Competitive sub-metropolitan regionalism

Competitive sub-metropolitan regionalism


Written by:

Steven Henderson 

First Published:

26 Oct 2017, 12:00 am

Competitive sub-metropolitan regionalism

Competitive sub-metropolitan regionalism: Local government collaboration and advocacy in northern Melbourne, Australia

A new paper by Steven Henderson is now available online.



In contrast with attention to city-regions as motors of the global economy, alternative perspectives indicate the rising complexity of metropolitan forms. The coherency of city-regions, their management and the intensity of political benefits from outwardly radiating opportunities can therefore be considered problematic. Symbolic of this complexity is the emergence of sub-metropolitan regions, or sub-regions within city-regions, that seek to better position themselves within global economic flows and public-sector funding allocations. Careful assessment is necessary as place-based factors, including multi-level government structures and prevailing inter-government relations, shape resulting regional governance formations. In the Australian context, the significance of the state government level and a dearth of commentary on local government advocacy are highlighted. Within expansive Melbourne, regional wedge-based forms of collaboration involving local councils are identified, some having historical equivalents and overlapping regional governance structures. Specific attention is directed towards northern Melbourne where seven local councils forged a regional collaborative approach in the early 2010s after reflecting upon local and regional experiences and the achievements of other metropolitan and Victorian regions. A ratcheting upwards of advocacy endeavours is identified as symbolised by government delegations, advocacy documents, connections between regional governance structures and deliberation over how advocacy can be made more impactful. Future research priorities include comparative investigations to better document and conceptualise local and regional advocacy approaches and experiences, plus analysis of the counterstrategies designed by higher government levels to manage competing sub-metropolitan regions.


You can access and read the full article here.