ESPON Ireland and Projects
The ESPON 2007-2013 Programme, the European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion, was adopted by the European Commission on 7 November 2007. ESPON is a transnational planning and related research programme. It has a European focus and seeks to inform a better understanding of spatial planning and territorial cohesion policies at local, regional, national and transnational levels in Europe.
The programme budget of €47 million is part-financed at the level of 75 % by the European Regional Development Fund under Objective 3 for European Territorial Cooperation. The rest is financed by 31 countries participating, 27 EU Member States and Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
The mission of the ESPON 2013 Programme is to: Support policy development in relation to the aim of territorial cohesion and a harmonious development of the European territory by:
- Providing comparable information, evidence, analyses and scenarios on territorial dynamics
- Revealing territorial capital and potentials for development of regions and larger territories contributing to European competitiveness, territorial cooperation and a sustainable and balanced development.
Espon in Ireland
Supporting Evidence-Informed Spatial Planning in Ireland
ESPON provides a significant resource for supporting evidence-informed policy-making and spatial planning in Ireland. There are potential benefits from ESPON projects at national, regional and local levels of policy-making and practice. In particular, the introduction of a multi-level planning system following the 2000 Planning and Development Act, has increased the need for research evidence to inform the preparation of spatial strategies and plans from the National Spatial Strategy to City & County Development Plans. The current Planning and Development Bill places further emphasis on the evidence-base for decision making in planning, through a new ‘core strategy’ requirement in City & County Development Plans.
Aims and Objectives for ESPON in Ireland:
- Promote participation of Irish researchers, policymakers and practitioners in ESPON projects and networks
- Promote engagement with the ESPON knowledge base and ESPON methodologies in Ireland
- Support the development of evidence-informed approaches to spatial strategy-making in Ireland
- Ensure ESPON projects and reports accurately reflect experience in Ireland
- Promote awareness of developments in European spatial planning and territorial cohesion policy among policymakers, practitioners and researchers in Ireland.