Here you can find all articles published during 2013.

Refereed articles


A Critical Assessment of the Added Value of Territorial Cohesion (#53)

Frank Othengrafen & Andreas P. Cornett


This paper, by drawing on various interpretations or storylines of territorial cohesion and by referring to the national policy contexts in Denmark and Germany, critically assesses the concept of territorial cohesion and its added value by exploring what difference the formal recognition of territorial cohesion makes for EU, national and regional policymaking in terms of adapted policy objectives, altered perceptions of territory and place and modified policy instruments. It is argued herein that even though territorial cohesion obviously changes the rationales underlying the cohesion policies and strategic European spatial development policies by emphasising the potential of territorial capital for innovation and employment, the concept of territorial capital is not completely new. Some of the objectives or meanings can be found in former EU cohesion or spatial development policies; additionally, some EU member states such as Denmark have pursued this type of strategy since the early 1990s. Additionally, in Germany, instruments for social and economic cohesion already cover territorial aspects, meaning that the added value of the concept of territorial cohesion can critically be questioned. Furthermore, Denmark and Germany are both sceptical with regard to the introduction of new funding priorities and instruments; the old ones obviously work sufficiently as convergence among regions could be achieved from a country-by-country perspective. Nevertheless, an important advantage of the concept of territorial cohesion is that it offers added value for rethinking current (spatial) policies, strategies and instruments in EU member states that do not have such a long tradition or established system of spatial development policies. From this perspective, the concept of territorial cohesion has sharpened the attention paid to the territorial implications of European policies from a broader perspective, and thus it may serve as a conceptual tool to deal with these issues, not only from an economic but also from a spatial planning and policy coordination perspective.

30 pp (Refereed Articles, October 2013, no 53)

Othengrafen, F. & Cornett, A. P. (2013). A Critical Assessment of the Added Value of Territorial Cohesion, European Journal of Spatial Development, 53


Impact of Structural Reforms on Planning Systems and Policies: Loss of Spatial Consciousness? (#52)

Daniel Galland & Stig Enemark


This paper argues that a planning system that allows its policies and practices to gradually lose spatial consciousness and spatial coordination capacities within and across different levels of planning administration is less likely to make national and regional plans and strategies matter or have a say in future spatial development processes. The reasoning behind this argument stems from the case of Denmark, where a structural reform that changed the country’s geographies of inter-governmental arrangements in 2007 significantly transformed the configuration and functioning of the national planning system. Originally designed to support the principle of equal development through spatial planning policies aimed at the promotion of equal access to public and private services across the national territory, the Danish planning policy framework has increasingly evolved towards expressing a lack of explicit spatial consciousness in its current plans and strategies. At the same time, the Danish planning system seems to reveal narrower measures of spatial coherence in terms of horizontal and vertical coordination and integration of sectors and policies within and across different levels of planning administration. Based on an analysis regarding the evolution of planning policies and an examination of the current governance landscape influencing planning practices at national and regional levels, the paper attempts to generate an understanding concerning how the underlying rationale and the institutional relations of Danish spatial planning have been reoriented over time.

23 pp (Refereed Articles, September 2013, no 52)

Galland, D. & Enemark, S. (2013). Impact of Structural Reforms on Planning Systems and Policies: Loss of Spatial Consciousness?, European Journal of Spatial Development, 52


 Territory: An Unknown Quantity in Debates on Territorial Cohesion (#51)

Andreas Faludi


There are complaints about territorial cohesion being a vague concept, but in relevant debates territory, too, figures as an unknown quantity. Thus, is it the fixed property of any state, region or local administrative unit, or is it a malleable social construct; rather than being filled with bounded territories, does space overall contain a dynamic network with fuzzy internal, as well as external boundaries, with implications for territorial cohesion? After all, if the former were to be true, territorial cohesion would refer to qualities of what is inside bounded territories. If it were to be the latter, then the meaning of territorial cohesion would include qualities of the relations within a complex network of socially constructed, sometimes ephemeral constructs. There are implications for the ways subsidiarity and multi-level governance are invoked in EU discourse where there is a similar failure to question the underlying notion of territory. What is relevant here is the distinction between a ‘territorial’ and ‘relational’ geography. Considered opinion suggests that these alternatives can and, in view of the persistence of the principle of territorial representation, must be reconciled. However, though firmly entrenched, some constitutional theorists question the very principle. The debate is far from conclusive but at least it shows that discussion, even of this apparently fundamental principle is possible.

16 pp (Refereed Articles, August 2013, no 51)

Faludi, A. (2013). Territory: An Unknown Quantity in Debates on Territorial Cohesion, European Journal of Spatial Development, 51


Challenges to Local Government Innovation: Legal and Institutional Impediments to the Exercise of Innovative Economic Development Policy by Subnational Jurisdictions (#50)

Adam Grydehøj


A local government can use innovative governance practices to expand its jurisdictional capacity, thereby promoting local economic development. There are, however, legal and institutional impediments to the exercise of such innovative economic development policy. Using the subnational jurisdiction of Shetland as a case study, this paper considers how local government innovation can be a key driver of economic development. Local government innovation can nevertheless become subject to legal challenges by authorities in the higher-level jurisdictions (Scotland, the United Kingdom, and the European Union in the case of Shetland). Community concerns related to standards of good governance can compound these difficulties, resulting in a significant decrease in democratic accountability and a weakening of the local government’s de facto capacity to plan and implement policy. Before local governments can make the most of multilevel governance, local communities and high-lever jurisdictions must re-assess standards of legitimacy for local government functions and structures.

21 pp (Refereed Articles, April 2013, no 50)

Grydehøj, A. (2013). Challenges to Local Government Innovation: Legal and Institutional Impediments to the Exercise of Innovative Economic Development Policy by Subnational Jurisdictions, European Journal of Spatial Development, 50