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Here you can find all articles published during 2014.

Refereed articles


The Impact of the Local Government Institutional Framework on the Distribution of Intergovern-mental Grants: Greek Republic as a Case Study (#55)

Konstantinos J. Hazakis & Panagiotis G. Ioannidis


The article analyses grant allocation from central governments to munici­palities in Greece during the period 2003-2010. A quantitative analysis is based on two simple models that include normative socioeconomic and in­stitutional factors. Data of 970 municipalities and 50 prefectures of Greece over the period 2003-2010 clearly show that institutional variables such as years of general elections and prefect’s experience exert more influence on grant allocation than normative variables such as GDP per capita. A substantial transfer of competences from central to local government could significantly ameliorate local tax revenues.

26 pp (Refereed Articles, August 2014, no 55)

Hazakis, K. J. & Ioannidis, P. G. (2014). The impact of the local government institutional framework on the distribution of intergovern-mental grants: Greek Republic as a case study, European Journal of Spatial Development, 55


The Limits of Polycentrism at the City-regional Scale: The case of Luxembourg (#54)

Antoine Decoville & Olivier Klein


Over the last fifteen years, promoters of the European spatial planning policy have presented polycentrism as the most promising strategy for answering the challenge of a more even spatial development. However, there is still no empirical evidence proving that this conceptual tool is adaptable to all scales. In this paper, we propose two different approaches of urban hierarchy with regards to its capacity to structure spatial development at a city-regional scale: the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The first one depicts a classical urban hierarchy based on the location of urban amenities. The second one, which takes into account the accessibility to these amenities, shows the polycentric model in a more nuanced manner. Our results underline the differences between these two models and call for caution with respect to the adoption of the polycentric model at this spatial scale, since it could potentially lead to an increase in urban sprawl.

20 pp (Refereed Articles, February 2014, no 54)

Decoville, A. & Klein, O. (2014). The Limits of Polycentrism at the City-regional Scale: The case of Luxembourg, European Journal of Spatial Development, 54



Research breefings


Strategies for Sustainable Urban Development and Urban-Rural Linkages (#4)

Kjell Nilsson et al.


An important driving force behind urban expansion is the growth of the urban population. But for Europe, this is not a sufficient explanation. The major trend is that European cities have become much less compact. Since the mid-1950s European cities have expanded on average by 78%, whereas the population has grown by only 33%. In the PLUREL project - an integrated project within the EU’s 6th Research Framework Programme - more than 100 researchers from 15 countries analysed the impacts of urban land consumption at a pan-European level and, through six European and one Chinese case studies, identified how land use conflicts and the pressure towards peri-urban areas can be strategically managed in different development and regulatory contexts. To summarise, the following strategies were identified as important steps towards more sustainable urban-rural futures: (i) better coordination of transport, land use and open space planning; (ii) urban containment and densification – development of a green compact city; (iii) preservation of blue and green infrastructure; and (iv) preservation of agricultural land and the promotion of local production. The need also remains to strengthen governance at the regional level while at the pan-European level there is clearly a need for more policy attention to be given to urban-rural linkages.

26pp (Articles, March 2014, no 4)

Nilsson, K. et al. (2014). Strategies for Sustainable Urban Development and Urban-Rural Linkages, European Journal of Spatial Development, Research Briefing No. 4



Debate articles


EU territory and policy-making: from words to deeds to promote policy integration

Philippe Doucet, Kai Böhme & Jacek Zaucha


In this paper Philippe Doucet, Kai Böhme, and Jacek Zaucha, address recent developments in the area of EU territorial cohesion. A first section is dedicated to the emergence of the place-based approach as a new paradigm of the EU cohesion policy, and the subsequent need for vertical, horizontal and territorial integration of policies. In a second step, progress recently made in the framework of the EU Territorial Agenda revision process towards a better understanding of, and recognition of the need for, territorial cohesion and policy integration is commented upon. Finally, a case is made for tangible steps to be taken to reform formal EU policy making, to strengthen the territorial dimension of both the overall policy approach and relevant sectoral policies.

24pp (Debate, January 2014)

Doucet, P., Böhme, K. & Zaucha, J. (2014). EU territory and policy-making: from words to deeds to promote policy integration, Debate article, European Journal of Spatial Development.