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ESPONWhat is it?

ESPON is a research programme providing data, concepts and techniques which can be used in the development of effective place-based policy. The current Programme runs from 2008 to 2013 and involves the 27 EU countries, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Norway - take a look at this presentation on ESPON for more information.

How is the RTPI involved?

The RTPI is the UK Contact Point for ESPON. We encourage involvement of UK researchers and practitioners in ESPON, and disseminate findings to stakeholders throughout the UK. Our dissemination work is helped by our involvement in the INTERSTRAT and USESPON projects, which enable us to highlight research at events around the UK, and create step-by-step guides to using ESPON tools.

Since 1986, the objective of cohesion policy has been to strengthen economic and social cohesion. The Lisbon Treaty and the EU's new high level strategy (Europe 2020) introduced the third dimension of territorial cohesion. Territorial cohesion implies that the EU should promote more balanced economic development across its regions.

Our activities

Evidence from ESPON to support smart, sustainable, inclusive growth

This new publication outlines ESPON results which may support European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) activities in the UK. More broadly, this information should also be useful for any regional or local decision-makers who wish to promote some of the objectives included in smart growth – from strengthening research and development and innovation, to promoting social inclusion and combating poverty.

ESPON Week 2013

ESPON Week took place from 11-15 November 2013 as part of the USESPON project. We held a seminar at DCLG, blogged, Tweeted and finished the week with an event on promoting local growth.

RTPI briefing papers

Briefing papers have been produced on planning for more people and ensuring prosperity beyond capitals. They draw on ESPON findings to provide an overview of the issues and implications for policy.

Informing the NPF3

A report by the UK ECP brings together evidence from the ESPON Programme which could inform the development of Scotland's third National Planning Framework. Towards NPF3 was launched at a KITCASP event in April 2013.

England's urban growth challenge

A report drawing together some of ESPON's key findings on urban areas was launched at a recent UK ECP workshop. England's urban growth challenge is a concise guide to the practical implications of ESPON research on urban competitiveness and governance.

Unlocking growth in cities

The Government's publication 'Unlocking Growth in Cities' makes use of applied research carried out by the ESPON project SGPTD (secondary cities).

European Union European Regional Development Fund logo

Forthcoming events
View all Events

@rtpiknowledge : OUT NOW!The latest 'Planning Education &Research Network' Bulletin,feat. RTPI news,calls for papers& upcoming events. 22/04/2014 - 02:14

@rtpiknowledge : "We need to design services around assets & capabilities, rather than on people's needs" Dr Michael Harris on health inequality at #WUF. 11/04/2014 - 12:11

@rtpiknowledge : Dr Michael Harris reminds the #WUF7 audience of the link between health and planning that led to the development of the RTPI #RTPI100 11/04/2014 - 12:01