Use of Regional Typologies within the ESPON 2013 Programme


Regional types are receiving particular attention by policy makers due to policy developments in relation to EU Cohesion Policy, the Treaty of Lisbon and the description of the European aim of territorial cohesion. This counts in particular for the types of territories mentioned in the Lisbon Treaty §174: urban/metropolitan regions; rural regions; sparsely populated regions; regions in industrial transition; cross-border regions; mountainous regions; islands and coastal regions.

During 2009-2010 the ESPON Programme carried out a project under P3 on this topic which delivered a set of regional typologies and developed some recommendations on the use of these typologies. Following the development of new regional typologies by the European Commission services and in order to support consensus and consistency at European level, an amended set of regional typologies has been decided by the ESPON MC in November 2010.

Regional Typologies

The 9 regional typologies, which ongoing and future ESPON applied research projects and ESPON publications could make use of for analytical purposes, if relevant, are:

1. urban-rural;
2. metropolitan regions;
3. border regions;
4. islands regions;
5. sparsely populated regions;
6. outermost regions;
7. mountainous regions;
8. coastal regions;
9. regions in industrial transition.

The related Guidance Document provides background information regarding the development of these 9 regional typologies, guidance on how the regional typologies should be understood and used within P1 projects and some examples of good practice. The xls-file includes data and metadata for the nine typologies. Finally, links to Commission documents are given that describe one or more of the typologies.