chapter  1
25 Pages

Spatial planning in Europe: The interplay between knowledge and policy in an enlarged EU


Introduction The overall aim of this book is to explore the interplay between knowledge and policy development1 in the evolving landscape of spatial planning in Europe, within the context of the two most recent enlargements of the European Union (EU). The geographical focus of this book is appropriately centred on Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), a spatial planning environment that has undergone significant changes as a consequence of EU accession and a relatively unknown planning terrain when compared to North-western European casework in mainstream Anglo-American academic journals. In this regard, this region is taken to be a particularly useful context for the exploration of new territorial development issues, new planning ideas and approaches, new actors, and new forms of engagement and arenas of action. The context provided by European spatial planning, including the drafting process of the Territorial Agenda, the consolidation of the European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion (ESPON, formerly European Spatial Planning Observation Network) and the publication of the Green Paper on Territorial Cohesion, has led to the intersection of new ideas, data and argument, and to the emergence of new arenas at both EU and Member State levels. At the same time, the complex processes of institutional change and organizational learning characterizing the CEE domestic contexts have stimulated new and evolving territorial governance arrangements and processes of policy development, which in turn influence European spatial planning. The outcomes of these EU and domestic level responses to the eastwards enlargement merit an exploration of the interplay of knowledge and policy development. In order to do this, the rationale for the volume draws on a number of theories and case studies, which form the basis for the elaboration of a theoretical framework to explore how emergent ideas and approaches translate into the organizational and institutional forces that shape or frame spatial policy. In so doing, we will examine some of the evolving challenges with respect to territorial development, cohesion and spatial planning in the EU in light of enlargement and, more generally, within the framework of the ongoing processes of Europeanization, internationalization and globalization.