ESPON Peer Learning Workshop: Understanding Green Infrastructure and Shrinking rural areas



24 February 2022

As part of its post-2010 biodiversity policy, the European Commission promoted a strategy for an EU-wide Green Infrastructure (GI) with the aim to provide a framework for integrating GI into sectoral policies, including nature conservation. The underlying idea of this initiative is the recognition of the environment as an infrastructural resource capable of delivering a wide range of ecosystem services. The realization of GI within the European strategy must rely on the backbone of the existing established networks of Protected Areas (PAs) under EU regulation, in particular building on the Natura 2000 network.

This ESPON Peer Learning Workshop "Understanding Green Infrastructure and Shrinking rural areas" will focus on the potential role of Green Infrastructure in Spain for elaborating regional development plans for shrinking rural areas in the context of climate change policy requirements.

The objective is to show and discuss how ESPON knowledge can both inform and inspire the development of national policy instruments and to consider how national and regional stakeholders can make (better) use of trans-European knowledge and case studies.

Policymakers, regional stakeholders and researchers will share their experiences and discuss selected issues related to Spanish context and the role of planning in enhance GI at different level.

Some questions that will be discussed during the PLW include:

  • How can GI be further integrated in spatial planning and territorial development? How can GI contribute to improve rural development plans (e.g. by considering different potential of ecosystem services)?
  • How can national, regional and local authorities as well as the private sector be supported to develop GI in the most effective way and to invest in ecosystem services?
  • Who needs to be involved in the development and rollout of a rural development strategies for fighting against depopulation and rural abandonment in Spain?

The ESPON territorial evidence gathered in previous studies will serve as background, and will nurture the discussions around these three questions.

The workshop addresses policymakers and key strategic stakeholders responsible for national and regional development strategies in Spain and in European regions particularly affected by the depopulation particularly in rural areas. Invitations are also extended to researchers and stakeholders that were involved in ESPON projects to reflect on how to better make use of, and bridge territorial evidence into, national and regional practice.


Spanish Versions

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