Transactions Journal Cover

Transactions of the Association of European Schools of Planning is an international, bi-annual, peer-reviewed, open-access journal, produced and owned by the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP). It is free of charge to submit a paper and to publish in the Transactions of the Association of European Schools of Planning. Accepted papers are accessible online, to everyone, for free. All papers are subject to a double-blind peer-review process.

Published: 01-12-2020

Preface

  • This issue of Transactions of AESOP brings together a series of papers which reflect on the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP) document which was adopted by the then member states of the European Union (EU) in Potsdam, Germany in 1999, and is published shortly after the adoption in December 2020 of a new EU Territorial Agenda 2030 document under the recent German EU Presidency. It features an introduction and five original papers which explore the legacies of the ESDP and the present and future prospects for European territorial development and urban policy.

Articles

  • The European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP) (CEC, 1999) was a policy document produced and agreed jointly by EU governments during the 1990s with the support of the European Commission (Faludi and Waterhout, 2002). It was intended as an indicative framework to guide spatially significant public policy making in the EU at all spatial scales from the Community level, to the regional and local levels. A non-binding policy statement, the ESDP sought to guide institutions in the exercise of existing competences which influence spatial development and its application was to be through...

  • By definition sovereign, States find themselves inescapably in a situation of permanent competition. Moreover, given that an inherent quality of sovereignty is to exclude obeying whomever else, nobody, neither individuals nor institutions can arbitrate between them. This being the case, in the international arena power becomes the one and only currency. It seems basic even to each State’s survival: in this endless competition, the sustainability of each depends on the capacity to maintain a sufficient level of power.

    (Badie, 2018, p.44 translated by the author)

    ...
  • The ambitions of the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP) in relation to the development of European Union space seem to have been dissolved in the notion of territory which has become a key word in EU Cohesion Policy. The term ‘territory’ has been the subject of many debates, from attempts at definitions, to its rejection as a marker of a renunciation of the aspiration to reflect on, and adjust, development to spatial realities. Based on a constructivist definition of the concept of territory, this article argues that it is not possible to separate territory as a ‘container’...

  • The adoption of the Territorial Agenda 2030, some 20 years after the adoption of the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP) (European Commission, 1999) presents an opportunity to both look back on what has been achieved and envisage developments for the next 20 years. This paper starts with some personal reflections on the aspirations put forward in the ESDP and some key achievements. The main part of the paper then concentrates on what might be done differently over the next 20 years. It is argued that because the world has changed substantially since 1999 it is time to breathe...

  • The impact of European policies strongly depends on their interpretation and application by domestic actors. This is especially true in fields such as European spatial planning and development, which are characterised by informal agreements and fragmented competences. Consequently, EU policies only gain importance if domestic actors consider them relevant and establish links to their respective areas of influence. The European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP) is often regarded as a success story in European spatial planning and is relatively well known among planners across Europe....

  • A vast literature has investigated processes of spatial reconfiguration, contributing to the emergence of a ‘new urban question’ that not only reframes traditional urban issues but also challenges our understanding of what cities are today. Be that as it may, the ‘European city model’ still remains current, particularly with regards to the institutional role of cities as they are increasingly considered to be relevant policy actors. This urban paradox gives new emphasis to the urban regional scale and urgently calls for the two dimensions to be connected both in terms of territorial...