A1 Journal article – refereed

Territoriality in the Strategies and Practices of the Territorial Cohesion Policy of the European Union: Territorial Challenges in Implementing "Soft Planning"




List of Authors: Luukkonen J, Moilanen H

Publisher: ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD

Publication year: 2012

Journal: European Planning Studies

Journal name in source: EUROPEAN PLANNING STUDIES

Journal acronym: EUR PLAN STUD

Number in series: 3

Volume number: 20

Issue number: 3

Number of pages: 20

ISSN: 0965-4313

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09654313.2012.651806


Abstract
This article contributes to the discussion about spatial planning in and for Europe by discussing territoriality in the strategies and practices of the territorial cohesion policy of the European Union (EU). The need for new ways of thinking and acting spatially are strongly promoted within the EU's spatial development policies, and the addition of territorial cohesion as one of the main objectives of the EU alongside the economic and social cohesion has brought the debate on European spatial planning back onto the political agenda. Territorial cohesion policy advocates the idea of soft planning, where new soft planning spaces cross the administrative borders within the EU territory. Accordingly, strategic planning and development policies at national and regional levels are engaged with the policy by promoting soft spatial imaginaries characterized by relational understandings of space. The article explores through two empirical materials related to the Member States' definitions about territorial cohesion and the case of the Bothnian Arc, whether, and if so, how, the new soft planning spaces are visible in the conceptualizations and regional-level practices of territorial cohesion policy. The study illustrates that the conceptualizations of territorial cohesion and regional practices still lean on traditional understandings of territoriality. Clearly, there are mismatches between the soft planning visions for single European space and the practical development governed through traditional administrative territories.


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