Call for Tender for ESPON Targeted Analysis

ESPON Targeted Analisys Projects aim at supporting the extended use of territorial evidence adding a European perspective to policy development at national, regional and local levels. These projects use ESPON evidence in concrete practise with the objective of directly contributing to informing policy decisions and territorial development strategies. These activities are a continuation of successful Targeted Analyses implemented within ESPON 2013.

Thinking and planning in areas of territorial cooperation

The service shall be based on the Swiss experience in defining the so-called “action areas”, explore the added value and potentials of new forms of cooperation areas defined by a functional approach or by political initiative in the light of policy aims related to polycentric and balanced territorial development. In particular it should analyse for which tasks and territorial/political context “action areas” do make sense in terms of territorial cooperation.


  • Swiss Federal Office for Spatial Development ARE (lead stakeholder)
  • Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, DE
  • International Spatial Development Commission "Bodensee (Lake Constance)", AT

Stakeholders needs

A key point of the TA will be to find out wherein the specificities of these “action spaces” lie. They do not have legally assigned rights or duties, they don’t have democratically legitimized competencies and are not always (or just partially) functional areas. This leads to the following key questions:

  • For which areas of intervention and political context do “action areas” make sense in the light of polycentric territorial development?
  • What are the main topics to be dealt with in these “action areas”?
  • How can these areas become operational in practical terms and in policy implementation?
  • How to support them in terms of governance in order to make them work and to ensure they will be useful in the future?
  • What are the potentials, advantages, risks and challenges if compared to existing political-administrative entities?
  • How can ideas and initiatives aimed at by the “actions areas” be implemented and how do they relate to “regular” administrative bodies and existing planning instruments?
  • What kind of spatially relevant tasks can (or must) be addressed in areas or regions that are not congruent with administrative boundaries? This includes “action areas” but other, more functional defined areas as well. What are the governance structures that enable or at least support common action in such larger regions?
  • Can/will cooperation regions like the Swiss “action areas” actually change territorial development and actors’ behaviour?

ESPON Projects Relevant for this Targeted Analysis

ESPON projects on polycentric development and governance will be very relevant to consider, as well as on FUAs and Small and Medium Sized Towns (SMESTO).

Moreover, previous ESPON projects that focused on urban-rural relations will be relevant, in particular the following: TERCO, TANGO, ULYSSES, BEST METROPOLISES, POLYCE, METROBORDER.


The maximum available budget for this contract is 250.000,00 Euro, exclusive of VAT but inclusive of all other taxes, disbursements, travel, accommodation and delivery costs.

Tendering documents for the Call

Terms of reference and annexes can be accessed free of charge at:
or by request at: [email protected] until 7 days before submission deadline.


Deadline for the submission of the offers is 09 September 2016 at 14:00 (CET - Central European Time).

More information


Additional Information - Version 2 September 2016

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