Interfase-UAB team has participated in the ESPON seminar focused on ‘Transforming Territorial Thinking Through Digitalisation”, representing two ongoing projects: ESPON 2020 Database Portal and ESPON GRETA. The seminar was held on the 6th and 7th of December in Tallinn, and was organised in cooperation with the Estonian Presidency of the European Union in the framework of the ESPON2020 Cooperation programme.
The seminar was a meeting point for policy-makers, stakeholders, practitioners, scientists and other experts who provided new insights and discussions on territorial evidence in policy-making addressing key topics regarding demographic development, labour market, economic diversification and resilience, urban-rural linkages, governance and strategy building, territorial cooperation, spatial planning and governance. The seminar started with an open discussion on the Territorial development in the digital era with Paul Timmers, Anna Piperal, Jonas Onland and Martin Brynskov as panelists. Several questions raised like:
- Which mechanisms will work for everyone to facilitate the digital transition? Are there global standards applicable at any place?
- Is the combination of front-runners and capacity-building a solution? Should this be the basis for the cohesion foundations?
- Is digitalisation part of the solution? We don’t have the right policies yet for digital transition, we need the instruments. This requires proactive policies and a new public governance to provide opportunities to co-create. We need to build networks that favour cascading capabilities.
Later, Hy Dao (lead partner from the University of Geneve) had the chance to present the ESPON 2020 Database Portal which aims to provide data and the structure that can be used by ESPON projects but also by other end-users. The main idea is to provide relevant and accessible data produced by ESPON projects or used in the building of indicators.
In the afternoon, the new ESPON Applied Research projects were briefly introduced. Here, Gemma García-Blanco (from project leader Tecnalia) presented the general overview of ESPON GRETA‘s approach to address the key policy questions.
Roughly, GRETA aims to develop a comprehensive knowledge base for enhancing green infrastructure to benefit territorial development in different types of European regions and cities.
Key policies addressed by GRETA
We also had time for meeting partners of ongoing projects and to exchange experiences, especially those based on developing evidence-based policy recommendations.
It was nice and inspiring meeting new and already well-known faces!