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 PROJECT: CGET ERDF European comparison

Spatial Foresight has been chosen to identify and describe good practices in the implementation of ERDF programmes by the French General Commission for Territorial Equality. For this purpose, an extensive network of national experts covering all EU countries has been mobilised. The study will in particular focus on factors of success to achieve good progress in programming, national coordination arrangements for ERDF programmes, programme governance and partnerships. We will also look carefully at programme management systems in different parts of Europe. The study feeds into a wider set of enquiries designed to prepare French authorities for the design and implementation of ERDF programmes in the 2021-2027 programming period, under the coordination of the French consultancy group Rouge Vif.

February 2019

NEW PUBLICATION: Spatial & Transport Development in European Corridors - The example of the Orient/East-Med

As part of its Think Tank activities, Spatial Foresight contributed to the international working group of the ARL (German Academy for Spatil Research and Planning) dealing with “Spatial and Transport Development in European Corridors – The example of the Orient/East-Med”. The first publication of this working group is a position paper that does not only assess the state the of the Orient/East-Med Corridor but provides interesting insights into future requirements to develop the Corridor’s potential. This includes, inter alia, recommendations towards a joint strategy for integrated spatial and transport development. The full position paper is available here.

February 2019

Dr Sabine Zillmer at ARL

Dr Sabine Zillmer has been appointed to the ARL’s (German Academy for Spatil Research and Planning) Users Advisory Board for a four year period (2019-2022). This board advises the Academy on service development by focusing on the view of users on publications and other products.

February 2019

NEW PUBLICATION: Towards a European Geogrpahy of Future Perspectives: A story of Urban Concentration

Is Europe facing a new geography of future perspectives? In the past decades territorial cohesion in Europe has been tightly linked to urban areas and their role as development motors. In a recent publication the Spatial Foresight team members Kai Böhme, Christian Lüer and Maria Toptsidou argue that the dominant role of cities in territorial development has contributed to an increasing fragmentation of societies and territories. Consequently, it leads to a fragmented geography of future perspectives. To get cohesion back on track more focus is needed on cooperation and functional areas. Read more at Böhme, K., Lüer, C. & Toptsidou, M. (2019) ‘Towards a European Geography of Future Perspectives: A Story of Urban Concentration’. In: Medeiros, E. (ed.) Territorial Cohesion. The Urban Dimension. Springer. Available here.

January 2019

NEW PROJECT: EU-CELAC Cooperation on Territorial Cohesion

Spatial Foresight is part of a consortium led by Technopolis selected to carry out INNOVACT II – the second phase of the EU-CELAC INNOVACT Platform on behalf of the European Commision (DG REGIO). The aim of the project is to systematise and structure the knowledge transfer from European countries and regions to Latin American (LATAM) cross-border regions in terms of regional innovation promotion, cross-border cooperation and territorial governance. In addition to the previously selected 6 Latin American countries (Peru, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Mexico), now also Bolivia and the Triple Border Argentina-Brazil-Paraguay will benefit from capacity building and support to develop new value chains and regional innovation projects. European regions and cross-border areas will be invited to offer their knowledge to the LATAM regions and to exploit opportunities for cooperation.

January 2019

NEW PROJECT: Implementing a place-based approach to EU industrial policy strategy

Spatial Foresight will carry out two case studies on circular economy and its link to innnovation and new business and employment opportunities in a regional and local context, in the framework of the report 'Implementing a place-based approach to EU industrial policy strategy' for the European Committee of the Regions. The project is a cooperation of t33 (the lead partner), Spatial Foresight and ÖIR.

January 2019

NEW PROJECT: Green economy in the Alps II

Spatial Foresight is part of the winning Consortium with blue! (leadpartner) and CIPRA for a project contracted by the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) in support of the sector development of the Green Economy in the Alps. The project builds on the Action Programme for a Green Economy that has been elaborated by the Consortium during the past two years. Spatial Foresight will especially contribute to the sector analysis of the Green Economy in the Alps and the preparation of stakeholder activation for their involvement.

December 2018

NEW PROJECT: Land use scenarios for Luxembourg in 2050

Economic and demographic growth impact on land use. Growth points at land use potentials and conflicts since land is a scarce resource. For example economic and demographic growth can disturb the land use balance between settelments, industry, agriculture, energy prodction, transport infrastructure, nature etc. These conflicts are even more pronounced in small countries like Luembourg and in the case of the objective of no net land take by 2050. To infrom the policy debate in Luxembourg, Spatial Foresight has been commissoned to calculate possible land use changes until 2050 for a number of development scenarios.

December 2018

NEW PROJECT: Scoping document on the future of Interreg NWE

For the Interreg programme North-West Europe (NWE), the Cohesion Policy period post 2020 implies a wide range of uncertainties and changes due to Brexit. This offers also an opportunity to take a closer look at possible future programme geographies and cooperation topics. By analysing prevailing linkages and functional relations between territories involved in the current NWE programme and beyond, Spatial Foresight supports the Luxembourg Ministry with food for thought concerning the future orientation of Interreg North-West Europe.

November 2018

NEW PROJECT: Synergies and cooperation potential between circular economy strategies

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has been following closely the development of circular economy initiatives at the European level and has produced a number of opinions on the matter. With this assignment the EESC wants to further the knowledge and understanding concerning the state of the art of circular economy roadmaps and strategies in Europe. The specific objective is to analyse differences and commonalities of existing national and regional Circular Economy strategies, and to identify potential for cooperation, by jointly analysing the state of the art of this type of strategies at the European level.

November 2018

NEW PROJECT: Territorial approach to SDG implementation

The European Committee of the Regions will produce an opinion reacting to the EU Reflection Paper on a Sustainable Europe by 2030 about the state of play of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the place of cities and regions in their implementation. T33 was awarded the contract for providing background information about the territorial aspects of the implementationof the SDGs in the EU, with a particular focus on the type of involvement of regions and cities, the political leadership of such involvements, and multi-level goverance arrangements. Spatial Foresight will contribute to the work with one case study and interviews.

November 2018

NEW PROJECT: Territorial scenarios for the Baltic Sea Region

The aim of the ESPON project is to produce trend analysis and territorial scenarios for the Baltic Sea Region. Key topics to be addressed under various policies related to the Baltic Sea Region’s territorial development will be identified and the role of the Baltic Sea Region in a larger European and global context. The project is lead by Nordregio and the team includes besides Spatial Foresight also Spiekermann & Wegener Urban and Regional Research and the Institute of Geography and Spatial Organisation Polish Academy of Sciences.

November 2018

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