Earlier this week I was honoured to receive the OBE for services to planning, at an investiture at Buckingham Palace.
In 2004, David Evers, Ed Dammers and Aldert de Vries wrote a "doomsday scenario" for a disintegrating EU in 2030. It was never published. It is now.
Local authorities and their partners can get research done on issues in their area, with the costs met from the EU's ESPON programme. Bids need to be in by 9 March 2015.
The pressure for migration into Europe will not go away, says a new report.
ESPON is inviting bids for seven new applied research projects, including one on comparing the spatial planning systems across Europe.
The ESPON programme gets going again with a seminar in Luxembourg in December focusing on refugee migration.
How has the economic crisis impacted on migration patterns across Europe? This question is addressed in a new four-page ESPON Evidence Brief. The theme was also a central feature of the ESPON seminar in Vilnius on 4-5 December. Migration has been a priority concern of the Lithuanian EU Presidency. This is not surprising, given the scale on which this small country has been haemorrhaging people in recent years. It is estimated that a sixth of the population has been lost over the last 20 years. However, as we in the UK know, migration has become a hot political topic in many countries. For example there are concerns in countries around the Mediterranean about their “front line” position in relation to illegal immigration from Africa and the Middle East.
Walking the streets of Dublin, you are never far from the brash excesses of the Celtic Tiger era – or from the havoc that the banking crisis has brought. Just as remarkable is the spirit that seems to have sustained the city, and not least the planners in their attempts to build a recovery. Where better to be for the ESPON seminar on jobs and growth?
The concept of maritime spatial planning has been given a significant boost by a couple of recent actions in the European Union. As Maria Damanaki, EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, has commented, “Governments are waking up to the fact that we have just about reached the limit of what can be squeezed from the 29% of the planet that is land. Therefore, it becomes clear that we need to look even more to the sea.”