European Journal of Spatial Development

European Journal of Spatial Development

European Journal of Spatial Development (EJSD) is a peer-reviewed open access journal. The journal offers an independent and open forum for research on spatial planning, and regional development, policy making and governance in Europe.  In addition to original research articles we also publish debate articles and research briefings. EJSD publishes papers individually so not as part of separate issues like most other journals. All contributions are published on-line as soon as they have cleared the review and editing process.

EJSD is published by Nordregio and  Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment.

Latest articles


Innovation Networks in Different Industrial Settings: From Flexible to Smart Specialization (#63)

Ylinenpää, H., Teräs, J. & Örtqvist, D.


The key research objective of this paper is to analyse industrial specialisation by developing innovative networks linked to the region. Institutional and entrepreneurial innovation systems, smart specialisation and a network based research framework for entrepreneurship are used as conceptual foundations in the paper. Based on theoretical elaborations our analyses illustrate how certain interventions have stimulated regional development and innovation in two specific Scandinavian regions. Our results highlight that both regions have gone from interventions fostering flexible specialization, with the motive of staying resilient and competitive over time, to an approach based on smart specialization with a focus on one or a limited number of strong industries.


The Openness Buzz in Metropolitan Regions: Swedish Regional Development Strategies (Research Briefing #6)

Lundgren, A.


In the networked information and knowledge society, we see a frequent use of the notions of “open” and “openness”; open source, open region, open economy, open government, open innovation. In parallel we can also observe changes of practises relating to how we produce and exchange products, information, knowledge and culture, enabled by the knowledge society, information technology and the Internet. This is the point of departure when this article examines how openness is interpreted and discussed in the three metropolitan regions of Stockholm, Göteborg and Malmö in Sweden. Accessibility as a quality of openness is found to play a particularly important role. From an institutional perspective openness is mainly discussed in relation to governance and policy, although openness may also be related to norms and culture.

Multi-level Territorial Governance and Cohesion Policy: Structural Funds and the Timing of Development in Palermo and the Italian Mezzogiorno (#62)

Tulumello, S.


This article explores the role of changing arrangements of multi-level territorialgovernance in the European Cohesion Policy. It hypothesises theexistence of a temporal duality between successful/unsuccessful phases ofCohesion Policy between the 1990s and 2000s, that is, a structural changein the implementation of Structural Funds stemming from the reforms at theturn of the millennium. The article seeks to understand the implications ofsuch a duality using case study analysis, with the theoretical aim of exploringin-depth the connections between the European and the local scale.It analyses in the long term (1994-2013) the use of Structural Funds forurban development in a specific context, the city of Palermo in the Objective1 region of Sicily, under-explored by international literature. The phasesof Structural Funds are understood in the wider context of Palermo, Sicilyand Southern Italy, emphasising the temporal coherence between (i) thephases of autonomous/dependent development, (ii) evolution/involution inthe implementation of cohesion policies, and (iii) shifting multi-level territorialgovernance arrangements. The local case confirms the duality hypothesisedand, based on this, wider considerations for the future of CohesionPolicy are set out.


When soft planning and hard planning meet: Conceptualising the encounter of European, national and sub-national planning (#61)

Purkarthofer, E. 


The EU contributes to the creation of soft spaces, differing from administrative entities, while at the same time, it acts as a driver of soft planning, focusing– both for strategic and legal reasons – on coordination, cooperation and mutual learning, rather than ‘hard’, regulatory planning. The article claims further that instead of depicting the connections between the EU and its member states, research should pay increased attention to the encounter of European and domestic planning within a country. The scales, actors and instruments that deal with EU inputs within a country might prove to be crucial factors that ultimately determine the impact of EU policies on spatial planning. To illustrate the encounter of European and domestic planning in the light of soft and hard planning, the article introduces a conceptual framework and thereby provides an outline for further empirical research.

Articles from 2015



ISSN 1650-9544