Lithuania at the crossroads: experience from the ‘making’ of a National Spatial Plan

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For the past decades, Lithuania has been facing various challenges, including a massive emigration, shrinking towns and cities as well as a rapidly changing demographic, social and economic structure of the society. Inevitably, such dynamics produced a ‘spatial imprint’ in both, urban and rural areas. At the same time, different levels of governance attempt to catch up with such an accelerated development, lacking alignment, values and collectively agreed directions. Due to these pressing and complex challenges, a very recent process has been initiated by the Ministry of the Environment, aiming to move the existing national strategic planning approach to the next level and to develop an active, inclusive Comprehensive Spatial Plan of the Republic of Lithuania (CSPRL). The plan and the process behind it, are expected to set a new, transformative and innovative direction, addressing the future of the entire territory of the Lithuanian Republic and bringing all sectoral strategies into alignment. At the spotlight of the ongoing discussions are the definition of the nation-wide values, ambitions and vision, determining the future roles of existing urban centers and potentially redefining their relationship with suburban and rural ‘backlands’.
transformation, value, vision, integrative development