Giancarlo Cotella
Associate Professor


Giancarlo Cotella is Associate Professor of spatial planning at Politecnico di Torino. His research focuses on the comparative analysis of of territorial governance and spatial planning systems in Europe and beyond and on the mutual influence between European Union territorial governance and domestic territorial governance and spatial planning.
More in particular, in his research he explored the evolution and impact of the EU cohesion policy and related programmes and initiatives on the Member States' cities and regions. He conducted research on spatial development trends and evidence based policy-making since 2005, with a particular attention for the indentification and transferability of good practices.
Through time, he has been teaching and researching in numerous universities in Europe and beyond, and has published widely in the international scientific literature, with over 100 articles and book chapters. He coordinated and/or participated in several international research projects.
He is actively invovled in the activities of the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP) since 2005


Berisha, E., Cotella, G., Janin Rivolin, U., & Solly, A. (2021). Spatial governance and planning systems in the public control of spatial development: a European typology. European planning studies, 29(1), 181-200.

Berisha E., Cotella G., Solly A. (2021). Governing Territorial Development in the Western Balkans. Springer, Cham. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-72124-4

Brovarone, E. V., Cotella, G., & Staricco, L. (2021). Rural Accessibility in European Regions. London: Routledge.

Cotella G (2020) How Europe hits home? The impact of European Union policies on territorial governance and spatial planning. GĂ©ocarrefour 94(3).

Adams N, Cotella G, Nunes R (2011) Territorial development, cohesion and spatial planning: building on EU enlargement, Routledge, London.


ESPON METRO The role and future perspectives of Cohesion Policy in the planning of Metropolitan Areas and Cities.

ESPON SUPER Sustainable Urbanization and land-use Practices in European Regions.

ESPON COMPASS Comparative Analysis of Territorial Governance and Spatial Planning Systems in Europe.

ESPON URRUC Urban-rural connections in non-metropolitan areas.

ESPON TANGO Territorial Approaches for New Governance.

Working Group "Comparative Spatial Planning Research"

Working Group "Small towns and metropolitan cores: towards cooperation?"

National Expert for Italy
  • Administration
  • Regional development, regional management
  • Social sciences, cultural sciences, demography
  • Spatial planning, state planning, regional planning
  • Sustainability science
  • Urban planning, urban development

Projects involved



Spatial planning, state planning, regional planning