Flashback to Cliff Hague's Diaries in Planning 1986-2006

Cliff Hague

Cliff Hague

Wednesday, 04 March 2015 17:16

ESPON (2013) UK Contact Point

ESPON 2013 is an applied research programme partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund and partly by the 28 EU member states, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.  Its research has built an evidence base to support policy development for territorial cohesion and development. Each country appoints a National Contact Point to interpret and disseminate ESPON findings in their national context, and to raise awareness of the programme.

  • Cliff was Team Leader for the UK ESPON Contact Point 2008-14, http://www.rtpi.org.uk/knowledge/research/espon/, as consultant to the Royal Town Planning Institute, under contract from the UK government’s Department for Communities and Local Government.

Reports authored under this contract:

Regional Development in Northern Ireland: Perspectives from the European Observationnetwork for Territorial Development and Cohesion (ESPON) (2014) http://www.rtpi.org.uk/media/1234946/rtpi_regional_development_in_northern_ireland_espon_full_report_7_2014.pdf

Towards NPF3: A European Perspective (2013) http://www.rtpi.org.uk/media/502047/towards_npf3_-_final.pdf

Sustainability and Economic Recovery: European perspectives on urban and rural development in Wales (2012) http://www.rtpi.org.uk/media/10735/wales_sustainability_and_economic_recovery.pdf

England’s Urban Growth Challenge: Messages from the ESPON Programme (2012) http://www.rtpi.org.uk/media/10759/england_s_urban_growth_challenge.pdf

Towards a set of indicators for territorial cohesion (2011) http://www.rtpi.org.uk/media/5712/Report-on-INTERCO-workshop.pdf

Work, Rest and Play: Planning for functional territories – UK / Ireland workshop looks at using ESPON (2011) http://www.rtpi.org.uk/media/5957/Dunalk-Workshop-Report.pdf  

How does the localism approach relate to the place-based / territorial agenda of ESPON? (2011) http://www.rtpi.org.uk/media/5978/ESPON-and-Localism-Briefing-Note.pdf

New ESPON Synthesis Report focuses on Europe in a global context (2010) http://www.rtpi.org.uk/media/5774/First-Synthesis-Report.pdf  

European perspectives on Territorial Impact Assessment – A Background Paper for the ESPON EATIA Project (2010)  http://www.rtpi.org.uk/media/5994/European-Perspectives-on-Territorial-Impact-Assessment-April-2010.pdf

Opportunities for UK development practitioners to set the research agenda (2009) http://www.rtpi.org.uk/media/6742/espon-practitioners-leaflet-2009-calls.pdf

Transnational Territorial Research in Europe; a review of the European Spatial Planning Observation Network and the opportunities it offers to researchers in planning http://www.rtpi.org.uk/media/5740/ACSP-Paper-Cliff-Hague-2008.pdf   American Collegiate Schools of Planning / Association of European Schools of Planning Conference, Chicago, (2008), Tracking ID: 193951, Session 6.7.

Spatial monitoring: European practice for nations and regions (2008) http://www.rtpi.org.uk/media/6731/regional-indicators-report.pdf 

ESPON Workshop on Indicators and Indices (2008) http://www.rtpi.org.uk/media/5742/TERRITORIAL-INDICATORS-APRIL-2008.pdf

Changing UK regions in their European context; ESPON 2002-06 and 2008-13  (2008) http://www.rtpi.org.uk/media/5745/CHANGING-UK-REGIONS-IN-THEIR-EUROPEAN-CONTEXT.pdf

Summaries of numerous ESPON project reports.

Workshop Presentations under this contract

Strategic planning for urban growth; International lessons http://www.rtpi.org.uk/media/715607/cliff_hague_-_strategic_planning_for_local_growth.pdf , Birmingham, October 2013.

ESPON Perspectives on Urban England http://www.rtpi.org.uk/media/10749/urban_england_-_cliff_hague.pdf  Newcastle, November 2012.

City Regions http://www.rtpi.org.uk/media/10741/cliff_hague.pdf Cardiff, September 2012.

Benchmarking Urban Scotland in Europe http://www.rtpi.org.uk/media/5932/Cliff-Hague.pdf Edinburgh, March 2012.

Using ESPON research for the National Planning Framework for Scotland http://www.rtpi.org.uk/media/5962/Cliff-Hague-Presentation.pdf Edinburgh, 2011.

Key messages from ESPON for the UK  http://www.rtpi.org.uk/media/5944/Cliff-Hague.pdf London, September 2011.

How to make a successful bid http://www.rtpi.org.uk/media/5976/Cliff-Hague-How-to-make-a-successful-bid.pdf  2011.

Targeting analysis on migration and economy http://www.rtpi.org.uk/knowledge/research/espon/espon-uk-network/targeting-analysis-on-migration-and-the-economy/ London, May 2010.

The TIA rap http://www.rtpi.org.uk/media/5984/The-TIA-Rap.pdf  Edinburgh, May 2010.

New work on assessing the impacts of policy on cohesion, www.rtpi.org.uk/media/5342/ECTP-Edinburgh-TIA-Hague.ppt   European Council of Spatial Planners, Edinburgh, May 2010.

ESPON and INTERREG in the UK  http://www.rtpi.org.uk/knowledge/research/espon/espon-uk-network/espon-and-interreg-in-the-uk-building-knowledge-capital/ London, March 2010.

UK spatial evidence base and the ESPON programme http://www.rtpi.org.uk/knowledge/research/espon/espon-uk-network/uk-spatial-evidence-base/ Leeds, September 2009.

Using ESPON data: Territorial indicators in ESPON http://www.rtpi.org.uk/media/5754/Cliff-Hague-Using-ESPON-Data.pdf  September 2009.

ESPON The European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion http://www.rtpi.org.uk/knowledge/research/espon/ (2008). 

ESPON 2013 is an applied research programme partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund and partly by the 28 EU member states, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.  Its research has built an evidence base to support policy development for territorial cohesion and development.  

Reports produced under this contract 

Wednesday, 04 March 2015 16:50

"This project will be a good one!"


Young Eyes is a new IC project. It looks to me like it will be a good one. I was at the kick-off meeting in a cold and misty Warsaw in January. All the partners were there – Jelgava and Rauna from Latvia, our Polish friends from Suwalki, and from the far north came the delegation from Robertsfors in Sweden. In addition there was PAS from Edinburgh, bringing a lot of experience in youth involvement in built environment issues.

Wednesday, 04 March 2015 16:49

Putting Town Centres First

Town Center_300x279

Across Europe the centres of small and medium sized towns are facing serious challenges. Retailing was the key function that drew people to these places. But we shop differently nowadays. A generation ago the big retailers began to move their businesses out of town centres and to edge of city retail parks.

Wednesday, 04 March 2015 16:47

Rural reform is on the OECD agenda


A new OECD report, Regions and Cities: Where policies and people meet, makes the point that regional disparities in income are widening. It calls for a place-sensitive approach to policy making, in other words it recognises that policies need to be tuned to specific characteristics of places, rather than being uniform. 

Wednesday, 04 March 2015 16:46

Scotland's vote for independence


The eyes of the world are on Scotland this week. The referendum on Scottish independence looks like it will produce a close result. It’s been a long campaign, which the rest of the United Kingdom has largely ignored until the last couple of weeks when suddenly the gap between “yes” and “no” in the opinion polls has narrowed. 

74 Skara Brae Planned Living_300x225

It’s been a busy summer. In particular I have been involved in work on “measuring success” for Scotland’s Historic Environment Strategy. As Chair of the Built Environment Forum Scotland I am chairing a “workstream” on this topic, with a brief to report to the Scottish Government and to the historic environment sector by the end of August.


In the next few weeks some important decisions will be taken. The UN is coming to the end of a process that will result in the General  Assembly adopting a set of Sustainable Development Goals for the period 2015-2030.  These were focus on eradication of poverty and are sure to commit the governments of the world to action on topics such as health, water and education – rightly so. 

Wednesday, 04 March 2015 16:42

Western Balkans Realities


In the early 1990s Yugoslavia began to disintegrate, triggering a series of vicious wars as ethnic groups contested territories. I have been doing some work looking at current development in the countries of the Western Balkans. Although conditions have certainly improved over the past decade, and the World Bank now rates them as “upper middle income countries”, it is clear that long-lasting economic and environmental damage has occurred. 

Wednesday, 04 March 2015 16:41

New opportunities

Erasmus plus_300x166

For over 30 years EU programmes have supported students so that they can spend some time studying at a university in a different member state. Now a new ERASMUS+ programme opens such mobility opportunities to many others. The kind of youth camps that IC has delivered over several years would seem to be eligible for support. The programme includes Norway.