The European Spatial Planning Observation Network ESPON 2013

The “European observation network on territorial development and cohesion” aims to support decision making at EU level through the provision of appropriate territorial evidence, as well as the exchange of information and experience on spatial planning between Member-States and research institutions. The ESPON 2013 Operational Programme for the 2007-2013 programming period was approved by the European Commission on 7 November 2007 to facilitate policy formulation with respect to the objectives of territorial cohesion and the balanced development of all European areas through:

  • the provision of comparable data, evidence, analysis and scenarios on spatial dynamics and
  • the documentation of territorial potentials and capital for the development of regions and other areas,
    thus contributing towards European territorial cooperation, competitiveness, as well as balanced and sustainable development.

In brief, the Programme’s five priority axes are:

(a) Applied research on territorial development, competitiveness and cohesion: Evidence on territorial trends, perspectives and policy impacts
(b) Targeted analysis based on user demand: European perspective to development of different types of territories
(c) Scientific platform and tools: Territorial indicators and data, analytical tools and scientific support
(d) Capitalisation, ownership and participation: Capacity building, dialogue and networking
(e) Technical assistance, analytical support and communication.

Research projects are carried out by Transnational Project Groups, selected through specified competition procedures. Eligible bodies are all Local, Regional and National Public authorities and Bodies Governed by Public Law as well as private partners from the 27 Member-States of the EU and the neighbouring states Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

Further information can be found at the official website of the Programme as well as from the Department of Town Planning and Housing, which was appointed by a Council of Ministers Decision as the National Contact Point for Cyprus for this Programme.

Programming Period