Spatial Development in Europe

Projects, chronologically:

ESPON Possible European Territorial Futures (2016-2017)
ESPON Modelling "Less Efficient Regulation" (2016)
ESPON Matrices – Update of Accessibility Indicators (2014)
ESPON ATLAS: Atlas on European Territorial Structures and Dynamics (2012-2014)
ESPON ET2050: Territorial Scenarios and Visions for Europe (2011-2014)
ESPON GREECO: Territorial Potentials for a Greener Economy (2011-2014)
Dissemination of ESPON Results in Germany (2011-2015)
ESPON TRACC: Transport Accessibility at Regional/Local Scale and Patterns in Europe (2010-2014)
ESPON Update of Air and Multimodal Accessibility Maps (2008-2009)
Ex-ante Evaluation of the TEN-T Multi-Annual Programme 2007-2013 (2007)
ESPON Update of Selected Potential Accessibility Maps (2006-2007)
ESPON 1.4.4: Preparatory Study on Feasibility of Flows Analysis (2006-2007)
SETI: Strategic Evaluation on Transport Investment Priorities 2007-2013 (2005-2006)
STEPS: Scenarios for the Transport System and Energy Supply (2004-2006)
ESPON 1.1.3: Enlargement (2003-2006)
ESPON 2.1.1: Territorial Impacts of EU Transport and TEN Policies (2002-2005)
ESPON 1.1.1: Polycentric Development (2002-2005)
ESPON 1.2.1: Transport Services and Networks (2002-2005)
European Accessibility and Peripherality: Concepts, Models and Indicators (2002-2004)


Possible European Territorial Futures (2016-2017)

In the ESPON project "Possible European Territorial Futures" the present situation and expected spatial development of Europe are to be analysed in particular with respect to cohesion aspects. For this the spatial impacts of different developments in the fields of economy, energy and land markets are to be studied in three scenarios. In particular three questions are to be answered, what would happen in the EU differently from current trends if a spatially concentrated circular economy would be implemented, if energy would be provided entirely from renewable sources. and if crises on national land and housing markets would occur. In all three cases the present situation is to be analysed, the foreseeable trend development is to be assessed and the possible consquences of the indicated different developments are to be explored with qualitative methods. Project partners are Spatial Foresight (Luxembourg) as lead partner, Mcrit (Barcelona) and ISINNOVA (Rom) supported by a wide network of thematic experts.


Modelling "Less Efficient Regulation" (2016)

As the basis of an ESPON Policy Brief on the spatial consequences of better regulation following the Institutional Agreement on Better Law-Making of the European Commission, S&W combined the scenarios of the spatial development of Europe they had developed in the ESPON project ET2050 with assumptions about the efficiency of the implementation of EU subsidy policies in order to examine the impacts of less efficient regulation. Two framework assumptions, that EU transport policies or all EU policies were implemented with less efficiency, were combined with three spatial scenarios: promotion of metropolitan areas, promotion of small and medium-sized cities and promotion of peripheral and rural regions.
The Report on the project and the resulting Policy Brief are available for download.


ESPON Matrices – Update of Accessibility Indicators (2014)

S&W conducts an update of indicators of potential accessibility for the ESPON project Matrices. The update consists on the one hand in the new calculation of accessibility indicators fpr the updated European NUTS regions (2010) and on the other other hand in the calculation of the same accessibility indicators for the year 2014. The project was conducted in co-operation with RRG – Bro fr Raumforschung, Raumplanung und Geoinformation.


ESPON ATLAS: Atlas on European Territorial Structures and Dynamics (2012-2014)

The ESPON Atlas 2014 is to present a comprehensive overview of key findings of ESPON 2013 projects about European territorial structures, trends and perspectives and policy impacts. The ESPON ATLAS project supports the mission of ESPON of supporting policy development by compiling an "ESPON Atlas on European Territorial Structures and Dynamics". The Atlas is to cover the multitude of ESPON themes, enable comparisons between regions and cities and contribute to the better understanding of European territorial diversity of potentials and challenges. The project group of ESPON ATLAS consists of the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Regional Development (BBSR), S&W and VTI Regional Development and Town Planning, Budapest, Hungary. S&W contributes to the Atlas concept, will develop selected chapters and is responsible for the interactive Internet-based version of the Atlas. More information is available on the ESPON website


ESPON ET2050: Territorial Scenarios and Visions for Europe (2011-2014)

The aim of this project was to develop a vision of the European territory supported by sound scientific knowledge. In a participatory process different groups of stakeholders were involved in developing the vision to widen thematic, temporal and territorial horizons by imagining a future that transcends sector-based, short-term and domestic policy considerations. The following key questions were to be answered: (1) What is the current state of the European territorial structure? (2) What will be the future European territorial structure if development trends and policies remain unchanged? (3) What are feasible future European territorial structures in three exploratory scenarios? (4) What is the room for politically steering the future territorial development in Europe? (5) What could be midterm targets in order to steer territorial development towards the desired long-term vision, and what policy actions are required to meet these midterm targets? The task of S&W in the project was to model the spatial development of the European continent until the year 2050 subject to different assumptions about the future structural and cohesion policy of the European Union and the further improvement of the European transport networks. Project partners were, under the project leadership of Mcrit S.L. (Spain), twelve research institutions from Belgium, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden. More information about the project is available on the project page of S&W, the central project website and the ESPON website


ESPON GREECO: Territorial Potentials for a Greener Economy (2011-2014)

The main objective of this project is to identify European regions with a particular potential for developing a green economy through spatial planning and cohesion policies. The project is to contribute to better understanding the territorial dimension of the green economy based on the natural characteristics of regions throughout Europe, to assess the current state and future perspectives of the green economy in European regions based on relevant indicators of regions that share common development opportunities and challenges and to identify efficient policy actions to strengthen the competitiveness and sustainability of European regions. Project partners are, under the project leadership of the Fundacion Tecnalia Research and Innovation (Spain), Nordregio (Sweden), the Regional Environmental Centre for Central and Eastern Europe (Hungary) and the Department of Environmental, Social and Spatial Change of Roskilde University (Denmark). First results of the project will soon be available on the ESPON website.


Dissemination of ESPON Results in Germany (2011-2015)

Selected results of the ESPON Programme on spatial development in Europe are summarised in German language and from a German perspective in a dissemination project for the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR). The aim is to link ESPON results to the national debate on spatial development and thus to strengthen the knowledge about European spatial development in the scientific community, different political levels and also in schools and universities. The results are published in six thematic information booklets. Each of them is devoted to one thematic topic and based on the results of one or several ESPON projects on that topic. The themes of the six booklets are: (1) Energy and Climate, (2) Metropolitan Areas and Rural Regions, (3) Growth and Innovation,
(4) Demographic Transition and Services of General Interest, (5) Accessibility and Spatial Development and (6) Spatial Scenarios for Europe 2050.


ESPON TRACC: Transport Accessibility at Regional/Local Scale and Patterns in Europe
(2010-2014)

The ESPON project TRACC (Transport Accessibility at Regional/Local Scale and Patterns in Europe) aimed at taking up and updating the results of existing studies on accessibility at the European scale, to extend the range of accessibility indicators by further indicators responding to new policy questions, to extend the spatial resolution of accessibility indicators and to explore the likely impacts of policies at the European and national scale to improve global, European and regional accessibility in the light of new challenges, such as globalisation, energy scarcity and climate change. Project partners were the Charles University of Prague, Czech Republic, RRG Spatial Planning and Geoinformation, Oldenburg, Germany, Mcrit, Barcelona, Spain, the University of Oulu, Finland, TRT Trasporti e Territorio, Milan, Italy and the Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland. More information on the page ESPON TRACC.


ESPON Update of Air and Multimodal Accessibility Maps (2008-2009)

With the start of the new ESPON 2013 Programme a couple of key indicators of the previous programming period were updated. Potential accessibility indicators belong to this group of important indicators for European regions. Since S&W had provided already the update of road and rail accessibility indicators, this study calculated air and multimodal potential accessibility based on network data for the year 2006. The objective was not only to provide an updated database for potential accessibility but also to analyse the spatial dynamics that happened since the beginning of this decade. One result of this update of air and multimodal potential accessibility was published as Map of the Month on the ESPON website.


Ex-ante Evaluation of the TEN-T Multi-Annual Programme 2007-2013 (2007)

The project for General Directorate Transport and Energy (TREN) of the European Commission aimed at an ex-ante evaluation of several alternative combinations of Eureopen transport projects proposed to be financed in the Programming Period 2007-2013 of the EU multi-annual transport investment programme. In the project S&W applied the SASI model for forecasting the impacts of the alternatives on accessibility and economic development of NUTS-3 regions and indicators of spatial cohesion and sustainability for the member states and the EU as a whole. The Final Report of the project can be downloaded from DG TREN's TEN-T Studies website.


ESPON Update of Selected Potential Accessibility Maps (2006-2007)

In ESPON 1.2.1, S&W had developed potential accessibility indicators for road, rail and air for NUTS-3 regions for the year 2001. These accessibility indicators were used in several ESPON projects and EU documents, among them the Third Cohesion Report of the European Commission. In 2006 ESPON commissioned a study to update the potential accessibility indicators for road and rail with 2006 network data. The work was carried out in in co-operation with RRG Spatial Planning and Geoinformation, Oldenburg i. H., Germany. The Final Report of the study can be downloaded from the ESPON website.


ESPON 1.4.4: Preparatory Study on Feasibility of Flows Analysis (2006-2007)

The ESPON project 1.4.4 "Preparatory Study on Feasibility of Flows Analysis" was a feasibility and pilot study preparing for more in-depth research on spatial interactions ("flows") in ESPON 2013. Its main objectives were, building on existing work in ESPON, to give an overview on existing research, analytical concepts, indicators and data relevant for flows analysis in ESPON, to demonstrate suitable research methods and to elaborate a proposal for future research projects on flows in ESPON. Partners in ESPON 1.4.4 were S&W as Lead Partner, the Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IGiPZ PAN), Warszawa, Poland and TRT Trasporti e Territorio, Milano, Italy. The Final Report of ESPON 1.4.4 can be downladed from the ESPON website.


SETI: Strategic Evaluation on Transport Investment Priorities 2007-2013 (2005-2006)

This study for the General Directorate for Regional Policy (REGIO) of the European Commission undertook a strategic evaluation of European transport investment priorities under the Structural and Coehsion Funds in the 15 Cohesion countries of the European Union for the Programming Period 2007-2013. The study was led by ECORYS Nederland BV in collaboration with national evaluator teams in all countries. S&W contributed to the study by applying the SASI model to simulate the impacts of different investment scenarios on accessibility, regional economic development and spatial cohesion. The Final Report of the study can be downloaded from the DG REGIO website .


STEPS: Scenarios for the Transport System and Energy Supply (2004-2006)

The aim of the project STEPs (Scenarios for the Transport System and Energy Supply and their Potential Effects) was to develop, compare and assess possible scenarios for the transport system and energy supply of the future taking into account the autonomy and security of energy supply, effects on the environment, the economy and technological development and the impacts of measures to internalise external costs and the interactions between transport and spatial development. More information on the page STEPs.


ESPON 1.1.3: EU Enlargement (2003-2006)

The project ESPON 1.1.3 "Enlargement of the European Union and the Wider European Perspective as regards its Polycentric Spatial Structure" looked at the territory of the European Union with special attention to the discontinuities and potentials of the integration of the twelve new member states that joined the EU in 2004 and 2007 and the associated multiple goal conflicts between the goals of competitiveness and spatial cohesion. The project applied different methods to analyse the growing competitiveness of the new member states and the degree of cohesion and polycentricity within them. The project suggested a phase strategy of spatial development applying different spatial policies to the EU member states according to their phase of economic development. The Final Report of ESPON 1.1.3 can be downloaded from the ESPON website.


ESPON 2.1.1: Territorial Impacts of EU Transport and TEN Policies (2002-2005)

The project ESPON 2.1.1 was to assess the territorial impacts of EU Transport and TEN policies with respect to how much they contribute to the objectives of the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP) competitiveness, spatial cohesion and polycentricity. For this the project assessed several retrospective and prospective scenarios of European transport and telecommunications infrastructure and related policies with respect to their impacts on traffic congestion, regional economic performance, spatial cohesion and polycentricity of urban systems using state-of-the-art regional economic models. In addition, the project looked into institutional and implementation issues of European transport and telecommunications policy and made suggestions for how to overcome national interests in favour of a common European perdspective. More information on the page ESPON 2.1.1.


ESPON 1.1.1: Polycentric Development (2002-2005)

The objective of ESPON 1.1.1 was to provide the background for a more informed discussion of polycentric development in Europe. For this the project provided an overview of the European urban system with regards to functional specialisations and current degrees of polycentricity as well as a prospective analysis of possible effects of regional polycentric integration in different parts of Europe. Existing partnerships at the inter-municipal, inter-regional and transnational scales were analysed and differents applications of polycentricity in national policies were reviewed. ESPON 1.1.1 proposed a definition of functional urban areas (FUA) and metropolitan European growth areas (MEGA). S&W contributed to the project accessibility indicators for FUA and MEGA and a proposal for an Index of Polycentricity taking into account size, location and connectivity aspects. The Final Report of ESPON 1.1.1 can be downloaded from the ESPON website.


ESPON 1.2.1: Transport Services and Networks (2002-2005)

ESPON 1.2.1 "Transport Services and Networks: Territorial Trends and Basic Supply of Infrastructure for Territorial Cohesion" was to provide an overview of the state and development of the European transport networks of all modes by integrating transport and socio-economic indicators to investigate how transport networks constitute a key factor of a balanced, polycentric and sustainable spatial development and how they provide the accessibility to basic services and to knowledge and so contribute to spatial cohesion. The study was based on data and results of other studies and on existing methods of the project partners and so blended state-of-the-art and newly developed methods to describe different aspects of transport infrastructure and transport supply in Europe and its regions. S&W's main contribution to the project were different kinds of modal and multimodal accessibility indicators. The Final Report of ESPON 1.2.1 can be downladed from the ESPON website.


European Accessibility and Peripherality: Concepts, Models and Indicators (2002-2004)

In the project for the Nordic Centre for Spatial Development (Nordregio) a review of accessibility concepts, models and indicators was undertaken. The project concluded the work done in a number of studies applying a European perspective to accessibility and peripherality of the Nordic countries. By using new travel cost data and relating accessibility to population development, drawbacks of the peripheral location of the Nordic regions were pointed out. The Final Report of the study can be downloaded from the Nordregio website.