About the lab

We analyse and support regional development. Most projects focus an European spatial development, in particular on spatial integration, and on regional value chains. More information: https://www.geography.nat.fau.eu/research/ag-chilla/

Featured projects (1)

Short input papers and interim results from the Working Group Regional Development of the Erlangen University. Published so far: Chilla, T. (2021): The domestic dimension of cross‐border governance. Networks and coordination patterns: Networks and coordination patterns. Working Papers FAU Regional Development No. 4. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.21676.18564 Bertram, D., Garkisch, J., Geiger, W., Haack, A., Hellwagner, T., Hippe, S., Lambracht, M., Müller, C., Reizlein, J. (2019): Räumliche Integration: Das Beispiel der bayerischen Grenzregionen zu Österreich und Tschechien. Working Papers FAU Regional Development No. 3. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.21585.25440 Chilla, T., Sielker, F., Othengrafen, F. (2017): Governance diffusion in Europe – the EGTC tool and ist spatial implementation patterns. Working Papers FAU Regional Development No. 2. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.28865.45927 Sielker, F. (2016): What could the future role of macro‐regional strategies in the EU be? – Four scenarios. Working Papers FAU Regional Development No. 1. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.22602.29120

Featured research (16)

This introductory article has three goals. First, it briefly introduces Bavaria’s border areas. Second, the paper introduces three institutional and political perspectives to explain the governance arrangements and processes in the border areas, namely institutional ambiguity, reterritorialisation and multi-level mismatches. Further, the article discusses current developments from a functional perspective by reflecting on processes of convergence, metropolisation and ‘tunnel effects’. Third, the article outlines the implications of the results for Bavarian federal state planning.
In recent years, a growing number of institutional mapping approaches has reflected on border regions’ development. These approaches visualise the relationship between institutional and spatial patterns. In parallel, the quality and quantity of cooperation-related information in the EU KEEP database (DB) is continuously increasing. The aim of our paper is two-fold. Firstly, we aim to understand the cooperation dynamics and funding geographies of the recent INTERREG A period. We do so with the example of cross-border programmes with German participation. More concretely, we scrutinise the relationships that exist between the spatial configurations of funded project cooperation, the involved thematic topics and the role of territorial contexts, particularly in terms of the degree of urbanisation and distance to a border. Secondly, we reflect on the potential and limitations of institutional mapping based on KEEP data. Specifically, we explore the explanatory capacity of institutional mappings based on KEEP data and discuss the blind spots that must be considered and how these could be addressed. The general conclusion from our paper is that institutional mapping based on the KEEP DB proves to be a strong data exploration tool with potential for comparative analyses. However, it has clear limitations with regard to causality testing.
The EU's cohesion policy aims at convergent development of the member states and their regions, including border regions. In consequence, cohesion trends are a prominent research object. However, the effects of crises and the role of resilience for border regions is a less prominent research object. Recent crises include the current pandemic, the refugee migration in 2015 and the financial crisis of post 2008. These crises put border regions in the focus of sensitive political discussions and raise questions on the convergence paths. Against this background, we combine the two concepts of cohesion and resilience at the example of the 2008 financial crisis at the example of Czech-German border regions. In addition, we position them in relation to other Czech border regions. Our argumentation is based on results from the project "Cohesion in border regions" (CoBo), which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Objectives Among the few studies examining patterns of COVID-19 spread in border regions, findings are highly varied and partially contradictory. This study presents empirical results on the spatial and temporal dynamics of incidence in 10 European border regions. We identify geographical differences in incidence between border regions and inland regions, and we provide a heuristic to characterise spill-over effects. Study Design Observational spatiotemporal analysis. Methods Using 14-day incidence rates (03/2020 to 05/2021) for border regions around Germany, we delineate three pandemic ‘waves’ by the dates with lowest recorded rates between peak incidence. We mapped COVID-19 incidence data at the finest spatial scale available and compared border regions’ incidence rates and trends to their nationwide values. The observed spatial and temporal patterns are then compared to the time and duration of border controls in the study area. Results We observed both symmetry and asymmetry of incidence rates within border pairs, varying by country. Several asymmetrical border pairs feature temporal convergence, which is a plausible indicator for ‘spill-over’ dynamics. We thus derived a border incidence typology to characterise (1) symmetric border pairs, (2) asymmetric border pairs without spill-over effects, and (3) asymmetric with spill-over effects. In all groups, border control measures were enacted, but appear to have been effective only in certain cases. Conclusions The heuristic of border pairs provides a useful typology for highlighting combinations of spill-over effects and border controls. We conclude that border control measures may be effective if the timing and the combination with other non-pharmaceutical measures is appropriate.
This paper reflects on place attachment in times of digitalisation in rural regions. Our qualitative study explores the extent to which and with which characteristics place attachment 'translates' into the digital format. The paper analyses 193 digital projects presented in the internet. These cases cover several European countries with a particular focus on Germany. The analysis is based on a three-dimensional framework involving attachment concepts, space/place and digitalisation. From a systematic categorisation of the case studies, six result patterns emerge: Some of them confirm place attachment patterns, which are well known from the debate on 'non-digital' place attachment (e.g., the importance of emotions). Other findings show that digitalisation does make a difference , in particular concerning abstract, non-localised spatial references to the rural area. Finally, we deduce some implications from our findings for practical implementation in regional development.

Lab head

Tobias Chilla
  • Institute of Geography
About Tobias Chilla
  • We analyse and support regional development. Most projects focus an European spatial development, in particular on spatial integration, and on regional value chains. More information https://www.geography.nat.fau.eu/research/ag-chilla/

Members (7)

Elisabeth Gruber
  • Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
Anna Heugel
  • Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
Stefan Hippe
  • Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
Karola Schober
  • Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
Dominik Bertram
  • Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
Carola Wilhelm
  • Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
Markus Lambracht
  • Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nürnberg

Alumni (2)

Markus Neufeld
  • University of Applied Sciences Coburg