ESPON project 3.1 Integrated tools for European spatial development
Project duration: 2000-2006
The ESPON project 3.1 with the title "Integrated tools for European spatial development" was the first of two cross-thematic projects of the ESPON 2006 Programme. It served as a key project for the creation of common principles for all projects of the Programme and also for the analysis, synthesis and integration of the project results. Furthermore, the project developed computer-aided tools in the area of cartography. Thus, the project can be seen as a control aid of the Programme, as a filter and catalyst and also as developer of different products for measuring and analysing European space.
One part of the project was the creation and provision of harmonised data, standardised indicators and report structures and also the specification of scientific, methodical instruments (e.g. three-level approach). Thus, a binding framework was created which was laid down among other things in the ESPON Guidance Papers.
Furthermore, the project aimed at producing and summarising significant scientific results from the individual ESPON projects and at feeding these results back into the scientific project groups for the purpose of transparency and networking. For this purpose, a common platform was developed and set up for the Programme network.
One main focus when evaluating the ESPON project results was to check the results with regard to the ESDP and there especially aspects of territorial cohesion and polycentrality.
Apart from the scientific work, the aspect of policy advice played an important role. On the basis of the evaluation of scientific and analytical research results, policy recommendations were developed which enabled to enter into a deeper discussion about European spatial development policy for stakeholders and groups of interested parties.
Altogether, the project 3.1 aimed at contributing to the production, analysis and better understanding of the complexity of European spatial development.
Figure: Methodological structure of ESPON (source: Matera Guidance Paper, 2004)