The Royal Town Planning Institute
(RTPI) has successfully led a partnership of six European
organisations to secure nearly €500,000 of European Union funding
to ensure research generated by the European Observation Network
for Territorial Development and Cohesion (ESPON) informs
practitioners and policy-makers.
The RTPI will work on the
project, called 'USESPON', with partners from France, Germany,
Greece, Luxembourg and Poland for the duration of the contract
(June 2014). USESPON will help planners and policy-makers to apply
findings from the ESPON Programme and make the best use of local
assets to enable economic growth.
Trudi Elliott, the Chief Executive of the RTPI, said "Our job is
to get the message out. The new project will focus on holding more
events, producing teaching materials and engaging with
practitioners to help them use ESPON findings to develop effective
place-based policy. This is an excellent opportunity for the RTPI
to build on the expertise gained during the ESPON-INTERSTRAT
project, which used interactive events to introduce UK
policy-makers with ESPON data and concepts."
ESPON is a European research programme providing data and
techniques for those involved in developing place-based policy.
There is a 'Contact Point' which encourages people to bid for
European grants and encourage practitioners to use ESPON findings
in each of the 31 countries involved in ESPON (the 27 counties in
the European Union, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and
Switzerland). RTPI was appointed by the Department for Communities
and Local Government (DCLG) as the UK's 'Contact Point' in January
Pictured above: The map shows internet usage throughout
Europe. Access to information and communication technology is vital
for smart growth, and competitive cities such as London, Paris and
Stockholm are shown to have particularly high concentrations of IP
addresses per capita. The main challenge for strategic planning is
to ensure that local businesses and citizens are linked to
high-speed internet infrastructure.