BT2050 – Territorial Scenarios for the Baltic Sea Region

Theme: macro-regional spatial planning, Baltic Sea Region (BSR)

Updates June 2018

The ESPON EGTC has decided to withdraw the service contract regarding the targeted analysis BT2050 - Territorial scenarios for the Baltic Sea Region.

The ESPON EGTC has agreed with the Lead Stakeholder to launch a new call for tender to conduct the research.

Further information will be available after launching the call.


The Baltic Sea Region (BSR) includes Poland, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark as well as North-West Russia and Northern Germany. The BSR is the first European macro-region having a vision for spatial development (adopted in 1994, renewed in 2009). The region is a highly heterogeneous area in economic, environmental and cultural terms. Spatial integration is hindered by the existing divides. Some of the countries are EU member states, whereas the others are not foreseeing EU accession. Furthermore, differing levels of economic development and adverse territorial consequences of population changes exist. Examples are the increasing polarisation between urban and rural areas, land take and urban sprawl as well as the growth of metropolitan areas, and urban network internal development discrepancies (big centres vs small and medium). However, the countries share many common resources and demonstrate interdependence. Therefore, spatial and regional integration is important for the development of the region. Territorial cohesion and economic integration are crucial factors to develop the BSR towards a strong European macro-region.

Territorial scenarios are an important tool to show synergies and trade-offs between spatial goals and priorities spelled out in other strategic documents. They can convey the message that territory matters to bodies acting at the macro-regional scale and fertilize as well as influence policy processes in the BSR. Territorial scenarios for the BSR (BT 2050) could provide a basis for political discussions (for example at the VASAB ministerial conference in 2019), or with other EUSBSR stakeholders and wider Europe. Properly formulated territorial development scenarios can serve as a boundary spanning object for policy makers.

Policy questions

  • What are the main processes, factors, obstacles, drivers (economic, social, spatial, environmental, technological, political etc.) that will shape spatial development and integration of the BSR by 2030 and 2050?

  • What kind of synergies and conflicts exist between those factors (in particular from the perspective of the key policy processes and the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region)?

  • What are the long term trends and their territorial impact?

  • Which are the possible black swan and wild card events that can break existing trends and syndromes of BSR spatial development and integration?

  • Which territorial development and spatial integration scenarios can the BSR face by 2050?

  • What are the policy implications of these scenarios?

  • Shall the VASAB vision and long-term perspective be altered?


  • Ministry of Economic Development, PL (Lead stakeholder)
  • Ministry of the Environment, Department of the Built Environment, FI
  • Ministry of Finance, ES
  • Ministry of Environment, LT
  • Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, DE
  • Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, LV
  • Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development, DE
  • State Regional Development Agency, VASAB Secretariat, LV


  • Polish Academy of Sciences-Institute of Geography and Spatial Organisation, PL (lead contractor)
  • Nordregio, SE
  • Spieakermann & Wegener, DE
  • Spatial Foresight, LU

Budget: € 186.733,44

Lifetime: July 2017 – July 2018 


  • Inception delivery, 25 September 2017
  • Interim delivery, 11 December 2017
  • Draft Final delivery, 10 April 2018
  • Final delivery, 10 July 2018

Contact: Sandra Di Biaggio (Senior Project Expert), Johannes Kiersch (Financial Expert)