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RTPI secures £775,000 funding from Europe for work on Integrated Development Strategies

14 April 2010

A partnership led by the Royal Town Planning Institute has successfully obtained funding from the European Union for a two year project on how to make and monitor integrated development strategies. It will look at practices across the UK and in 8 other EU countries. The team will explore what kind of data, indicators, concepts and methods are used – and also ask practitioners what EU information would be useful to them.

Cliff Hague, part of the RTPI team involved in the project, said

\"Joined-up thinking is the essence of good spatial planning. How do you integrate land use, economic development, environment, social cohesion and transport and infrastructure into a strategy for a region or sub-region? It's a challenge for the Integrated Regional Strategies in England, but one that other European countries also face. 

Joined-up thinking is the essence of good spatial planning.

You have to look for win-win situations, rather than planning transport without reference to environment, or environment without thinking about economic development. To make the trade-offs you need evidence and techniques and concepts. This project will ask practitioners how they do it, and explore how data and methods from the ESPON programme might help.\"

ESPON (European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion) is a five-year programme for applied research into all aspects of European territorial development. It involves 27 nation states of the European Union, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, and the RTPI has been appointed by the UK Government's Department of Communities and Local Government to deliver the ESPON UK Contact Point as part of the network of national contact points for the research programme.

The ESPON UK Contact Point, working with National Contact Points from Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Romania and Slovenia, has secured the funding, a total of €882,000 (approximately £775,000), which will be used to further engage policy-makers in integrated spatial plan-making. The project also aims to share European experience of spatial strategy development and the use of ESPON outputs.

ESPON UK Contact Point
The RTPI has been appointed by Communities and Local Government to deliver the ESPON UK Contact Point as part of the network of national contact points for the ESPON research programme.

For more information, please contact:research@rtpi.org.uk