Spatial Planning for Territorial Cohesion: Linking the Urban and Rural Domains
Walsh, Jim (2004) Spatial Planning for Territorial Cohesion: Linking the Urban and Rural Domains. In: Territorial Cohesion – Meeting New Challenges in an Enlarged European Union, 26-27 May, 2004, Galway.
The European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP) (1999) and the Third Report on Economic and Social Cohesion A New Partnership for Cohesion (2004) have firmly established the central role of spatial planning and spatial development strategies in achieving the fundamental objectives of economic and social cohesion, conservation of natural resources and cultural heritage, and more balanced competitiveness of the EU territory. The concept of territorial cohesion features prominently in the draft Constitution and in the Cohesion report where it is recognised as a concept that goes beyond the notion of economic and social cohesion. In policy terms the objective of territorial cohesion is defined as helping to achieve a more balanced development by reducing existing disparities, preventing territorial imbalances and by promoting greater coherence between both sectoral policies that have spatial impacts and regional policy. Territorial cohesion also seeks to improve territorial integration and to encourage cooperation between regions. Promoting higher levels of interaction and cooperation between rural and urban areas is a major challenge for policies and strategies that seek to promote higher levels of territorial cohesion. This paper commences with an overview of the different types of interactions between urban and rural areas that have been identified in research on European spatial planning. It will be followed by a summary urban-rural typology map of the recently enlarged EU which will be complemented by some additional typologies that are relevant to future debates on territorial cohesion in the EU. The second part of the paper considers the changes that have occurred in rural-urban relations in Ireland since the early 1990s against a background of exceptionally high rates of economic growth and an economic context that is recognised as the most open in the world. This will be followed by an outline of the processes involved in preparing the National Spatial Strategy and an assessment of the key concepts that underpin the approach to promoting balanced regional development which explicitly includes an objective of reducing rural-urban disparities. Some general conclusions are drawn at the end.
Repository Staff Only: item control page