The role of a regional development strategy or concept, which contains a fully implementable programme of action, is to highlight the perspectives for joint development and to coordinate all major development schemes within the region. Bringing together the various protagonists on a voluntary basis allows region’s endogenous potentials and strengths to be identified, mobilised, and targeted.
Regional development strategies, which have no legally binding force and have a short to medium-term horizon, supplement the formal, legally binding and longer-term instruments of planning (spatial structure plans). The regional development strategy achieves a certain binding force through the selfcommitment of actors and through the subsidies associated with them. Based on the results of SWOT analysis and a guiding vision for the region, regional development strategies set priorities, indicate how various measures interrelate, and put forward orientational values and proposals to coordinate the deployment of funding.
The use of a regional development strategy to propose alternatives for dealing with selected planning problems, or for particular subregions, adds to the general acceptance with which planning is met: it allows procedures to resolve conflicts to be set in train in good time.