Town Planning Review

Polycentric territorial cohesion policy

Town Planning Review (2005), 76, (1), 107–118.

Abstract

The European Spatial Development Perspective portrays the European Union territory as monocentric. There is universal agreement that polycentrism is more conducive to what is being described as 'territorial cohesion'. The paper discusses polycentrism as envisaged in the European Spatial Development Perspective and its likelihood of becoming an issue in European Union territorial cohesion policy. It goes on to show that a polycentric Europe implies a polycentric process with initiatives coming from below. This suggests the application of the 'Open Method of Coordination'. In the past, this approach has been applied in economic, employment and social security policy areas in which the need for albeit voluntary coordination has been recognised. The paper ends with a scenario of its application to territorial cohesion policy, where the view of the European Community as being neatly divided into the territories of sovereign Member States needs to be replaced by one taking account of the emergent transnational cooperation networks.

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Faludi, Andreas