DIGIPLAN - Evaluating Spatial Planning Practices with Digital Plan Data


Digitalization in public administration is gaining momentum in many European countries and spatial planning is no exception. The digitalization process is driven by ideas of efficiency, expressed for example in the concept of “smart cities” and “digital governance”, ideas of participation and improved public service, like “open government” and “open data”, and an aspiration for new economic growth and business opportunities based on this data. The topic of this ESPON Targeted Analysis is highly relevant as digitalization plays an increasing role also in spatial planning. At EU level, the digitalization of spatial plans and registers is already implemented in many countries. Although, despite the potential impact on planning processes, knowledge on the contribution of these new data sets to policy making is rare. 

In the last decades, many European countries have taken significant steps to set up digital plan registers and the digitalization of spatial planning processes. Digital plan data opens a range of new possibilities to get insights into planning practice and the role of planning for spatial change over time. However, evidence on the possibilities offered by digital plan data and their actual use is missing.

DIGIPLAN shall contribute to analyse the approaches across different, national planning systems including methods for evaluation with plan data and how planning is actually represented in such data. DIGIPLAN shall analyse and compare the digitalisation of planning data in Denmark, Norway and Switzerland including the scope, organisation, financing as well as the current and potential future uses of digital planning data. The analysis should also provide an overview on digitalization of planning data in additional ESPON countries in order to offer a wider context for a better comparison.

Stakeholders' knowledge needs

A) Scope of digitalisation

  • The scope of the planning data that has been digitalized
  • Decision regarding the digitalization of additional planning data within the next two years
  • Deliberations regarding the digitalization of additional planning data within the next five years

B) Organisation and financing of the digitalization

  • The organisation of digitalization
  • The financing of the digitalization
  • Lessons learned in relation to the organisation and financing of processes of digitalization

C) Uses of digital planning data

  • The current uses of the digital planning data
  • The potential future use of the digital planning data

Main outcomes

  • Overview of the digitalisation of planning data at European level (12 countries)
  • In depth case studies and comparisons (6 countries)
  • Thematic best practice papers


  • Danish Housing and Planning Authority (lead stakeholder), DK
  • Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, NO
  • Swiss Federal Office of Spatial Development, CH


  • University of Copenhagen (lead contractor), DK
  • Nordregio, SE
  • Norwegian University of Life Sciences, NO
  • Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, CH


€ 293,060.00


January 2020 - January 2021


  • Inception delivery: 13 February 2020
  • Interim delivery: 27 August 2020
  • Final delivery: 4 February 2021


The DIGIPLAN synthesis report has been translated in German and French! Please find them below.


Piera Petruzzi (Senior Project Expert) [email protected], György Alfoldy (Financial Expert) [email protected]


DIGIPLAN Synthesis Report French.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 1.72MB

DIGIPLAN Synthesis Report German.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 1.72MB

ESPON DIGIPLAN_Final synthesis report.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 1.33MB

ESPON DIGIPLAN_Final report.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 3.40MB

ESPON DIGIPLAN_Annex 1_Thematic practice papers.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 1.79MB

ESPON DIGIPLAN_Case_study_Austria.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 2.27MB

ESPON DIGIPLAN_Case_study_Denmark.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 1.58MB

ESPON DIGIPLAN_Case_study_France.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 2.29MB

ESPON DIGIPLAN_Case_study_Germany.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 1.92MB

ESPON DIGIPLAN_Case_study_Norway.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 2.11MB

ESPON DIGIPLAN_Case_study_Switzerland.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 1.05MB

ESPON DIGIPLAN_Fact_sheet_Austria.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 615KB

ESPON DIGIPLAN_Fact_sheet_Belgium.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 772KB

ESPON DIGIPLAN_Fact_sheet_Denmark.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 541KB

ESPON DIGIPLAN_ Fact_sheet_France.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 763KB

ESPON DIGIPLAN_ Fact_sheet_Germany.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 1.21MB

ESPON DIGIPLAN_ Fact_sheet_Ireland.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 504KB

ESPON DIGIPLAN_Fact_sheet_Italy.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 529KB

ESPON DIGIPLAN_ Fact_sheet_Lithuania.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 522KB

ESPON DIGIPLAN_ Fact_sheet_Luxembourg.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 695KB

ESPON DIGIPLAN_ Fact_sheet_Malta.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 617KB

ESPON DIGIPLAN_ Fact_sheet_Netherlands.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 569KB

ESPON DIGIPLAN_ Fact_sheets_Norway.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 924KB

ESPON DIGIPLAN_ Fact_sheet_Portugal.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 646KB

ESPON DIGIPLAN_ Fact_sheet_Slovenia.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 459KB

ESPON DIGIPLAN_ Fact_sheet_Switzerland.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 961KB

ESPON DIGIPLAN_Annex 9_Methodological background.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 4.74MB