This is a really interesting blog post from Mark Kleinman picking up on the the creation of a Greater Paris metropolitan area. The French Government is in the process of creating three such bodies for Paris, Lyon and Marseille and below that is allowing cities and surrounding communes, who wish to, to consolidate decision making in Communaute Metropole.
The first one of these being in Nice Cote D’Azur which was created recently. This is an attempt both to simplify the different levels such as Communaute Urbaine, Communaute D’agglomeration etc but also is recognising that, as with the UK, governance for many activities is best at the level of functional urban area. The UK’s similar approach is less the experiment with LEPs but more the more silent approach to Combined Authorities. It will be fascinating to compare approaches over time!