Regional and national spatial planning: new challenges and new opportunities


Paris, France

RIATE, University Paris-Diderot

28 March 2018 - 9:00am to 5:00pm

10 rue Françoise Dolto
75013 Paris

The ESPON seminar is the first in a series of five events Transnational Outreach events in West Europe (Benelux, France, Ireland and UK) in 2018 and 2019 examining new developments in national and regional spatial planning. By linking the five events together, participants of all five events will gain an excellent overview of both key issues in current spatial planning theory and practice and related ESPON research.

This first seminar in the series in France will examine the SRADDET ‘Schéma régional d’aménagement, de développement durable et d’égalité des territoires’ (Regional planning framework for sustainable development and equality of territorial development). Following the law of 7th August 2015 on a new territorial organisation of France, the new French regions now have until August 2019 to develop a new spatial strategy (the SRADDET) for their region.

The SRADDET will comprise a transversal approach and will contribute to a stronger territorial coherence.  It will also replace and unite existing frameworks and will enable a more holistic to mobility, the environment, climate change, energy and the reduction of waste.

The law does not prescribe the format of the SRADDET but four major axes are envisaged:

  • A report on the current situation and regional objectives
  • Thematic chapters
  • A schematic map
  • Annexes

 The SRADDET will be developed through a series of phases, from the development of regional objectives, deciding how to develop the strategy, the resulting strategy, consultation with municipalities and key stakeholders and then a public enquiry and then approval.

This seminar will be an opportunity to present the current French system of regional spatial planning with a focus on the methodology and the challenges.  By involving experts from other countries, this will enrich the discussions which can be then extended in future ESPON Transnational Outreach events.

The seminar will use the morning session to outline the methodology of the SRADDET and identify the key challenges. Two regions will present how they are developing the SRADDET to give concrete examples of processes and challenges, including on how the cross-border position of a region is taken into account in the elaboration process of a SRADDET. Experts from Ireland and the Benelux will be invited to comment on the French system and compare it with their own experience.

In the afternoon session, three ESPON projects will outline their research:

COMPASS (Comparative Analysis of Territorial Governance and Spatial Planning Systems in Europe)

COMPASS examines spatial planning systems across the 28 EU Member States and identifies the changes in territorial governance and spatial planning systems across Europe over the past 15 years? Can these changes be attributed to the influence of macro-level EU directives and policies? COMPASS also identifies the best-practices for cross-fertilisation of spatial and territorial development policies with EU Cohesion Policy and advises on how national/regional spatial and territorial development policy perspectives can be better reflected in Cohesion Policy and other policies at the EU scale.


RESSI (Regional strategies for sustainable and inclusive territorial development – Regional interplay and EU dialogue)

Governance systems in Europe are changing to become less top down, more flexible, and involve a wider group of public and private organisations. This raises questions of interdependencies across levels of governance, and amongst public and private actors, institutions and organisations. Therefore, there is a need for closer cooperation with a widening range of public, private, voluntary sector and citizen-led organisations. However, it is unclear how this new, cooperative and lean governance regime can be brought into existence. RESSI examines four European study territories, each of which is characterised by particular governance tensions in relation to the allocation of territorial development responsibilities and to the specific characteristics of actors involved and issues at stake. In each of these contexts there is a growing need for territorial development strategies involving a variety of stakeholders within and beyond existing administrative territories. These strategies should complement existing regional development policies with a multi-level, as well as functional, approach to sustainable and inclusive territorial development. RESSI can provide insights into how to promote sustainable and inclusive regional development strategies, identifying good practices in delivering economic development policies and well-being, identifying appropriate structures and new forms of cooperation and dialogue especially in non-metropolitan areas

ACTAREA (Thinking and Planning in Areas of Territorial Cooperation)

Based on the Swiss experience in defining the so-called ‘action area’, this project examines the added value and potentials of new forms of cooperation areas. The main outcome should be a comparative analysis of existing cooperation areas in Europe, practical guidance on how to implement and coordinate the implementation of policies in these areas in relation to existing levels of governance, including examples of existing good practices. Policy questions addressed include identifying in which areas of intervention and political context do “action areas” make sense in the light of polycentric territorial development and the main topics to be dealt with in these “action areas”. The project also addresses how these areas become operational in practical terms and in policy implementation and what governance support they need. The ‘action area’ approach leads to much discussion on the potentials, advantages, risks and challenges when compared to existing political-administrative entities and also raises issues of implementation and how they link to existing territorial administrative areas and governance structures.


Agenda and practical info

  • Acrobat Document | 374KB

Session 1 ESPON - Nicolas Rossignol ESPON EGTC

  • Acrobat Document | 1363KB

Session 1 SRADDET - Anna Geppert Xavier Desjardins

  • Acrobat Document | 807KB

Session 2.1 Nouvelle-Aquitaine - Marie Demolin

  • Acrobat Document | 1165KB

Session 2.1 Ireland - Paul Hogan

  • Acrobat Document | 613KB

Session 2.1 Luxembourg - Frederick-Christoph Richters

  • Acrobat Document | 343KB

Session 2.2 COMPASS - Kai Bohme

  • Acrobat Document | 720KB

Session 2.2 ReSSI - David Hope

  • Acrobat Document | 1147KB

Session 2.2 ACTAREA - Erik Gloerson

  • Acrobat Document | 1568KB

Regional and national spatial planning

  • Acrobat Document | 4625KB

Final Article

  • Acrobat Document | 581KB