Mind the gap : territorial governance and spatial planning systems in the Western Balkan region

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Starting from the 1990s, an increasing number of studies and reports focussed on the heterogeneous landscape for territorial governance and spatial planning in Europe. The geographical coverage of these comparative analyses broadened over time, paralleling the progression of the EU integration process. However, until now the Western Balkan countries have been ignored by the majority of the studies, mostly due to their fragmentation and geopolitical instability. As the pre-accession negotiation proceeds, such analytical gap should be overcome through the collection of evidence that may support the EU in developing a more sound and effective cohesion policy. This paper makes a first step in sketching out and comparing the evolution of the territorial governance and spatial planning in the Western Balkan Region since the late 1980s. More specifically, it first presents a general overview of the geographical and socio-economic situation, to then explore the evolution of the administrative and legal frameworks for spatial planning as well as of the tools that characterise each national context. Highlighting similarities and differences between the countries at stake, our work exposes the complexity of the subject and sets the stage for further research on the matter.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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