Spatial Foresight


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Spatial Foresight GmbH is a Luxembourg-based company which provides territorial policy support 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 PUBLICATION: Assessment of ESIF administrative costs and burden

Spatial Foresight and t33 carried out an extensive assessment of the administrative costs for the management of European Structural and Investment Funds, as well as the respective administrative burden for beneficiaries. 

The study targeted all authorities involved in ESIF management at European level, and it includes the calculation of new cost and burden baselines, replacing several previous studies with a homogeneous approach targeting all five ESI Funds.

The work also includes simulations on the future impact of legislative innovations, and possible future costs and burden for the 2021-2027 programming period.

The publication can be accessed here.

November 2018

NEW PUBLICATION: Towards a European Territorial Agenda Post 2020?

Derek Martin, Peter Schön and Peter Mehlbye just published an interesting paper on the future of the European Territorial Agenda. This is part of their engagement with the Territorial Thinkers, a platform supported by Spatial Foresight. In their Territorial Thinkers’ Briefing they argue for that dealing more explicitly and emphatically with the territorial dimension of EU policies is not an option but a necessity requiring concrete measures and actions. In this light, the revision of the Territorial Agenda 2020 into a post 2020, longer-term strategy on how to respond to this necessity is an important and urgent proposal. Drawing on latest ESPON results, this Briefing aims at supporting this initiative by providing many suggestions and ideas, some almost inevitable, some more ambitious and ‘out of the box’ than others, but all worth reflecting upon.

Download the Territorial Thinkers' Briefing 2018:03.

November 2018

NEW PUBLICATION: Strengthening of the strategic territorial dimension in ESIF regulations

In their Territorial Thinkers' Briefing Peter Mehlbye and Kai Böhme argue for strengthening of the strategic, territorial dimension in the proposed EC regulations, the Common Provisions Regulation (CRP), and the two regulations governing ERDF and European Territorial Cooperation (ETC) after 2020. The paper also provides concrete proposals and recommendations for the current debate on how to release additional development potential, more efficient investment spending and more European integration from territorial strategies, coordination and cooperation in ESIF programmes after 2020. The paper is the first in a new series of Territorial Thinkers' Briefings and has been developed in close cooperation with Derek Martin and Peter Schön.

October 2018

NEW EVENT: Join the discussion on new approaches to territorial foresight at the ESPON Scientific Conference

Spatial Foresight colleague Frank Holstein will present a joint paper by Kai Böhme, Christian Lüer and himself at the ESPON Scientific Conference, 14 November 2018 in London. Frank will reflect on Spatial Foresight’s experience with developing a new approach to territorial foresight. Spatial Foresight’s approach combines elements from territorial impact assessment and foresight approaches to visualise the territorial diversity of future trends, policy objectives and visions. Details about the approach will be presented at the ESPON event and in the paper.

More information about the event and the abstract of the paper can be found on the ESPON webpage:

October 2018

NEW PROJECT: National information platform for urban policies 2018 - 2021

Spatial Foresight was awarded together with Zeyen+Baumann with the follow-up of the 'Cellule nationale d'information pour la Politique Urbaine' (CIPU - National information platform for urban policies) for Luxembourg. The platform is an interface between local, national, European as well as between scientific and application oriented actors. This new project is a follow-up of project conducted in 2017.

The project contributes to further the exchange of information and expertise of urban actors from different levels by creating an environment for common reflection on matters of urban development.

September 2018

NEW PUBLICATION: EGTC Good Practice Booklet

Spatial Foresight drafted together with ÖIR and t33 the brochure ‘EGTC Good Practice Booklet’ for the European Committee of the Regions. The booklet outlines the applicability and utility of EGTCs (European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation) along ten themes and functions. This includes a selection of 21 EGTCs and their activities. It outlines the rationale for establishing these EGTCs and their activities. The short descriptions highlight the stakeholders involved, obstacles encountered as well as achievements, European added-value and potentials for transferability.

The booklet is available for download here.

September 2018

PHD position on European policy responses for shrinking cities

Spatial Foresight is looking for enthusiastic PhD candidates. In the framework of the H2020 project RE-CITY Spatial Foresight will host 1 of the 13 PhD positions.

The Innovative Training Network “Reviving shrinking cities – innovative paths and perspectives toward liveability for shrinking cities in Europe” is recruiting 13 PhD positions for early stage researchers. One of the PhD will be hosted by Spatial Foresight. The focus of the research guided by Spatial Foresight is on mapping and analysing the diversity of policy responses to demographic decline across Europe. A comparative analysis shall provide insights on policy frameworks suitable for responding to demographic decline and various types of shrinking cities or regions It also shall provide a future outlook on shrinking cities and possible policy responses.

Curious about this or one of the other 12 PhD positions? Please find more information on

More information about the project can be found on:

The deadline for applications is 15 November 2018.

September 2018

NEW PUBLICATION: Assessment of the application of the EGTC regulation

Spatial Foresight carried out the evaluation of the amended EGTC regulation (Regulation (EU) No 1302/2013) on behalf of DG Regio. The publication sheds light on the effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, European added value and scope for simplification of the EGTC regulation as it is currently in place. The evaluation was based on information collected in the framework of the recent EGTC monitoring report.

The assessment illustrates that the application of the EGTC instrument was made easier, but there remains room for improvement. For example, the potentials of EGTC could be promoted more by EU Funds; access to ETC Funds through pre-financing schemes could be improved; more consistent interpretation and application of the EGTC regulation; introduction of regular updated to responsible authorities and European institutions; better promotion in the Member States regarding sector policies.

The final report is available for download here.

July 2018

NEW PROJECT: Simplification measures in the Cohesion policy proposals for 2021-2027 and impact of the CoR political work

The CoR’s Commission for Territorial Cohesion Policy and EU Budget (COTER) has decided to prepare on opinion on the recently published legislative proposals for European Structural and Investment Funds by the European Commission. Spatial Foresight will support the European Committee of Regions (CoR) with preparing their opinion on the Common Provision Regulation proposal by the European Commission.

In preparation of this opinion COTER would like to know to what extent their previous opinions and recommendations have been taken on board as well as to what extent the new proposals for simplification affect local and regional authorities.

July 2018

NEW PROJECT: RE-CITY - reviving shrinking cities

Spatial Foresight has been awarded a Horizon 2020 grant for a research project focusing on finding new ways of maintaining or improving the quality of life in shrinking cities. On one hand, Spatial Foresight’s role will consist of supporting the research by providing inputs from the practical field and organising workshops. On the other hand, Spatial Foresight will host one of the PhD students by offering a placement with a practical focus.

The RE-CITY project perceives shrinkage as an opportunity in the years to come. Hence, the RE-CITY project aims at finding creative and innovative solutions to these types of cities, that could be then incorporated into new interdisciplinary concepts in urban planning. To do so, the project promotes young scientists. Within the framework of a graduate school, 13 PhD students will conduct research in the project's international network from April 2019.

July 2018


Spatial Foresight has initiatited a discussion on possible futures for Europe. Given the increasing talks about stronger nation states and a weaker EU, we would like to stimulate some discussion about what Europe would look like if it were the other way around. Please feel free to submit your thoughts via our website:

August 2016