26 June 2018

"Supporting the establishment of the Riga Metropolitan Area Action Plan"

With current stakeholders of the ESPON Inspire Policy Making with Territorial Evidence "SPIMA Targeted Analysis" acting as ambassadors in a peer-to-peer learning exercise, the workshop "Supporting the establishment of the Riga Metropolitan Area Action Plan" provided a critical review and advice on ongoing policy developments of Riga Metropolitan planning approach. 

The discussions were held on the basis of the results of this targeted analysis and the experience of invited stakeholders in their application. 

You can find the supporting slides of the discussions at the workshop such as the presentation on "Spatial Planning in Metropolitan Areas: Perspectives from SPIMA" by Peter Austin, Dep. of Urban Development, City of Oslo & Lead Stakeholder of SPIMA and the "Keynote on ongoing policy developments of Rīga Metropolitan planning approach according to the ESPON SPIMA method" by Edouard Fleury at https://www.espon.eu/peer-learning-riga

 #ESPONevidence #ESPONSPIMA #Riga #Latvia #planning

25 June 2018

Citizen science to monitor landscape changes

Regional Studies Association (RSA) Regions e-Zine

As part of the launching strategy of Regional Studies Association (RSA) Regions e-Zine #RSAeZine we are preparing a number of videos highlighting sections, formats, writing styles, sharing options, licensing etc. . These brief promotional videos will be shown in forthcoming events organized by RSA from China to New Zealand. .You can now read the first issue at https://lnkd.in/exUcSTg and check the forthcoming RSA events at https://lnkd.in/dyqUwXX

22 June 2018

2018 RSA Annual Conference, Lugano

The UK's rapid return to city centre living By Paul Swinney & Andrew Carter

Source and all credits:

Paul Swinney & Andrew Carter

A generation ago many UK city centres were dreary and dilapidated places, with a reputation for crime. Now, they are among the most desirable areas of the country to live. What's changed?
Take a walk through the centre of cities like Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham and you will see smart new high-rise apartments, office blocks and the ever-present cranes building still more.
At street level are cafes, bars, restaurants and gyms serving their often young and affluent customers - the people who increasingly define these areas.
Only 30 years ago inner city populations that had grown rapidly in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries had dwindled - the residents leaving cramped, urban housing for more spacious suburbs and new towns.
The reversal that has taken place - especially in the north of England and the Midlands - demonstrates a dramatic urban renaissance and a shift in how people want to live.
Since the start of the 21st Century the population of many town and city centres has doubled in size, while the population of the UK has increased by 10%. (Full list at bottom of story).

How can companies interpret the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in a context relevant for their business and value chain?

Twitter for scientists: Why & How

Reblogged from Spatial Foresight: Why Territorial Foresight Matters for Policy-Makers

June 9, 2018, Frank Holstein
A better understanding of possible future territorial balances or imbalances can support policy-making processes to better adapt to future developments and needs. Territorial Foresight supports gaining better insights on territorial consequences of policy choices with broad ownership among different stakeholders.

Source and all credits:

21 June 2018

Building the next generation of research on territorial development: ESPON Scientific Conference 2018

Main source and all credits: ESPON EGTC https://www.espon.eu/participate/calls/open-calls/espon-scientific-conference-2018-call-abstracts

Three topics

Three topics have been identified as common challenges for improving and further developing the support to policy makers with addressing the territorial dimension in policy development: a) territorial interrelations; b) integrated territorial development; c) new data sources.
A call for abstracts is looking for papers that describe, explain and communicate new concepts, methods, indicators, typologies, tools, maps and models that have been developed and used in relation to one of these three topics. In addition, we are also looking for contributions that critically reflect upon the traditional way of doing territorial research in relation to the three topics: are we asking the right questions? 

a)    Territorial interrelations

Key for this topic are methodologies that are able to capture territorial interrelations, functional areas and territorial development beyond static administrative units. An increasing number of cities and regions are working on the spatial development of cross-border and functional urban areas. Therefore, it is important to further strengthen the analytical, policy-making, monitoring and evaluation capacities for these areas. For this topic we are looking for papers that discuss an analytical tool or methodology that is able to capture territorial interrelations, functional areas and territorial development beyond static administrative units. Background information for this session can for example be found in the ESPON projects ACTAREA and CPS,

b)    Integrated territorial development

Key for this topic are methodologies that are able to monitor and measure integrated territorial development. Under the Cohesion Policy for 2014-2020 integrated territorial development has gained a new momentum. The European Commission has introduced new tools that can be used to implement territorial strategies in an integrated manner by combining several funds and addressing the development of a territory across sectors. For this topic we are looking for papers that discuss a methodology able to measure and monitor the impact of integrated investments on the development of the territory across sectors. Background information for this session can be found in the ESPON Policy Brief on Indicators for integrated territorial and urban development.

c)    New data sources

Key for this topic are methodologies that are using new data sources and tools for territorial analysis. The use of traditional data such as official administrative statistics takes in general long to be published and used and does not cover all topics of interest for territorial cohesion. Moreover, increasingly new data sources are being discovered and used for observing territorial development trends, such as data and information from analysing internet activities or social media. For this topic we are looking for papers that discuss new data sources and tools that have been developed and used for territorial analysis. Background information for this session can for example be found in a feasibility study on analytical tools based on big data; CityBench and TERCO.

Call for abstracts

Important dates

  • 31 July 2018: Deadline for abstracts to be submitted
  • End August 2018: Notification of acceptance
  • End September 2018: Publication of the conference programme
  • 5 November 2018: Deadline for papers and slides of the selected abstracts
  • 14 November 2018: ESPON 2020 Scientific Conference
  • Submit your abstract here

Rethinking Urban Sprawl: Moving Towards Sustainable Cities

2018 RSA Europe's Socio-Spatial Dynamics Summer College, Cagliari, Sardinia

Novel Approaches to Sustainable and Inclusive Development (4th-7th September 2018). I would highly appreciate if you could share this announcement with your fellow colleagues.

The Regional Studies Association Europe's Socio-Spatial Dynamics Summer College will create a fertile environment to tackle these challenges, training students and young researchers to collaborate and work across disciplines. The RSA Europe's Summer College has been established to focus on how ideas, theories, methods and data can be leveraged across disciplines for the purpose of scientific advancement. Applications are welcome from PhD candidates and post-docs who have been awarded a PhD in the past 5 years, from a variety of disciplines and institutional backgrounds.

  • To develop new networks beyond Economic Geography and Regional Science and/or Studies.
  • To explore collaborations at the intersection of disciplines.
  • To push the frontier of scientific inquiry in one field by incorporation of ideas and theories from others.
  • To connect young talented researchers from various disciplinary backgrounds.
  • To offer participants valuable networking opportunities with peers and also with course tutors.
  • To offer participants training in methods and skills and the opportunity to discuss and develop their understanding of, and contribution to, theoretical advancement.
  • To encourage and pursue the development of future leading researchers.

All documents and the video should be submitted by Monday, 25th June 2018.  If you have any problems with your application, please email klara.sobekova@regionalstudies.org.
Click here to find out more about the application 

The registration fee will be 150€ which covers accommodation, meals and social activities.

Are you an Early Career researching urban and rural wellbeing, First Nations economies or global value chains for regional sustainability? The 3rd RSA Australasia Conference 2019 has a call out for an EC plenary speaker

ESPON - Survey to capture the provision of cross-border public services in Europe


19 June 2018


INTERREG ANNUAL EVENT 2018 - Now on stage and live to all corners of the world via https://lnkd.in/eHcfdYE Ilona Raugze, Director of ESPON Inspire Policy Making with Territorial Evidence and Kai Böhme, Director of Spatial Foresight discussing territorial coherence. One of the key messages by Ilona Raugze - “territorial development is shaped by interdependencies among places.” #Interreg2018 #ESPON #ESPONevidence 

(photo credits: https://twitter.com/Sudoe5, Interreg Southwest, Santander, Spain)

18 June 2018


Regional Studies Special Issue / RSA Winter Conference 2018, 15-16 November, London.
Organisers: John Harrison (Loughborough University), Daniel Galland (Norwegian University of Life Sciences) and Mark Tewdwr-Jones (Newcastle University)

Planning Regional Futures
Since Regional Studies was founded in 1967, planning and planners have been central to understanding cities and regions. In the first ever issue of the journal the opening four papers all had “regional plan” or “regional planning” in their title. Yet asRegional Studies celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2017, planning could be seen to face powerful challenges – professionally, intellectually, practically – in ways arguably not seen before.
Recent developments and trends have raised fundamental questions about the ‘p’ word (planning) in academic and policy circles. We can point to how planning is no longer solely the domain of professional planners but has been opened up to a diverse group of actors who are involved in place-making and place-shaping. We can observe how the study of cities and regions traditionally had a disciplinary home in planning schools (geography departments, and the like) but this link with place and space disciplines is being steadily eroded as research increasingly takes place in and through interdisciplinary research institutes. We can point to the advent of real-time modelling of cities and regions, and the challenges this poses for the type of long-term perspective that planning has traditionally afforded at a time, and in a society, where immediacy and short-termism are the watchwords. We can reflect on ‘regional planning’ and its mixed record of achievement. And we can also recognise how the link between ‘region’ and ‘planning’ has been decoupled as alternative regional (and other spatial) approaches to planning have emerged in conjunction with more networked and relational forms of place-making, and the re-imagination of the urban and the region in the current period.
This Special Issue is an intellectual call-to-arms to engage planners (and those who engage with planning) to critically explore research agendas at the intersection of planning and regional studies. More specifically, our aim is to move beyond the narrow confines of existing debate by providing a forum for debating what planning is, and should be, for in regional studies.
Proposals are therefore invited that take-up the intellectual and practical challenge of planning urban and regional futures, as well as more provocative think-pieces that challenge or defend the foundations upon which the planning tradition in regional studies is constructed.
Potential topics/themes of interest might include, but are not limited to:
  • Theoretical interventions and/or empirical studies which seek to advance new ways of (re)conceptualising regional (and other forms of spatial) planning;
  • Papers which seek to connect the changing dynamics of planning and regions to broader processes of political, economic and societal change;
  • Examination of the causes, consequences and implications of different forms of agreement-based policies or ‘contractualism’ in planning cities and regions;
  • Studies which seek to interrogate the link between planning and regional studies;
  • Those that question the scope and meaning of ‘regional’ in planning regional futures;
  • International comparative perspectives on planning city and regional futures;
  • Perspectives on the changing institutional context(s) in which planning and work on planning urban and regional futures is increasingly conducted;
  • Research which positions current approaches to planning in regional studies within a historical context and/or horizon-scanning papers outlining a next stage in this evolution;
  • Accounts which avail new insights into the implications for cities and regions of when and where planning now occurs, and who or what is planning and determining urban and regional futures.

Submission instructions
Please send your proposal to the lead guest editor, John Harrison (j.harrison4@lboro.ac.uk), copied to Daniel Galland (daniel.galland@nmbu.no) and Mark Tewdwr-Jones (mark.tewdwr-jones@newcastle.ac.uk), by 29 June 2018.

Words of the day

“Don't waste time on what's not important. Don't get sucked into the drama. Get on with it: don't dwell on the past. Be a big person; be generous of spirit; be the person you'd admire.” – Allegra Huston

EU supported Integrated Territorial and Urban Development Strategies 2014-2020

The 2014-2020 Cohesion Policy provides Member States with new opportunities to support sustainable urban development and other integrated territorial strategies. 

Emphasis is put on the integrated nature of these, tackling the main urban and territorial challenges in cross-cutting ways to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of individual actions.


Credits: DG JRC and DG REGIO under the umbrella of the 

Territorial Cohesion Post 2020: Integrated Territorial Development for B...

#Freeaccess to Editors’ Pick articles from all five Regional Studies Association journals


17 June 2018

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought

:::17.06.2018 is the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought:::
Throughout the past months we have been researching the roles of spatial planning practice in halting and reversing land degradation due to urban expansion and soil sealing. Here some open access resources on sustainable land management:

1) presentation https://lnkd.in/eQbe8dF and

2) original academic article https://lnkd.in/g5pHpMb .

If you are interested in contribute check the ESPON Inspire Policy Making with Territorial Evidence call for tenders on Sustainable land-use https://lnkd.in/ej3cqAU

#SDGs #landdegradation #ESPON #impactresearch #territorialevidence #ESPONevidence #2018WDCD

Ilona Raugze, Director ESPON-EGTC speaking at the High Level Roundtable on integrated territorial development at the World Urban Forum (WUF9)

13 June 2018

First Peer-learning workshop bringing together stakeholders of #ESPONSPIMA

First Peer-learning workshop bringing together stakeholders of and local - national policy makers in Riga to support the establishment of Riga Metropolitan Area Action Plan

Source: https://twitter.com/ESPON_Programme/status/1006898834121809920


12 June 2018

Milestone achieved: 200 citations

measured by Google Scholar

3 most cited articles

Content, context and co-creation: Digital challenges in destination branding with references to Portugal as a tourist destination

Place branding as a strategic spatial planning instrument

Place branding in strategic spatial planning: A content analysis of development plans, strategic initiatives and policy documents for Portugal 2014-2020

11 June 2018

Re-Blogged:The right messaging should be the cornerstone of your research communications strategy

Source and all credits:


Story example #1

Consider the example of Anytown High School. As a result of adopting such a programme, there was a drastic reduction in bullying cases brought forth by students and parents. 

Story example #2

Consider the story of a particular student who personifies the numerous young men and women whose lives are ruined by bullying. This person’s life has been negatively impacted: the abuse suffered led to him dropping out of school and propelled a substance abuse issue that still hasn’t been resolved.

Data/memorable statistics

Many school administrators don’t realise school bullying is a problem. In fact, according to our survey, X per cent of school administrators don’t think it is a problem in their school, while X per cent of students say they have been victimised by bullying. Programmes that incorporate education about bullying into all school activities have reported an X percent reduction in school bullying cases from one year to the next.


Imagine you are trying to lose weight. You need to check the scale to see if you are making progress. Unfortunately, many school administrators don’t measure their progress in terms of reducing bullying incidents on campus. How can they know if progress is being made?

Bold statements

Our research shows that students’ increased awareness about what bullying entails leads to a reduction in cases and higher graduation rates.
It is not necessary to have every type of proof point (story, data, metaphor, or bold statement) represented under each message. But you do want to think about having 3-5 crisp and compelling proof points to share for each key message. Once completed, analyse your key messages and proof points to identify the one overarching theme. This is that short phrase you want to be known for and that can serve as your hook to capture audiences.
Highlight this information – the overarching theme, key messages, and related proof points – on a one-page document. You could imagine putting the overarching theme at the top and maybe graphically illustrating this by marking a rectangle around this phrase. Each key message can be graphically represented to show its importance, and maybe the proof points are represented as bullet points.
Having this document will give you clarity about what to communicate to your different audiences, whether these are journalists, attendees at a conference, or colleagues at your institution, among others. If there are multiple individuals involved in the project, the messaging map allows you to communicate in unison. It is the song sheet you are handing to the choir so everyone is in rhythm and literally on the same page.
The message map also serves as a guide for ongoing communications activities. For example, the overarching theme can be the title of a new blog series and used in social media bios. The key messages could correlate to social media content that you are regularly disseminating, media pitches, email marketing campaigns, and talks at conferences.
You don’t go on a job interview without preparing. Students should study before taking an exam. Ditto, you should take the time to articulate your messages if you want communications around your research to resonate with targeted audiences.
This article gives the views of the author, and not the position of the LSE Impact Blog, nor of the London School of Economics. Please review our comments policy if you have any concerns on posting a comment below.
Featured image credit: Jonathan Simcoe, via Unsplash (licensed under a CC0 1.0 license).
About the author
Kevin Anselmo is the Founder of Experiential Communications, a consultancy that helps academics and researchers communicate their work effectively. Learn more about his Research Translation Writing Course.

Video message by Ilona Raugze Director of ESPON EGTC

EU Structural and Investment Funds 2014-2020: links with other EU programmes

The Planning System of the Iberian Peninsula: Past, EU Integration, EU Cohesion Policy and Cooperation

From Selling the City to City Branding. A Critical Perspective

Investigating the components of territorial governance

Territorial Governance in Strategic Spatial Planning Processes

Key elements of governance in strategic spatial plan making and plan-implementation

Special issue in European Planning Studies Spatial planning and place branding: rethinking relations and synergies

Introduction:  Kristof Van Assche, Raoul Beunen and Eduardo Oliveira  Rethinking planning-branding relations: an introduction . https:...