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The region of Stuttgart groups a total of 179 communities. The overall population of the region is about 2.6 million inhabitants. In its state capital, there are about 570.000 inhabitants concentrated. The region of Stuttgart is a regional economic and cultural centre. With an area of 3,700 km2 this region is one of the most densely populated regions of the country. The development of the population in the Stuttgart Region during the last few decades is characterised by a strong growth in the periphery of the City of Stuttgart. The total population of the Stuttgart region has grown by about 3% since 1992, beside the enormous decrease in the scaled population of the City of Stuttgart of about 4.5% (599,500 inhabitants in 1992, and estimated 572.000 inhabi-tants in 2003). In addition, an enormous growth in industrial and business zones took place in the peripheral zones, which, besides its traffic-generating impact on commut-ing and passenger transport in general, surely affects freight transport as well and has lead to a dramatic increase in population and workplace redistribution. Increasing demand for available floor space led to a disproportionate enlargement of the settle-ment areas and its corresponding land use and has led to out-migration of middle and high-income families. The result is a corresponding decrease of contiguous ar-eas and a related increase of scattered areas (urban sprawl). Stuttgart represents an important traffic node within the Trans-European Network (TEN).

The region acquired its own political organisation in 1994 as the Verband Region Stuttgart and has a directly elected regional assembly. It has become a model for other regions in the state and in the Federal Republic itself. The central goal of the Verband Region Stuttgart is the co-ordination of policies among the independent mu-nicipalities.

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