Spatial planning in Europe has been shifting towards more (1) integration across policies, (2) more adaptive planning, and (3) more participatory decision-making. You can find out more about the patterns, drivers and some caveats behind those trends in our paper published in Regional Studies. The paper builds on the ESPON COMPASS project. 

In a nutshell, concerning the three dimensions we looked at, we found the following:

  • Integration“vigorous response to the calls to foster a new model of spatial planning that has wider ambitions to shape spatial development in cooperation with other sectoral interests and stakeholders using more responsive tools […] disengaged from EU Cohesion Policy, digitalization, health and housing.”
  • Adaptation“mechanisms have been introduced in many countries to improve the adaptability of planning and to increase flexibility and responsiveness to changing decision-making contexts.”
  • Citizen engagement“increasing transparency and wider involvement of citizens in the planning process, although this engagement remains relatively weak in a sizeable proportion of countries, pointing to the need for further development of participatory planning practices.”

Have a look at the full open access paper here.

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