Actions putting the Territorial Agenda into practice

The priorities spelled out in the Territorial Agenda 2030 need to be supported by actions from committed players. Only then can Territorial Agenda priorities and concerns over spatial inequalities and the transition towards a carbon/climate-neutral economy be addressed appropriately.

 

Application of the Territorial Agenda relies on informal multilevel cooperation between Member States, sub-national authorities, the European Commission, the European Parliament, the European Committee of the Regions, the European Economic and Social Committee, the European Investment Bank and other relevant players. Application of the Territorial Agenda would benefit from cooperation with those in charge of the Urban Agenda, the New Leipzig Charter, EU Cohesion and Rural Development Policy, the implementation of the EU Recovery Plan and the EU macro-regional and sea basin strategies.

 

Taken together, the actions should strengthen

  • multi-level governance;
  • place-based approaches;
  • coordinated sector policy territorial impacts and coherence;
  • cooperation between territories;
  • territorial cohesion at European level;
  • territorial cohesion at cross-border, transnational, inter- and intraregional level; and
  • Member State and neighbouring country contributions to territorial cohesion.

 

To inspire joint actions across Europe, pilot actions demonstrate, test and develop practices which contribute to achieving Territorial Agenda priorities. These actions mirror increasing recognition of the importance of place-based policies by showing how the territorial dimension of regional, national and European policies can be actively addressed.

 

They focus on learning, sharing best practices, joint working groups developing ways forward, or implementation. Everybody is encouraged to closely follow these actions, take inspiration and offer proposals for new actions. Actions addressing priorities of the Urban Agenda, New Leipzig Charter and Territorial Agenda can strengthen links between urban and territorial policies.

Dedicated actions in the making

 

In December 2020, when the Territorial Agenda will be agreed upon at a ministerial meeting, dedicated pilot actions will be launched. Below you can follow their evolution. The information is updated as the development of the pilot actions and partnerships take shape.

A future for lagging regions

A future for lagging regions: Fostering the implementation of spatial strategies

 

Counties and associations of adjacent municipalities play a decisive role for the economic development and the social well-being at regional level. They create economic, social and cultural centres and hubs ensuring services of general interest and quality of life outside large cities. They fulfill elementary supply functions for their surrounding regions.

 

Envisaged activities

The pilot action focuses on sparsely populated areas with limited access to public services and to economic and social opportunities.

Participating regions should ideally already have an integrated intermunicipal or supralocal development concept or a regional strategy that forms the basis for future-oriented measures. This could include CLLD-strategies or, where no sub-regional strategies exist, regional ERDF-strategies.

The pilot action accompanies the implementation of measures of strategic relevance to secure services of general interest and increase the quality of life. Participating regions should be ready to implement such measures between December 2020 and October 2023. Regions should also be ready to share their experiences of creating and implementing integrated supralocal development concepts and regional strategies with other regions participating in the pilot action and beyond.

 

Envisaged lessons / results

Answers to the questions:

  • How can spatial strategies be effectively put into force to shape local perspectives for lagging regions?
  • How can regional planning measures be effectively incorporated in sectoral planning activities and concepts in order to sustain the implementation of spatially relevant measures?

 

Lead stakeholder

German Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community

 

Indicative partners

Three German regions plus partners from other countries (ongoing discussions with France, Austria and Portugal). Additional partners from regional and sub-regional levels of other Member States are welcome to extend the partnership.

 

Resources

Under discussion. Please note that there is no funding available outside of Germany for regional implementation actions. Therefore, regional measures with already secured funding are welcome to participate or new measures with funding from e.g. national schemes. Travel and meeting expenses of European partner regions with regards to joint working and sharing of knowledge may however be covered by the pilot action’s coordinator.

 

Time planning

The partnership shall be established until autumn 2020, so that the pilot action can start in December 2020.

 

More information

If you are interested and want to know more about this partnership, please contact us.

 

 

Understanding how sector policies shape spatial (im)balances

Understanding how sector policies shape spatial imbalances: Territorial Impact Assessment (TIA)s

 

The Territorial Agenda 2030 aims to address inequalities between places and people and advocates for a future for all places. This pilot action contributes particularly to two Territorial Agenda 2030 priorities: i) Balanced Europe and ii) Integration beyond borders.

This pilot action aims to create a better understanding of the policies’ effects on territories to better design future policies that are place sensitive and address more precisely the needs of communities and citizens for a more balanced Europe. The whole rationale aims to develop and test a (new) methodology that serves this purpose, rather than implement a number of TIAs across different territories and compare their outcomes.

The pilot action builds on three innovative ideas. First, the focus of the TIA starts from the characteristics and needs of the territory and common/agreed development goals (Territorial Agenda goals/principles, instead of the policy). Different types of territories can be included, e.g. urban, rural, cross-border areas to look at effects beyond borders. Second, the TIA aims to support integrated territorial development strategies at different levels of governance. Lastly, it envisages to involve local and regional players in the implementation of the pilot action.

 

Envisaged activities

The process of the pilot action is structured along three phases. Phase 1 is about the showcases, i.e. the impact of the already existing policies on the indicated areas and types of territories and TIA approaches. During phase 2 a flexible methodology for TIA will be developed that serves the purpose of this pilot action and phase 3 is about the implementation of this methodology in pilot areas. The pilot action combines joint and individual activities of several partners involved in the pilot areas.

 

Envisaged lessons / results

A few reflections on the envisaged results regard the learning about the territorial impacts of sector policies on specific territories; dissemination through cooperation with multiplier institutions for further dissemination activities; enhancing communication and implementation by means of developing a transferable methodology in the pilot action that can be applied by other regions/actors.

 

Lead stakeholder

The Polish Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy leads the pilot action on Territorial Impact Assessment (TIA).

 

Indicative partners

The pilot action will be implemented in cooperation with:

  • The Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning of the Republic of Slovenia;
  • the German Ministry of Internal Affairs and stakeholders in the German-Polish border region;
  • European Committee of the Regions;
  • other respective NTCCP members tbc.

Additional partners from different governance levels and Member States are welcome to extend the partnership.

 

Resources

There are some preliminary ideas for possible resources, but still under development.

 

Time planning

The time planning post December 2020 is still under development.

 

More information

If you are interested and want to know more about this partnership, please contact us.

 

 

Small places matter for territorial development

Small places matter

 

The pilot action directly engages with a number of priorities set out in the draft Territorial Agenda, including balanced Europe and functional regions. More specific links are with the aims: to encourage all area types to cooperate on improving conditions in all areas, recognise the potential in areas with specific geographies (in this case more remote areas), and support dialogue with decision makers in towns of all sizes to apply an integrated multilevel governance approach. The pilot also addresses relevant concerns in relation to crossborder activities, and Green Europe. The pilot also addresses key challenges set out in the Territorial Agenda, in particular demographic and societal imbalances and quality of life. The pilot’s focus on the vital role of small towns and villages in the development of integrated territorial development process also strengthens territorial coordination of policies, cooperation between territories, which are key elements of putting the Territorial Agenda into Action. Of particular importance to the pilot is finding new ways to link the valuable insights and momentum that can come from bottom-up initiatives into top-down planning processes.

 

Envisaged activities

The envisaged activities include: an initial phase to ‘harvest’ projects, identifying existing areas of relevant activity, followed by opportunities to showcase examples and network building activities (see also below). As experienced in one of the selected projects, there could be an opportunity to build a ‘cavalcade network’, which would be dynamic and evolving rather than fixed.

 

Envisaged lessons / results

Key lessons/results from the pilot actions include, the following. First, the pilot will identify practical tools and approaches to address specific issues linked to demographic change in small place and boosting their attractiveness to younger people either staying in the area or moving into it. Second, the pilot will highlight the importance of recognising and capitalising on existing activities and interactions in mobilising the Territorial Agenda. For example, Interreg programmes have already supported relevant projects. Their value and impact could be amplified through opportunities for wider exchange and support for capitalisation of their activities. Third, the pilot will support better policy making, better linking the value in bottom-up, locally-oriented initiatives with regional and national level policy/strategy development. It would also address an identified development gap which is not being addressed successfully either through market interventions or traditional regional policy interventions and demands new thinking, solutions and activities.

Finally, the pilot offers the scope to look to the future and consider how the current crisis could inform thinking on small places responding to change, the desirability of more balanced development and the role of small places.

 

Lead stakeholder

Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation, Norway

 

Indicative partners

In a first phase of the pilot, within Norway, the partners will be selected, mainly from projects and partners that are/have been engaged in a number of project actions in the Baltic Sea Programme, Urbact, ESPON and Interreg VC. These partners span a number of programmes and programme periods, with the aim of capitalising on the results of projects working in the related fields of depopulation and demographic change in small town and villages and, in particular, boosting the attractiveness of small places for young people. This approach highlights how carrying forward project ‘legacy’ is an important development resource, and the potential for beneficial synergies between programmes and programme periods in addressing territorial development issues. A second phase of the pilot will to explore extending the network following up early expressions of interest from, e.g. Portugal and Ireland. Additional partners from different governance levels and countries are welcome to the partnership.

 

Resources

The resource question is still under discussion.

 

Time planning

The time planning post December 2020 is still under development.

 

More information

If you are interested and want to know more about this partnership, please contact us.

 

 

Territorial vision for a cross-border functional region

A territorial vision and measures for a decarbonised and resilient cross-border functional region in 2050

 

A territorial vision for a cross-border functional area is a concrete action to implement the Territorial Agenda and aims at aligning spatial planning policy with the European Green Deal. Adding the thematic focus on decarbonisation and resilience for the vision, this pilot action contributes to achieving the TA2030 objectives of “Integration beyond borders” as well as “Healthy environment”.

Apart from the thematic focus of decarbonisation and resilience, this pilot action will tackle the following questions:

  • How to develop a joint territorial vision for the cross-border functional area based on soft territorial cooperation?
  • How to translate a cross-border territorial vision into concrete objectives, strategies and measures on both sides of the border?
  • What could the governance structure look like?

 

Envisaged activities

The elaboration of the territorial vision for the cross-border functional area will be facilitated by experts and will be based on a broad participatory approach involving relevant stakeholders with the objective of an ecologically sustainable, resilient and decarbonised territory for 2050.

In mid-2020, the Ministry of Energy and Spatial Planning of Luxembourg will launch, together with stakeholders from the cross-border region, a competitive process with a number of international teams composed of researchers and experts. The goal of these teams will be to develop different territorial visions and implementation strategies with concrete measures for a decarbonised and resilient cross-border functional area of Luxembourg in 2050. The process is competitive in the sense that at certain points in time only the teams with the most promising proposals will advance to the next phase of the process.

Currently, the Ministry is preparing the tendering documents. The international teams are supposed to start working in October 2020 for a period of one year.

In the context of the pilot action, interested parties from outside the cross-border region are invited to follow the work and exchange experiences. This could involve, for example, a number of meetings (physical or virtual) to exchange insights on such visioning processes, and potentially a site visit in Luxembourg to meet the international teams.

 

Envisaged lessons / results

Lessons from the Luxembourg experience could stimulate or inform the elaboration of more cross-border territorial visions in other parts of Europe. The idea of this pilot action is to involve interested parties at the local, regional, national or cross-border level in the process to exchange about the experience of Luxembourg and potentially transfer it in order to replicate the process. This would translate into a learning process for both sides.

 

Lead stakeholder

Ministry of Energy and Spatial Planning, Luxembourg

 

Indicative partners

In the framework of the territorial vision, the Ministry of Energy and Spatial Planning of Luxembourg works closely with stakeholders in Luxembourg and in the neighbouring countries of Belgium, France and Germany.

For this pilot action, the Ministry of Energy and Spatial Planning of Luxembourg would like to set up a partnership with external partners to exchange experiences about the visioning process. Interested parties from other countries at the local, regional, national or cross-border level are welcome to join the partnership (first tentative expressions of interest have already been received).

 

Resources

The resources for the elaboration of this cross-border territorial vision are still under discussion. As for parties interested to follow the visioning process, costs would be kept to a minimum.

 

Time planning

The work on the cross-border territorial vision will start in October 2020 and run until 2021. The exchange about lessons learned with parties from outside the cross-border region can even go on after the end of the process – if a partner is interested in transferring the experience in order to replicate the process.

 

More information

If you are interested and want to know more about this partnership, please contact us.

 

 

Alpine towns for citizens

Climate Action in Alpine Towns

 

Perceptions of the Alps are often rural and not “urban”. However, around one third of its inhabitants live in densely populated alpine towns with unique characteristics. The Swiss Presidency of the Alpine Convention in 2021/2022 will develop a scientific report on the state and the territorial impact of these Alpine towns. In our pilot action, we will reflect some of the recommendations of this report and link them to the implementation of the TA2030.

We will put climate action in alpine towns at the core of the pilot project. This will allows us to focus and connect the expertise of the Alpine Convention on climate with spatial development issues under the “green” priority. The project uses a civic participation approach and directly connects (inter-)national and communal level. Together with the focus on the Alpine arch, this will allow us to cover different aspects of the “just” priority.

 

Envisaged activities

The pilot action focuses on civic participation process with different Alpine towns. Guidance on climate-related spatial planning processes and “climate support” for other spatial planning projects:

  • Citizens-for-citizens approach when starting the project, involving all social groups.
  • Work meetings between technicians and young people to deepen these ideas for the future and find creative solutions.
  • Knowledge exchange format between Alpine towns in the project (final event, joint report or else).
  • Valorisation: Uptake of the experiences & results on local political level but also visibility in the Territorial Agenda process and the Alpine Convention.
  • Promoting long-term action and exchange between Alpine towns and within the Alpine Convention.

 

Envisaged lessons / results

Implements recommendations of the Report of the state of the Alps “Alpine Cities”

The pilot action will provide answers to the questions:

  • How can we develop low-threshold climate action in spatial planning?
  • How can we involve civil society more carefully in planning processes that relate to climate action?
  • How does this involvement change the awareness of citizens for a healthy environment? How does this effect the perception of quality of living?
  • How should climate policies & strategies be adapted to this particular territory and culture? Could the Alps become a model region?

 

Lead stakeholder

  • Swiss Federal Office for Spatial Development, ARE
  • Alpine Convention

 

Indicative partners

Alpine Towns (via Alpine Town of the Year Association), and possibly contracting parties of the Alpine Convention

 

Resources

The pilot action will draw on resources of the Swiss presidency and the Alpine Town of the Year Association. Improve planning processes that are already set up or intended in towns. Contributions of the Secretariat and other interested member states of the Alpine Convention.

 

Time planning

End of 2020 until End of 2022. A follow-up within the Alpine Convention is a possibility.

 

More information

If you are interested and want to know more about this partnership, please contact us.

 

 

Climate change adaptation and resilience through landscape transition

Climate change adaptation and resilience through landscape transition

 

The pilot action focuses on integrated climate change adaptation (environmental, social and economic resilience), through planning and designing actions for a new landscape, in order to decrease the risk of forest fires in Portugal. This implies funding ecosystem services, promoting sustainable value chains and developing innovative governance approaches for the planning system and relevant policies.

The link between the pilot action and the Territorial Agenda 2030 is strong and explicit, mainly because the Territorial Agenda 2030 underlines the importance of well-functioning and resilient ecosystems for the mitigation of the impact of climate change. In addition, also integrated management and cooperation beyond administrative boundaries play an important role. This pilot action is therefore closely related to the priority on Functional Regions (1B) under the objective of a Just Europe and Healthy Environment (2A) under the objective of a Green Europe.

 

Envisaged activities

Activities conducted for this pilot action will refer to the role of spatial planning for landscape transformation specifically considering the resilience of rural areas. In this context, they will aim at strengthening the interaction between spatial planning and other relevant sector policies, e.g. agriculture and forestry, through an integrated and holistic ‘landscape perspective’. This includes the allocation of public funding of relevant sector policies in order to strengthen resilience effectively. The activities are related to different outputs like conferences, workshops, meetings, visits, gathering data through observation and stakeholder groups, or communication and dissemination activities. Monitoring reports as well as recommendations will be drafted to accompany the implementation process and prepare it for the coming years.

 

Envisaged lessons / results

In June 2020, the national “Landscape Transformation Program” and the “Landscape Planning and Management Programme of Serras de Monchique and Silves”, in Algarve region were published. The following focus areas of the programme will be relevant for the different activities envisaged for the pilot action: 1) Test solutions for transforming rural areas that stand out as particularly vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters and that require a long-term change in landscape, often in a context of rural shrinkage and land abandonment; 2) test how functional relations embedded in rural landscapes can be the basis for integrated planning and place-based governance; 3) boost local economies through a landscape transformation process, implying that landscape users and land owners will be considered in all actions within a shared vision for the future landscape; 4) deliver tailor-made public policies which will be the basis for positive discrimination measures to take place, according to specific landscape policy targets. Policy recommendations related to multi-level and intersectoral governance as well as financial and funding arrangements will come from ESPON TITAN spinoff.

 

Lead stakeholder

Portuguese Ministry of Environment and Climate Action

 

Indicative partners

From Portugal: Players from different administrative levels and sector policies, regional and local stakeholders and universities. Partners from other countries are welcome to join the pilot action, i.a., from Spain, Greece, Croatia and Germany (tbc).

 

Resources

The question of resources is still under discussion. They would however mainly cover costs for conferences, workshops, traveling and translations.

 

Time planning

The time planning for the implementation phase starting in 2021 is still under development.

 

More information

If you are interested and want to know more about this partnership, please contact us.