Spatial Foresight


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Spatial Foresight is a private consultancy and independent think tank in the area of European territorial policies and research. The fields of activity comprise:

  • Analysis and evaluation
  • Process facilitation
  • Strategy development
  • Training and dissemination
  • Territorial foresight processes
  • European and comparative studies

The principle idea is to bring together territorial development and policy processes with foresight oriented approaches. Foresight encompasses a range of approaches that combine strategic analysis, prospective forward thinking and process oriented dialogical work. Using these approaches for the processes shaping our territories will facilitate a better understanding of how to best capitalise on territorial development potentials.


The latest news about new projects, publications and forthcoming presentations by the Spatial Foresight team:

NEW PROJECT: European research for Maritime Eco(nomic) cluster governance strategies

Together with Ecorys Netherlands, Spatial Foresight participates to the development of scenarios and recommendations for the development of economic clusters in a set of maritime regions (Liguria, Crete, East Flanders, Malta). On the basis of statistical and geographical evidence, the project aims at elaborating scenarios through a participative process. Spatial Foresight is involved in graphic design to support scenario development and eventually in drafting a atlas of the regions. This atlas will highlight possible futures for maritime regions and ports, and the role of clusters in shaping it.

February 2020

NEW PUBLICATION: European transport and spatial development

Spatial Foresight colleagues Sabine Zillmer and Christian Lüer wrote a chapter for a new ARL publication on the link between European transport and spatial development. In their article, they shed light on the role transnational cooperation and corridor fora play along selected TEN-T core network corridors. They look into existing approaches of cooperation at different spatial scales and analyse experience from the North Sea-Baltic and Rhine-Alpine corridors. Based on this, they draw conclusions for cooperation and stakeholders along the Orient/East-Med Corridor.

Zillmer, S., Lüer, C. (2019). Transnational Cooperation along Core Network Corridors: The Role of Corridor Fora. In: Scholl, B., Perić, A. & M. Niedermaier (Eds.). Spatial and Transport Infrastructure Development in Europe: Example of the Orient/East-Med Corridor, Hanover. Forschungsberichte der ARL 12, pp. 106-132. Download.

January 2020


NEW PROJECT: ADRION operational and impact evaluation

Spatial Foresight, in a consortium led by t33, will contribute to the evaluation of the ADRION Cooperation Programme. The evaluation will provide evidence and recommendations concerning the governance and management structure as well as the communication strategy, the implementation of the Programme (operational evaluation= and the achievement of its strategic goals (impact evaluation). Spatial Foresight will contribute to the impact evaluation, assessing the effects of the Programme implementation to the regional integration and analysis the mechanisms producing the impact, understood as the Programme’s contribution to change. Spatial Foresight will also look into the contribution of the Programme to the EUSAIR, as regards the Programmes thematic and governance support to the strategy.

January 2020

NEW PROJECT: Active subsidiarity and the European Semester: the involvement of cities and regions in policy-making for investment and structural reform

In the framework contract for the European Committee of the Regions on economic policies and governance, Spatial Foresight, in a consortium led by t33, has been awarded a contract on the analysis of the concept of active subsidiarity and the European Semester. The objective is to develop recommendation on how to implement the concept of 'active subsidiarity' in the context of the European Semester, in particular with a view to LRAs and the principles of partnership and multi-level governance. Spatial Foresight will contribute, inter alia, through case studies.

December 2019

NEW PUBLICATION: Macro-regional Integrated Territorial Investments: How to break out of Interreg

This Spatial Foresight brief opens up a new path to overcome the ‘no-funding’ deadlock that puts the EU macro-regional strategies in anguish. Drawing upon their evolution and glimpsing into their future, the brief argues that macro-regional strategies have come to an age where they have the capacity and experience to design their path independently of Interreg funding. The brief combines the experience on macro-regional strategies with the concept of the Integrated Territorial Investments tool and presents a bold and innovative idea on Macro-regional Integrated Territorial Investments, which could give an answer to how macro-regional strategies can break out of Interreg money. You may download the brief here.

December 2019


NEW PROJECT: Assessing the need for a modification of the state aid rules for the phasing-out of coal

Spatial Foresight, in a consortium led by t33, has been awarded a contract on the analysis of state aid modification needes for the phasing-out of coal. This analysis will be conducted within a framework contract awared by the European Committee of the Regions.  The objective of the study is to provide insights into available state aid rules and needs for adjustments to better facilitate the transition of coal regions. Spatial Foresight will conduct, inter alia, two case studies on coal regions in Northrhine-Westfalia and Castilla y Leon.

December 2019

NEW PUBLICATION: The impacts of metropolitan regions on their surrounding areas

Metropolitan areas are ‘engines’ of European economic development. They have various functional links with their surrounding areas. These may imply positive and negative spill-over effects between the areas concerned. But what are these links and effects and how can they be measured? A File Note, contracted by the European Committee of the Regions, investigates this. It shows the main characteristics of these links in general and through case studies. Spatial Foresight highlighted innovative ways of collecting statistical data on flows in the File Note and furthermore contributed with two case studies. These were the examples of the Frankfurt Rhine Main region and the Nantes - PETR Pays de Retz cooperation. The project was lead by ÖIR. The report can be downloaded here.

November 2019