The project is a cross-border research project between Germany and Switzerland within the framework of the Lead Agency process of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) and the Deutsch Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). The structural change towards a knowledge economy has become an important driver in regional development. This poses the question as to whether the financial crisis had or continues to have impact upon regional development in Germany and Switzerland through the reconfiguration of the location networks of knowledge-intensive enterprises, and if so, how. Has the structural change towards a knowledge economy and the increasing globalisation of commercial value chains, accelerated by the financial and economic crisis worldwide, led to a re-concentration of businesses locating in metropolitan areas? Or are these processes leading to a de-concentration or to activities being relocated to peripheral locations in order to lower costs and to tap into new knowledge and value chains? The main objective of this project is to examine the change of the functional urban hierarchy in Germany and Switzerland in the context of the recent economic changes in the global economy. The scientific innovation of the project in particular concerns the understanding of globalisation and its consequences for the dynamics of urban and regional development, focussing on the knowledge economy. The overall ambition of the project can be described as follows: (1) To identify similarities and differences in the evolution of connectivity and functional urban hierarchy for Germany and Switzerland in the wake of the recent financial and economic crisis; (2) To enrich the understanding of globalisation as key factor of change in the spatial organisation of value chains of firms that as a consequence affects the urban system in Germany and Switzerland; (3) To provide evidence on the interrelationship between physical accessibility and non-physical connectivity as well as between flows and stocks in the knowledge economy; (4) To map and visualize the dynamics of urban connectivity and the evolution of the functional urban hierarchy in Germany and Switzerland; (5) To develop a concept for a long-term panel survey with connectivity data in Germany and Switzerland; (6) To develop evidence-based, alternative perspectives, which can provide a robust basis for regional and urban policy making in Germany and Switzerland.