The new ESPON programme has announced the first seven major research projects that it will fund. Amongst them is a comparative study of territorial governance and spatial planning systems in Europe. The brief points to the need to connect spatial planning to Cohesion Policy. A budget of 900,000Euros is allocated to this project. Bids need to be submitted by 10 February 2016.
Another project (with a 500,000Euro budget) will explore 'Possible European Territorial Futures'. Amongst the questions it will address are
- What could be the territorial consequences if Europe’s energy production and consumption were 100% renewable?
- What could be the territorial consequences if the European property markets collapsed?
A third project will look at 'Inner Peripheries'. This refers to areas, often in wealthy countries and regions, that "slip through the net", in that they have poor accessibility and often fare badly on other indicators of territorial wellbeing. The research will look at what drives the marginaliozation of these areas and how to tackle their problems.
Another project will look at the geography of new employment dynamics, with particular reference to the knowledge economy. There is one on the growth dynamics of SMEs, and another on 'Territories and low-carbon economy'. Last, but not least, and with a budget of 700,000Euros, is a project to look at global FDI flows into Europe.