"ESPON 2.1.1" - Territorial Impacts of EU Transport and TEN Policies

European Spatial Planning Observation Network

Räumliche Auswirkungen der EU-Verkehrs- und TEN-Politiken

ESPON 2.1.1 is part of Priority 2 "Policy Impact Projects" and of Measure 2.1 "The Territorial Effects of Sector Policies".

Time Schedule: August 2002 - August 2004
Applicant: European Community INTERREG III Community Initiative - Art. 53
Homepage of ESPON
Final Report 


Project Management

The ESPON 2.1.1 Project involved 7 partners and the project co-ordination has been carried out by the Institute for Regional Research, Kiel University (Project Leader: Prof. Dr. Johannes Bröcker).

The Consortium

In building up the trans-national partnership, the partners were selected with respect to their accumulated experience in national and European policy studies on the assessment and forecasting of territorial impacts of transport policies and the development of territorial cohesion and accessibility indicators. The partnership exists of seven spatial research institutes of five countries: Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Objectives of the ESPON 2006 Programme

Up to now and in contrast to the field of regional (economic) and cohesion policy, where some research capacity of European scope is already established, knowledge and research in the field of spatial development is still nationally oriented in the majority of cases. This shortcoming is based on a lack of resources for research covering the whole EU territory and, even more important, for taking a comprehensive view from an EU-wide perspective. However, the spatial development of a region not only depends on national policies but also is affected by the integration of the EU as well as by the EU policies, in particular the regional and cohesion policy, leading to differing economic and social conditions across areas of the European territory. Spatial development addresses the balance of all areas and regions of a territory considering all spatially relevant factors stretching from economic to cultural, from natural to social. That approach was elaborated by the preparation of the 'European Spatial Development Perspective' (ESDP) of the European Union.

The ESPON 2006 Programme follows the objective of contributing to the improvement of EU policies in terms of their spatial effects as it was formulated in the ESDP. Hence, ESPON will specify the implications of the ESDP policy orientations on transnational-national spaces and will develop orientations for instruments and institutions, necessary for a better perception and application of the ESDP policy options by policy actors at all levels from the EU to the local level. ESPON will contribute to a better understanding of the enhancement of the spatial dimension of the Structural Funds, Cohesion policy and other Community and national sector policies and to the improvement of the co-ordination of territorially relevant decisions, taken at different levels and in different sector policies. In addition ESPON will add value to existing national research by taking a clear European and trans-national focus and improving the understanding of the diversity of the European territory and territorial development. ESPON will bridge the gap between policy makers, administrators and scientist and will create a network of the scientific European community in the fragmented field of spatial development.

Hence, all projects launched under the ESPON 2006 Programme shall follow an integrated approach and cover a wide range of issues such as: (i) identifying the decisive factors relevant for a more polycentric European territory; (ii) developing territorial indicators and typologies capable of identifying and measuring development trends; (iii) developing tools supporting diagnoses of principal structural difficulties as well as potentialities; (iv) Investigating territorial impacts of sectoral and structural polices and (v) developing integrated tools in support of a balanced and polycentric spatial development.

ESPON 2.1.1: 'Territorial Impacts of EU Transport and TEN Policies'

Action 2.1.1 is part of Priority 2, 'Policy Impact Projects', of the ESPON 2006 Programme and concentrates on the evaluation of territorial effects of the trans-European transport, energy and telecommunication networks (TEN). The major question under this action is how far the TENs provide the right answers for a territorial development as described in the ESDP. The ESDP stresses the need for an integrated approach for improved transport links, makes reference to the polycentric development model, highlights the efficient and sustainable use of infrastructure and refers to the importance of the diffusion of innovation and knowledge. This integrated approach should be followed in analysing transport and telecommunication networks. Any analysis should take into account the principle of territorial balance, the particular problems of peripheral regions and the improvement of secondary networks. The objectives of ESPON 2.1.1 are (i) to develop methods for the assessment of territorial impacts of EU transport and TEN policies; (ii) to develop territorial indicators, typologies and concepts, establish database and map-making facilities and conduct empirical statistical data analyses; (iii) to analyse territorial trends, potentials and problems deriving from EU transport and TEN policies at different scales and in different parts of an enlarged European territory; (iv) to show the influence of transport, telecommunications and energy policies on spatial development at relevant scales; (v) to show the interplay between EU and sub-EU spatial policies and best examples for implementation; (vi) to recommend further policy developments in support of territorial cohesion and a polycentric and better balanced EU territory and (vii) to find appropriate instruments to improve the spatial co-ordination of EU and national sector policies and the ESDP.