard to the following action fields: mobility, adequate regional supply and economic development.
The workshop took place from November 23rd to November 24th 2016 in Trnva and was carried out in partnership with the city of Trnva, the MFO Association and the Slovak City Association (Únia Miest Slovenska). The workshop participants included mayors of the Trnva city region, the employees of the MFO Association and expert staff of the Trnva city administration.
Based on the results of the CapaCity Workshop Integrated Planning in Metropolitan Agglomerations of the Centrope Countries (Brno, October 2016), and according to the workshop aims, the following questions were focused on:
- How should the cooperation be organized to guarantee balance between the "big" core city and the "small" surrounding municipalities?
- How can cooperation in the areas of economic development and regionalized public services be launched?
- How can urban mobility be planned, organized and implemented?
In this context the framework conditions below were considered as possible obstacles for a successful cooperation:
- territorial thinking still prevails in functional thinking and political resistance to cooperation is felt (cooperation versus competition)
- an increasing number of people from the city of Trnva are moving into the surrounding area, while conversely the inhabitants of the surrounding communities use the infrastructures of the core city
- the establishment of the MFO Association was not voluntary, but a prerequisite for getting EU funds
- the lack of regional data hinders the identification of further cooperation fields.
The workshop recommendations emphasized meeting these challenges while taking into account that the MFO Association has only recently started with its work. In order to start cooperation, implement the planned activities and develope and carry out catalyst projects the following measures have been defined:
- elaborating a mobility concept for the whole Trnva region (Trnavský Kraj)
- creating and visualizing a business competence map
- establishing networks in order to bring business, science and administration together
- recognizing the differently distributed potentials in the Trnva city region as an advantage and added value (e.g. available area for commercial purposes versus know-how, etc.)
- exploring the possibilities of jointly organized public services in the Trnva city region (supply and demand).
In line with this, the MFO-Association should work as an incubator for dialogue and awareness raising, create trust and ensure "all-part-ownership" by using the opportunities as a "pilot organization". It should also actively support the joint development and implementation of projects, as working together can lead to the emergence of a new regionality.
No concrete follow up activities have been agreed upon so far. However, it is planned to organize study visits in the medium term in order to look at examples of inter-municipal cooperation in Austria in the fields of sewage, joint commercial land management and public transport. As for the City of Vienna, the workshop could serve as a starting point for delivering technology and know-how transfer in the fields of mobility, adequate regional supply and economic development. Furthermore the City of Vienna could expand its networks in the business and knowledge sector towards the Trnva city region as an important industrial and educational centre, not only in Slovakia but also in the Centrope Region, thus intensifying the Centrope cooperation.