Town Planning Review

The territorial agenda of the European Union: Progress for climate change mitigation and adaptation?

Town Planning Review (2009), 80, (1), 57–82.

Abstract

The Territorial Agenda of the European Union (Territorial Agenda) document agreed by EU Member States at Leipzig in May 2007 aims at strengthening territorial cohesion in Europe and supporting the growth and jobs and sustainable development objectives of the EU's Lisbon and Gothenburg strategies. It seeks to foster and reconcile sustainable economic growth and job creation, as well as social and ecological development in all EU regions. In light of these aspirations, this article assesses: whether the Territorial Agenda document can be considered to represent progress for climate change mitigation and adaptation when its policy goals are set against the climate change dimensions of its predecessor document, the European Spatial Development Perspective; the evidence and impacts of climate change in Europe; and the EU's wider evolving policy response to climate change. It concludes that the Territorial Agenda can be seen to indicate some progress in the treatment of climate change, even if the territorial cohesion thinking and spatial model that underpin the document continue to be viewed, it seems, primarily as prerequisites for achieving a European social model which aims to couple sustainable economic growth with the achievement of social and economic cohesion.

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Fischer, Thomas

Sykes, Olivier