Detecting Territorial Potential and Challenges

A new interactive handbook on using ESPON territorial knowledge, targeting policy-makers and practitioners at local and regional level in the fields of regional development and spatial planning.

The handbook provides:

  • Practical and easy-to-use guidance for strategic local and regional policy-making through five territorial approaches.
  • These approaches are designed to focus attention on important issues and to encourage new perspectives in local and regional development processes.
  • Authentic examples of good practices derived from the regional laboratories and a collection of ESPON methods, which local and regional practitioners can use as inspiration to identify the specific territorial potential and challenges in their region.

The handbook is a guide for long-term strategic development, e.g. to support the design and evaluation of regional development plans and programmes. The handbook offers different possibilities to work in a non-linear and interactive fashion and provides alternative perspectives for managing territorial development.

As a novelty for ESPON, the handbook is available through iTunes and through the iBook App, and is optimized for iPad. Download the handbook here.

The ESPON 2013 Programme, the European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion (, is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, and aims to support policy development in relation to the aim of territorial cohesion and a harmonious development of the European territory by (1) providing comparable information, evidence, analyses and scenarios on territorial dynamics and (2) revealing territorial capital and potentials for development of regions and larger territories contributing to European competitiveness, territorial cooperation and a sustainable and balanced development.

Nordregio News Issue 4, 2013: ESPON – Looking Towards the Third Period