Client: European Environmental Agency
Territorial cohesion is one of the objectives of the European Union, mentioned along with social and economic cohesion in the Lisbon Treaty. The European Commission’s Green Paper on territorial cohesion discusses pathways for implementing this objective. Among its provisions, this paper calls for the coordination and integration of policy actions at the level of a given territory. While the Green Paper and other discussions on territorial cohesion have mentioned environment as part of territorial cohesion, they have not explored this dimension in depth.
Milieu Ltd worked with Collingwood Environmental Planning (CEP) to explore the environmental dimension of territorial cohesion in a series of studies. One study considered the different environmental aspects of the concept of territorial cohesion. A parallel study considered the role of land prices in shaping land use change – in particular, this study assessed the extent to which land prices can be an indicator of change, as well as a driver of change. EEA has now published technical reports based on our work:
1. Land in Europe: prices, taxes and use patterns (Technical Report 4/2010: http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/land-in-europe)
2. The territorial dimension of environmental sustainability – Potential territorial indicators to support the environmental dimension of territorial cohesion (Technical Report 9/2010: http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/the-territorial-dimension-of-environmental-sustainability)
In further work, we used the concept of territorial cohesion to study two emerging policy topics. The first, green infrastructure, provides a mechanism to assess ecosystem services in a territorial perspective, since promoting green infrastructure can be an important step in pursuing territorial cohesion. The second area, EU water policy, has led to a comprehensive planning system set up under the Water Framework Directive. Here, our analysis looked in particular at links between water planning and land use planning, in areas such as flood risk management. The study also looked at examples where water planning has been coordinated among Member States. EEA is currently preparing technical reports based on our work in these two additional areas.