What 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.
It's ESPON Week
From 11-15 November 2013, it's ESPON Week. As part of the USESPON project, we're going to be highlighting some of the key findings relevant to the UK. Every day during ESPON Week, we'll be blogging and tweeting about ESPON resources and how they can be used to inform better policy-making. Find out more about what we're doing.
Map of the day
The map shows the UK's economic performance in comparison with the rest of Europe. The UK ranks highly, with the majority of the country performing well in the seven indicators used:
- GDP per capita
- GDP per employee
- Employment rate
- Employment rate for older workers
- Long term unemployment rate
- Regional unemployment rate dispersion
- Expenditure on R&D.
It does, however, highlight important differences between areas in the UK on measures of competitiveness; Northern Ireland and Merseyside being areas which have performed less well in comparison. Find out more about ESPON and local growth.
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).