Christian SVANFELDT - Vision 2050

Reflections on
a European
Territorial Vision
Christian Svanfeldt
European Commission
Regional and Urban Policy
Regional &
Urban Policy
Rome, 4 December 2014
Can we agree upon a shared vision?
"A shared image of a desirable future described in precise terms"
1. aims, i.e. the general goals perceived as an ideal that can be
2. major projects and their expected outcomes, which will plot the
future path;
3. a system of shared values, which will help to achieve the vision if
supported collectively;
4. a collective desire to achieve the objectives which must have the
potential to be expressed symbolically.
Regional &
Urban Policy
Spatial planning not EU competence…BUT
… agreement on principles & objectives at European level
Territorial cohesion (EU Treaty objective)
…harmonious, sustainable and polycentric development
Leipzig charter (Intergovernmental)
Inclusive and integrated sustainable urban development
Toledo declaration (Intergovernmental)
Implementing the Leipzig charter in Europe 2020 context
Territorial Agenda of the European Union 2020 – (Intergov.)
Balanced economic growth
Balanced territorial organisation
Polycentric urban structure
Good accessibility to services of general economic interest
Compact settlement structure with limited urban sprawl
High level of protection and quality of the environment
Regional &
Urban Policy
Consensus on a vision?
The future EU territorial development pattern
• sustainable development of Europe based on balanced economic
growth & balanced territorial organisation with a polycentric urban
• strong metropolitan regions & other strong urban areas (also
outside the core areas of Europe) provide good accessibility to
services of general economic interest;
• compact settlement structure with limited urban sprawl through a
strong control of land supply & speculative development;
• high level of protection & quality of the environment around cities;
strong links and articulation between cities & their environments.
Regional &
Urban Policy
Can the EU adopt a vision?
[Annex 1] "The following 2050 vision is intended to help guide action
up to and beyond 2020:
In 2050, we live well, within the planet’s ecological limits. Our
prosperity and healthy environment stem from an innovative, circular
economy where nothing is wasted and where natural resources are
managed sustainably, and biodiversity is protected, valued and
restored in ways that enhance our society’s resilience. Our low-carbon
growth has long been decoupled from resource use, setting the pace
for a safe and sustainable global society."
Regional &
Urban Policy
A "Lego-approach" to visions
 Build a vision top-down or bottomup?
 Construct a vision based on already
agreed principles, objectives,
 Seems to be accepted to have
visions in areas related to planning,
e.g. environment, but also transport
 Some EU policies promote implicit
visions e.g., Smart Cities initiative,
Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans;
 ….
Regional &
Urban Policy
A gateway city?
Area: 8 286 km2
Population: 6 087
•(8 761 in 1970)
•Storuman (2 255)
•Stensele (578)
•Tärnaby (533)
Regional &
Urban Policy
Cohesion policy evolution
 Need to demonstrate the rationale of a
territorial approach in a growth perspective
Regional &
Urban Policy
Implicit implementation of a territorial vision?
• Partnership Agreements &
Operational Programmes negotiations
• Territorial instruments (ITI, CLLD,
5% SUD, etc.)
• Macro-regional strategies
• European Territorial Cooperation
• 6th Cohesion Report – territories
• Strengthened Territorial Impact
• Constantly improved data, e.g., land
use efficiency, functional territories
analysis, etc.
Regional &
Urban Policy
Is a territorial vision useful?
• EU cannot impose a spatial model
• Pointless to have principles that are not operationalised
• Mainly dependent on Member States development
strategies, which lack coherence
• We should be able to answer to the questions what
Europe we would like to see in
• We have to be aware of the qualitative aspects of policies
• A point of reference in any discussion on territorial
impacts of policies
Regional &
Urban Policy
Thank you!
[email protected]
Regional &
Urban Policy

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