Towards More Balanced Territorial Relations—The Role (and Limitations) of Spatial Planning as a Governance Approach

10 May 2021


Decision-makers, planners and administrators involved in different policy domains at different governance levels face the important challenge of fostering more balanced, sustainable and territorially integrated development. Well-designed, multi-level, multi-sector and multi-actor governance arrangements can play a key role in this process through orchestrating the interplay between different spheres, activities, actors and interests.  In this paper, we examine the role of spatial planning in improving the relations between rural, peri-urban and urban areas.  We analyse the strengths and limitations of spatial planning and explore the connections with territorial development.  The methodology used for this analysis combines regional case studies in seven European locations—Ede, Frankfurt/Rhein-Main, Styria/Graz, Helsinki, Lisbon, Lucca and Mid Wales, with rapid appraisals, the analysis of published data, expert judgement and triangulation. We ask under which conditions spatial planning can induce more balanced, sustainable territorial relations, and look at the contribution planning can make to achieving sustainable development goals.

Knickel, K.; Almeida, A.; Bauchinger, L.; Casini, M.P.; Gassler, B.; Hausegger-Nestelberger, K.; Heley, J.; Henke, R.; Knickel, M.; Oostindie,H.; et al. Towards More Balanced Territorial Relations—The Role (andLimitations) of Spatial Planning as a Governance Approach. Sustainability 2021, 13, 530.

Author: Knickel, K., et al.

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ROBUST is a European research project involving 24 partners from 11 countries. ROBUST receives funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 727988.

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