What is the spatial structure of the European Union and how will it change after the arrival of ten new member countries? Which role does it play in the distribution of economic growth and social welfare? Which policies and actions are more likely to support the goals of balanced and polycentric development, of social and economic cohesion within the European territory? And how will the impacts of this policies be spatially distributed? What will happen to European cities, metropolitan regions and rural areas in the next 20 years?
ESPON (European Spatial Planning Observation Network) will try and answer to all these questions. ESPON, an INTERREG IIIB Programme, investigates the spatial development and spatial planning at the national, regional and local scales while looking at the enlarged European Union as a single territory. In order to address all the issues involved in such a large scale programme, ESPON is comprised of eighteen projects grouped in four categries: Data Navigator, Thematic Projects, Policy Impact Projects, Co-ordinating and Cross-thematic projects.
The Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis is part of the ESPON network and research partner in the Thematic Project 1.1.3 "Enlargement of the European Union and the Wider European Perspective as Regards its Polycentric Spatial Structure" which investigates the current and future spatial structure of the Central and Eastern European Countries which are about to join the EU and the impacts that this enlargment will have on the current members of the Union.
- Elena Besussi