BRIDGES - Territories with Geographical Specificities

Theme: Territories with geographical specificities


Regions with specific territorial features have received increasing attention in recent years, most notably in article 174 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).
Key policy documents identify the specific types of territories in two ways: as having particular challenges, and as having particular assets, many of benefit to Europe as a whole.
Addressing the opportunities and challenges of specific types of territories implies that these territories need to be considered in context rather than ‘singled out’.

In general, territorial cooperation seems to be a natural component of policies targeting geographically specific areas, in view of ensuring a sustainable development based on regional comparative advantages. The European level has an obvious role to play in promoting territorial cooperation beyond national borders.

Gaining a better understanding of the territories with geographic specificities and their relevant challenges and opportunities is therefore crucial for the European policy dialogue and debate for developing Cohesion Policy post-2020 and a renewed Territorial Agenda for Europe which is due to be adopted by 2021.
The following types of territories constitute the main focus for this project: sparsely populated regions; mountain regions; Islands, including island-states and coastal areas.

Policy questions

  • What does insularity, peripherality, remoteness, accessibility, vulnerability, attractiveness, lack of critical mass mean for territories with geographic specificities?

  • How does it impact the competitiveness, quality of life and sustainable growth of these territories?

  • Where and how is public intervention required?

  • How can place-based, smart and integrated approaches support the challenges encountered by territories with geographic specificities?

  • How can territorial cooperation contribute to strengthening the capacity of local and regional authorities to identify their growth potentials and formulate development strategies?


  • SPATIAL FORESIGHT GmbH, LU (lead contractor)

  • UHI Perth, UK

  • Nordregio, SE

  • Technopolis France, FR

  • University of Liverpool, UK

  • Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), SE

  • TCP-International GmbH, DE

  • University of Geneva – GEDT, CH

  • ÖIR, AT

  • E-cubed, MT

  • Accademia Europea di Bolzano- Eurac Research, IT

  • WYG – Croatia, HR

  • University of Cambridge, UK

  • University of Akureyri (UNAK), IS

  • Centre for Urban and Territorial Development, RO

  • Centre of Geographical Studies (Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning), University of Lisbon, PT

Project Support Team

  • Debbie Cachia, Malta 

  • Hans Henrik Bull, Norway 

  • Eleni Zouppouri, Cyprus 

Budget: € 641.978,00

Lifetime: October 2017 – April 2019


  • Inception delivery: 19 December 2017
    Interim delivery: 19 July 2018
    Draft Final delivery: 19 December 2018
    Final delivery: 19 April 2019

Contact: Sandra Di Biaggio (Senior Project Expert) [email protected], Johannes Kiersch (Financial Expert) [email protected]


BRIDGES - Final Report.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 7.17MB

BRIDGES - Final Report - Annex 1 - module reports.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 3.50MB

BRIDGES - Final Report - Annex 2 - case study syntheses.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 7.14MB

BRIDGES - Final Report - Annex 3 - case studies.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 32.30MB

01 Lack of critical mass.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 300KB

02 Remoteness from Urban Centres.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 338KB

03 Low Potential Accessibility.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 353KB

04 Insularity.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 755KB

05 Vulnerability.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 398KB