Regions and subregions

UK sub-regions and city-regions cover two or more local authority areas connected by functional links or similar challenges. For instance travel-to-work patterns, housing growth areas, flooding, green infrastructure and energy generation.

These geographic, economic and environmental linkages extend beyond political boundaries making sub- and city-regions important spatial units for sustainable development.

Local authorities

Local authorities are coming together and designing collaborative approaches to face current challenges - the globalisation and downturn of the economy, fundamental changes in the way we live our lives (high mobility, demographic changes, etc) - as well as the scale of the climate change challenge.

Local authorities increasingly understand the benefits and cost efficiencies of working together and are establishing new sub-regional governance and delivery structures, ranging from Multi Area Agreements (MAAs), regeneration or economic partnerships, Housing Market Pathfinders, Growth Areas, Local Delivery Vehicles, Development Companies and Corporations.

These new sub-regional structures in the UK present new opportunities for sustainability and climate change to be tackled by joint action. The following are some of the sub-regional mechanisms coming into place to address these issues:

  • Sub-regional development frameworks
  • Sub-regional climate change strategies
  • Strategic flood risk assessment
  • Multi Area Agreements
  • Joint core strategies
  • Shared evidence bases for joint preparation of Local Development Frameworks

Climate change can be also addressed at the subregional scale through:

  • Resource Strategies (such as energy, waste, biodiversity, minerals)
  • Sustainable Development Checklists
  • Transport Strategies
  • Constructing Excellence Tools
  • Air Quality Strategies

Specialised support for regional climate change objectives can be found at:

  • Regional Climate Change Partnerships
  • Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnerships

More about the subregional scale


Advice for regions and subregions

Advice for sustainable design and management at the subregional scale.

Examples for regions and subregions

Examples of sustainable design and management at the subregional scale.

CABE and Urban Practitioners
with the cities of Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield