The Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning

Research Project: Support to the revision of the Territorial Agenda


Results were achieved in three areas: the revision of the Territorial Agenda, implementation through pilot actions and communication activities.

Revision of the Territorial Agenda

The Territorial Agenda 2030 has as its motto "A sustainable future for all places and people in Europe". It defines two overarching objectives: "A Just Europe that offers future perspectives for all places and people" and "A Green Europe that protects common livelihoods and shapes societal transition". These overarching objectives are specified by six thematic priorities:

  • Balanced Europe: better balanced territorial development utilising Europe’s diversity
  • Functional Regions: convergent local and regional development, less inequality between places
  • Integration Beyond Borders: easier living and working across national borders
  • Healthy Environment: better ecological livelihoods, climate-neutral and resilient towns, cities and regions
  • Circular Economy: strong and sustainable local economies in a globalised world
  • Sustainable Connections: sustainable digital and physical connectivity of places

With these objectives and priorities, the EU member states and the other institutions involved provide answers to the question of how the players involved in spatial development and planning can contribute to meeting the key challenges – growing imbalances and inequalities and the increasing pressure of climate change.

The Territorial Agenda 2030 is available in three languages. It will be translated by the European Commission into the other official languages of the EU.

Short version: English, Français, Deutsch
Long version: English, Français, Deutsch

Implementation through pilot actions

Six pilot actions were developed for the implementation and application of the Territorial Agenda 2030. Together, they cover a wide thematic and spatial range – from small towns and rural regions to cross-border areas and from decarbonisation and resilience to participatory processes and vision development and the assessment of spatial impacts of sector policies:

  • A future for lagging regions under German leadership,
  • region-focused territorial impact assessment under Polish leadership,
  • the importance of small places for wider territorial development under Norwegian leadership,
  • a vision for a zero-carbon, cross-border functional region under Luxembourgish leadership,
  • climate action in Alpine towns under Swiss leadership,
  • climate change adaptation and resilience through landscape transition under Portuguese leadership.

Apart from the pilot action under German leadership, all pilot actions were prepared by the project team. Each pilot actiondoes not only involve the respective domestic actors but also partners from other European countries and other interested institutions such as the European Commission or the Alpine Convention.

The pilot actions aim at strengthening the spatial dimension for policy making and implementation at regional, national and European level. They will generate new knowledge and lead to conclusions. They will be shared at European level thus making them available to other interested actors and stimulating further implementation activities. They will

  • show ways in which the Territorial Agenda 2030 can develop significance in planning practice ("demonstrate"),
  • promote exchange between groups of actors and across levels of government thus contributing to institutional learning ("learn")
  • contribute to institutional capacity building and networking ("connect"),
  • communicate their results to other groups of actors and thus disseminate good practices ("communicate") and
  • prepare and carry out concrete implementation steps ("implement").

In order to stimulate further pilot actions and to demonstrate that many ongoing activities throughout Europe are already contributing to the implementation of the Territorial Agenda 2030, a study (Implementing the Territorial Agenda) was conducted which evaluates 52 practical examples and shows how the place-based approach can be strengthened in policy making and implementation.

Communication activities

The core element of the communication activities was the website It was set up by the project team and maintained throughout the entire project duration. Regular contributions were published on the revision of the Territorial Agenda, but also on other relevant topics, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations, the EU Green Deal, the corona pandemic from the perspective of European spatial planning, the importance of transnational cooperation, the importance of the Territorial Agenda in Austria and Slovenia and the role of the European Investment Bank. The website will be preserved beyond the duration of this MORO demonstration project. In January 2021, the Portuguese Presidency will take over the content maintenance.

In addition, the contractors reported on the revision process through social media, in particular via Twitter. The general visibility of the Territorial Agenda 2030 was thus significantly enhanced. The #TerritorialAgenda hashtag has become established. It allows interested users to trace key steps of the completed revision process and to participate in the implementation process and further discussions on the Territorial Agenda 2030 even after the end of the MORO demonstration project.

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