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ESPON 2008/2014


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 last Programme ran from 2008 to 2014 and involved 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 was the UK Contact Point for ESPON until 2014. We encouraged involvement of UK researchers and practitioners in ESPON, and disseminated findings to stakeholders throughout the UK. Our dissemination work was helped by our involvement in the INTERSTRAT and USESPON projects, which enabled us to highlight research at events around the UK, and create step-by-step guides to using ESPON tools. During 2014, we were also a partner in the ESPON on the Road programme, which showcased the  research outputs of ESPON at a local level across the EU.

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

Regional Development in Northern Ireland: Perspectives from ESPON

This publication, written by Cliff Hague, draws on findings in ESPON research that are relevant to Northern Ireland, and in particular to the Regional Development Strategy. At a time when powers are being devolved from the Northern Ireland Assembly to more local levels of government, it is hoped that the report will be of benefit also to policymakers and practitioners involved in local development and planning.

Evidence from ESPON to support smart, sustainable, inclusive growth

This 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

The RTPI's Briefing Papers are summaries of research findings on specialist themes, loosely based on current topics in the ESPON network. The Briefing Papers are designed for policy and practitioner audiences, to provide them with an overview of current ESPON research, give policy and planning recommendations on the related themes and to demonstrate the implications of these issues through selected case studies:

  • 'Planning for more people' discusses some of the issues arising from population growth and the implications for practice.
  • 'Prospects for cities' highlights the significance of core cities to the national economy and reflects on the approaches taken by Leeds and Manchester to generate prosperity beyond the capital.
  • 'Partnerships for sub-regional growth' reviews partnerships and collaborations at different spatial scales and how they can help to support planning and economic growth, including Local Enterprise Partnerships.
  • 'Economic resilience in small and medium sized towns' looks at the varying levels of economic resilience in European regions after the financial crisis and the key factors for local economic resilience and development.
  • 'Hidden potential of small and medium sized towns' is part of a series of European briefings that look at the characteristics of small and medium sized towns and their development potential. It focuses on Western Europe.

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
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@rtpiknowledge : RT @rtpiknowledge: Creating quality design goes beyond the concept of securing beauty; a more holistic focus should be on delivering sustai… 22/02/2020 - 02:01

@rtpiknowledge : Are you an RTPI member and are interested in #urbandesign, #placemaking and #heritage? Join the RTPI Urban Design… 22/02/2020 - 01:00

@rtpiknowledge : New CPD training from the RTPI: "Telling the planning story: how good communications improves public engagement" F… 22/02/2020 - 11:00