ESPON Scientific Conference 2018


ESPON Scientific Conference 2018
Wed, 14. November 2018


Building the next generation of research on territorial development


The European Territorial Observatory Network (ESPON) is organising a scientific conference on “Building the next generation of research on territorial development” in London on 14 November 2018. We are looking for fresh approaches and methods that inspire. The conference aims to share and discuss experiences and future challenges in territorial development and cohesion, and how to apply new scientific approaches and tools in territorial research and policy making.

The opening session will explore the shifting horizons in local and regional development and the challenges that cities and regions are facing in a time of digital transformation and big data. In parallel sessions we will consider new concepts, methods, indicators, typologies, tools, maps and models with input from 18 paper presentations. We will look at how to further develop the territorial dimension in policy development related to the following three topics:

  • Territorial interrelations: An increasing number of cities and regions are working on the spatial development of cross-border and functional urban areas. It is important to further strengthen the analytical, policy-making, monitoring and evaluation capacities for these areas by developing and using methodologies to capture territorial interrelations, functional areas and territorial development beyond static administrative units.
  • Monitoring integrated territorial development: The European Commission has introduced new tools that can be used to implement territorial strategies in an integrated manner by combining several funds and addressing the development of a territory across sectors. It is important to develop and use methodologies that are able to monitor and measure integrated territorial development.
  • New data sources: The use of traditional data, such as official administrative statistics, takes in general long to be published and used and does not cover all topics of interest for territorial cohesion. It is important to develop and use methodologies that are using new data sources and tools, such as data and information from analysing internet activities or social media, for observing territorial development trends.

The conference will conclude with a panel debate on whether we are asking the right questions with representatives from the European Regional Science Association (ERSA), the Association of Geographical Societies in Europe (EUGEO), the Regional Studies Association (RSA) and the European Council of Spatial Planners (ECTP-CEU).

The programme, abstracts and online registration are available on our website at The conference will take place at the 99 City Road Conference Centre next to Old Street tube station.