Awareness of the potential of more integrated place-based approaches to sectoral policy making is increasing and spatial planning is playing a role in making this happen in many countries. This is especially so in joining up land use with transport and environmental policy. Spatial planning is much less concerned with policy sectors such as retail, health and education. Increasingly important sector policies such as energy, waste and ICT are not generally well connected with spatial planning. Spatial planning instruments and their policies are too often detached from Cohesion Policy and other (EU) sector policies. Mainstream spatial planning systems are not steering Cohesion Policy investments but come into play mostly in the regulation stage.
Territorial governance and spatial planning systems in Europe are diverse. Their characteristics reflect the differences in planning traditions in Europe arising from their administrative, legal and cultural roots. On the one hand, this means that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to territorial governance and spatial planning in Europe. On the other hand, the diversity of territorial governance and spatial planning systems needs to be better recognized ESPON / COMPASS - Comparative Analysis of Territorial Governance and Spatial Planning Systems in Europe / Final Report 78 by EU and national decision makers. Raising awareness of the value of considering the particularities of places could contribute to better policy integration and place-sensitive policy making.