|European Planning Studies
|Vol.13, No.1, January 2005, p137-155
|Journal | Series | Blog
Spatial planning in Europe has reached new frontiers. The European Spatial Development Perspective covers the entire European Union and, in spite of having an informal, non-binding status, it is creeping into the regulatory frameworks of the European Union. To stimulate cooperation between the Member States of the European Union, including the accession countries, the map of Europe has been divided into a jigsaw puzzle formed by large transnational areas. In three of these areas, spatial visions have been developed. Bearing in mind the enormous spatial diversity in these new European 'super-regions' and the great variety in planning systems, it is astonishing that these visions came about in the first place. In this respect they should be welcomed. On the other hand, the way in which they have been prepared could be questioned. Although they contain policy frameworks with an intended impact stretching far beyond the domain of spatial planning, they have basically been written by spatial planners acting alone. And although the mere idea of transnational areas was to a large extent to stimulate novel conceptualizations of the spatial position of countries and regions, the development of spatial concepts has proved to be extremely problematic. This paper looks at spatial visions for three transnational areas: 1) the Central European, Adriatic, Danubian and South Eastern European Space, or CADSES (VISION PLANET); 2) the North Sea Region (NorVision); 3) North-West Europe (NWE Spatial Vision). The analysis of these visions, following a common format, leads to some fundamental conclusions about the various principles on which such visions can be grounded and the architecture of the processes to be followed. The paper aims to contribute to research as well as to policymaking.
|Countries / Regions