The role of small and medium sized towns

ESPON study 1.4.1

Thematic Scope and context

Small and medium sized towns play an important role in regional development. In that respect a number of important issues arise:

  • Strengthening small and medium sized towns in rural areas as focal points for regional development and promotion of their networking
  • Maintenance of basic supply of services and public transport in small and medium sized towns
  • Promotion and support of partnership-based cooperation between small and medium sized towns at a national and transnational level through joint projects and mutual exchange of experience.

Many aspects have to various degrees determining impact on quality of life and future prosperity in small and medium sized towns.

It is important to clarify the diversity of roles played by small and medium sized towns locally. Many of them may seem insignificant at a European or even at a national level, whereas at regional and local level they may be of reasonably significant importance, like main towns being decision centres on islands or in more remote or peripheral areas.

Lead Partner

Austrian Institute for Regional Studies and Spatial Planning (ÖIR).
Detailed information on the contracted project team under Transnational Project Groups.


1.4.1 - Final Report

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1st Interim Report

  • Acrobat Document | 1.55MB


  • Acrobat Document | 8.18MB

Terms of Reference

  • Acrobat Document | 25KB