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Territorial Cohesion in the Context of Interregional and Transnational Cooperation


  • Stein Axel

    (Dept. 1. Regionalisation and Economic Spaces, Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning (IRS), Flakenstraße 28-31, 15537 Erkner, Germany)


Territorial cohesion can be traced back to the making of the European Spatial Development Perspective. Therefore, the experience gained with the application of this ‘mother document’ (Faludi in Krupa et al., 2008, p. 14) of integrative planning in Europe can contribute to the specification of territorial cohesion.This paper draws on experience from the Interreg IIIC project ProgreSDEC, covering local and regional authorities from Greece, Italy, and Spain cooperating with each other in interregional and transnational projects. It looks both at the vertical and horizontal dimensions of European integration and explains three aspects of territorial cohesion. Talking about growing awareness, it should be differentiated between awareness relating to European issues - such as the European territorial and institutional environment - to the quality of planning, and to the endogenous ‘territorial capital’. Key terms of European integrative planning are interpreted differently. The paper discusses the reading of ‘polycentricity’, ‘landscape’, and ‘governance’, in particular. Territorial governance can be looked at as an institutional approach to develop integrative planning in the context of territorial cohesion. This notably turns the attention to regions as the focus of integration, in terms of balancing sectoral approaches, bundling spacious networks, and handling the demands from different levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Stein Axel, 2010. "Territorial Cohesion in the Context of Interregional and Transnational Cooperation," European Spatial Research and Policy, De Gruyter Open, vol. 17(1), pages 5-22, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:vrs:eusprp:v:17:y:2010:i:1:p:5-22:n:1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Georgia Giannakourou, 2005. "Transforming spatial planning policy in Mediterranean countries: Europeanization and domestic change," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 319-331, January.
    2. Kohler-Koch, Beate, 2002. "European Networks and Ideas: Changing National Policies?," European Integration online Papers (EIoP), European Community Studies Association Austria (ECSA-A), vol. 6, April.
    3. Umberto Janin Rivolin & Andreas Faludi, 2005. "The hidden face of European spatial planning: innovations in governance," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 195-215, January.
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    EU; territorial cohesion; integrative planning;


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