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Monitoring Territorial Dynamics

Nordregio News Issue 2, 2014

Photo: Karin Beate Nosterud/

Territorial Monitoring: Better Knowledge for Sounder Policies?

What is territorial monitoring – and who is making use of all the available evidence from monitoring systems in Europe today? How should researchers and practitioners work together to ensure that monitoring stays relevant, timely and easy to absorb by those who may benefit from better knowledge about territorial structures and dynamics? In this issue of Nordregio News, we take a tour of territorial monitoring – looking at conceptual, practical and applied aspects of producing and using such knowledge.

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How to Monitor Territorial Dynamics

By Gunnar Lindberg & Alexandre Dubois

Monitoring territorial development and outlining territorial cohesion are currently fashionable. Academic exercises and institutional endeavours are undertaken to determine the best ways to construct tools for these purposes. In essence, a territorial monitoring system is much more than just a statistical database. A key parameter of a territorial monitoring system is its ability to provide relevant information to inform the policy process by providing territorial evidence and analyses for policymakers responsible for cohesion across levels of government.

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Territorial Cohesion in the Baltic Sea Region

By Tomas Hanell

A monitoring system as such may be considered largely useless. Collection and storage of data merely enable extraction of information and are ultimately intended to provide knowledge from the system. The value-added of a monitoring system in the case below could thus be evaluated in terms of its ability to feed relevant information into a policy process and its capacity to produce supporting evidence for actual decision-making. Below is a brief summary of such an attempt performed in the context of the ESPON BSR-TeMo monitoring system for the Baltic Sea Region.

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Monitoring of Territorial Cohesion

By Odd Godal

ESPON is a programme to monitor the territorial cohesion of Europe. It has a systematic European and comparative perspective. The second programme period is about to conclude, and a third programme is to be launched. The ambition for the new programme is to strengthen its user focus, which of course may be achieved in a number of ways. Below, I reflect on the experience so far.

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