Comparative analysis of territorial governance and spatial planning systems in Europe

In the late 1990s the European Commission published the ‘EU Compendium on Spatial Planning Systems and Policies’ which covered the 15 EU member states at that time. Since then, the EU has expanded to 28 member states and there have been significant developments in pan-European territorial and cohesion policies. Territorial governance and spatial planning systems have evolved to become one of the key components of integrated cross-sectoral development strategies and policy delivery mechanisms among ESPON member and partner states.

Members of the COMPASS consortium.

The COMPASS project addressed the following policy questions:

  • What changes in territorial governance and spatial planning systems and policies can be observed across Europe over the past 15 years? Can these changes be attributed to the influence of macro-level EU directives and policies?
  • What are best-practices for cross-fertilisation of spatial and territorial development policies with EU Cohesion Policy?
  • How can national/regional spatial and territorial development policy perspectives be better reflected in Cohesion Policy and other policies at the EU scale?


Programme: Comparative Analysis of Territorial Governance and Spatial Planning Systems in Europe
Overall budget: € 869.700
Grant amount: € 869.700
Contribution to TU Delft: € 193.600
Grant number:  EE/SO1/009/2016
Role TU Delft:  Lead partner
Project duration: June 2016 - May 2018
TU Delft researchers:                 Prof. Vincent Nadin
Dr. Marcin Dąbrowski
Dr. Ana Maria Fernandez Maldonado
Kasia Piskorek
Alankrita Sarkar
Dr. Dominic Stead
Prof. Wil Zonneveld

Project partners

Delft University of Technology, Nordregio, Politecnico di Torino, Spatial Foresight, University College Dublin, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, ILS (Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development, Germany)


Prof. Vincent Nadin