DeTeC - Detecting Territorial Potentials and Challenges

Thematic scope

Regions in Europe are no longer isolated entities but are linked to a larger territorial context that opens up possibilities for utilising new and underused territorial potential for the development of regions and cities. Understanding the position of one’s region or city in the larger territorial context and searching for potentials and comparative advantages is a necessity in the accelerating globalisation and competition.

Awareness and openness for including a European dimension in strategy building and policy making is therefore of major importance in developing new regional policy approaches. This project is expected to meet the demand for analytical methods and approaches and to support local and regional practitioners and policy makers looking for ways to detect territorial potential involving a European perspective and to turn challenges into potential.

Please read more about the main research areas and main results envisaged on the next page.

Scientific support to policy development

  • The project shall provide practical guidance on how to utilise ESPON knowledge to detect territorial potential and turning challenges into potential deriving from their larger territorial context. It shall include concrete cases of good practices in utilising territorial potential, based on benchmarking, comparison with similar regions/cities.
  • The target group for the project is practitioners and policy makers, first and foremost at regional and municipal level, which will be provided with an overview and guidance in their day-to-day work. The general guidance on analytical approaches and methods will also be relevant for practitioners and policy makers involved in development considerations in cross-border, national and transnational settings.

Lead Partner

Nordregio, Nordic Center for Spatial Development, Sweden

Detailed information on the contracted project team can be found under Transnational Project Groups

Budget: € 349 546.00

Project’s lifetime: September 2012 - March 2014

Delivery of Reports

Inception Report: 15 February 2013

Interim Report: 30 June 2013

Draft Final Report: 31 January 2014

Final Report: 31 March 2014


Reports will be published once they are approved by the ESPON Monitoring Committee

More information

Please contact the Project Expert at the ESPON Coordination Unit:

Peter BILLING, e-mail: [email protected] 

Main areas of analysis

Key areas of analysis to address during the implementation of this project are:

  • Review and inventory of analytical approaches as well as of both qualitative and quantitative methods supporting the detection and utilization of territorial potentials and challenges.
  • Testing and evaluation of a conceptual framework of analytical approaches and methods, set up as a guidance document, through carefully selected case studies by identifying and formulating criteria’s of good practices examples of successful and interesting implementations in utilising territorial potentials.
  • The case studies/regional laboratories are expected to provide concrete examples on how regions and cities can detect and utilise their territorial potential and/or deal with particular challenges including a European outlook and combining ESPON results with local/regional knowledge, i.e. stakeholders. The case studies will directly involve and engage practitioners and policy makers.

Main results envisaged

  • A Guidance/handbook for practitioners containing analytical approaches and methods for detecting territorial potential.
  • Development of a conceptual framework consisting of analytical approaches and methods as well as examples of good practices for detecting territorial potential involving a European perspective.
  • Case studies in form of regional laboratories involving practitioners.



Final Report

  • Acrobat Document | 1.93MB

Final interactive e-Handbook.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 112.84MB

An interactive handbook for policy-makers and practitioners on how to use ESPON knowledge at local and regional level.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 112.84MB

Draft Final Report

  • Acrobat Document | 2.10MB

Interim Report

  • Acrobat Document | 2.44MB

Inception Report

  • Acrobat Document | 820KB

Project specifications

  • Acrobat Document | 120KB