Comparative Analysis of Territorial Governance and Spatial Planning Systems in Europe

Theme: Spatial Planning and Territorial Governance


In the late 1990’s the European Commission published the ‘EU Compendium on Spatial Planning Systems and Policies’ which covered the 15 EU member states at that time. Since then, the EU has expanded to 28 member states and there have been significant developments in pan-European territorial and cohesion policies. Territorial governance and spatial planning systems have now evolved to become one of the key components of integrated cross-sectoral development strategies and policy delivery mechanisms among ESPON member and partner states. For further reading please see below.

Policy questions

  • What changes in territorial governance and spatial planning systems and policies can be observed across Europe over the past 15 years? Can these changes be attributed to the influence of macro-level EU directives and policies?
  • What are best-practices for cross-fertilisation of spatial and territorial development policies with EU Cohesion Policy?
  • How can national/regional spatial and territorial development policy perspectives be better reflected in Cohesion Policy and other policies at the EU scale?

Policy brief and spin-offs


  • TU Delft, NL (lead contractor)
  • ARL, DE
  • Institute of Geography, Polish Academy of Science, PL
  • Nordregio, SE
  • Politecnico di Torino, IT
  • Center for Economic & Regional Studies, HU
  • Spatial Foresight, LU
  • University College Dublin, IE
  • ÖIR, AT
  • Omgeving, BE
  • National Institute of Geophysics, BG
  • University of Thessali, GR
  • Czech technical University, CZ
  • University of Tartu, EE
  • Anna Geppert, FR
  • ILS Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development, DE
  • Georgia Giannakourou, GR
  • London Southbank University, UK
  • Lithuanian Social Research Centre, LT
  • Architecture Project Ltd, MT
  • Centre for Geo. Studies, PT
  • Inst. Geography, SK
  • Ipop, SI
  • Mcrit, ES
  • Istanbul Technical University, TR

Project Support Team

  • Ann Pisman, Belgium (Flanders)
  • Romana Mynarikova, Germany
  • Blanka Bartol, Slovenia

Budget: € 869,700.00

Lifetime: June 2016 – May 2018


  • Inception delivery, 1 November 2016
  • Interim delivery, 1 May 2017
  • Draft Final delivery, 15 January 2018
  • Final delivery, 31 May 2018

Contact: Gavin Daly (Senior Project Expert) [email protected], György Alfoldy (Financial Expert) [email protected]

Further information: the full description of this applied research activity is available below.


ESPON COMPASS_Final_Report.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 12.54MB

ESPON COMPASS_Annex-Comparative_Tables.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 11.28MB

ESPON COMPASS_Annex-Methodology.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 2.48MB

ESPON COMPASS_Annex-Additional_countries.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 1.88MB

ESPON COMPASS_Annex-Case_Studies.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 5.43MB

ESPON COMPASS_Annex-Europeanisation.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 5.69MB

ESPON COMPASS-Final Report - Volume 3 & 4_Questionaires.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 52KB