European Spatial Research and Policy 2022-03-01T11:16:11+01:00 Joanna Ulańska Open Journal Systems <div style="text-align: justify;"> <p><em>European Spatial Research and Policy</em> is an international review concerned with the problems of social and economic space organisation at a local, regional and supranational level. The journal comprising both theoretical and empirical aspects of spatial analyses is aimed at academics, policy-makers and practitioners interested in a broad range of spatial development in contemporary Europe. The scope of the journal is defined by the concepts of space, environment, society and economy rather than by names of specific disciplines. Its main areas of interest include i.a. regional policy, spatial planning, European integration processes, locational studies, labor market developments, foreign investments, environmental problems and other crucial issues influencing the shape of contemporary and future European space.</p> </div> From conformance to performance? A comparative analysis of the European Union territorial policy trends in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina 2022-02-25T13:37:58+01:00 Ana Peric Sinisa Trkulja Zora Zivanovic <p>As several Western Balkans countries aspire to become members of the European Union (EU) in the (near) future, it is interesting to explore to what extent EU territorial trends are adopted in both the official national regulations and spatial planning practice. To do so, we: 1) screen EU territorial policies to elucidate the trends and principles of territorial development, 2) analyse the contents of spatial plans in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and 3) compare the practical application of the principles such as decentralisation, diffusion of power, subsidiarity, multi-actorship, synergy, transparency, citizen participation, coordinated action (among various disciplinary bodies), and holistic strategies. The findings show the ineffectiveness of declaratively adopted EU territorial trends against place-based territorial policy approaches.</p> 2021-12-30T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Territorial governance of cultural heritage through spatial planning in Albania and Kosovo 2022-03-01T11:16:11+01:00 Ledio Allkja Kejt Dhrami <p>Cultural and historical heritage is inextricably linked to territorial capital. Over the years, the recognition of its importance has increased in the political and policy discourse. This paper examines these challenges considering spatial planning policies and instruments, namely “how effective spatial planning instruments are in addressing the goal of protecting and enhancing cultural heritage.” The research is focused on two Western Balkan cases of Albania and Kosovo, and takes a comparative approach, considering the ever-present conflict between “the old and the new”, and between growth and preservation, in the respective capital cities of Tirana and Pristina. Both countries have gone through drastic transformations in their planning systems over the last two decades, with an attempt to shift from traditional rigid urbanism approaches towards more comprehensive and integrated ones. Additionally, the two countries are in similar stages of socio-economic development, which include a trend of concentration and rapid urban development. The findings suggest that while cultural preservation and valorisation is ranked high in terms of planning policies, both countries fail to preserve these values when it comes to land development practices.</p> 2021-12-30T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2022 The Slovenian planning system 30 years later: Lessons learnt and lessons not learnt 2022-02-25T13:37:47+01:00 Naja Marot <p>After gaining independence, countries such as Slovenia put a lot of effort into adapting their legislations to new market conditions. While concentrating on legislation, they often dismissed several other factors which influence policy and decision making. Among them, a particularly important role is played by the Europeanisation of planning, and the turn towards a higher flexibility of processes and land uses as opposed to the predetermination via zoning. While shedding light on these issues, this paper reflects on the incremental evolution of the Slovenian spatial planning system from the approval of the first Spatial Planning Act in 2003 towards a territorial governance approach characterised by a mix of regulatory processes and plans. </p> 2021-12-30T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Common action: Can grassroots initiatives propel territorial governance in Montenegro? 2022-02-25T13:38:01+01:00 Sonja Dragovic <p>In recent years, grassroots organising has become important in advocating for the interests of local communities in spatial development processes in the Balkans. Though differing in terms of size, focus, and method, these initiatives seek to articulate dissatisfaction with the existing models of spatial governance, and to imagine, propose, and demand more just and inclusive alternatives. This paper focuses on grassroots activism contesting the top-down model of governing space in Montenegro. Based on a case-study analysis, it traces developments in the forms of organising and degrees of influence of three distinct initiatives, examining what their impact on the development of territorial governance approach may be.</p> 2021-12-30T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Territorial rescaling and polycentric governance in Albania 2022-02-25T13:38:06+01:00 Dritan Shutina Rudina Toto <p>Territories as relational geographical constructs are in constant formation and reformation, or rescaling, which results in spatial typologies of complex governance. The voting containers of a territory are merely one typology, often not matching the numerous functions within the other typologies. Under the assumption that voting containers are politically fixed, governance that adapts to the dynamics of territorial rescaling is required. This paper explores the relationship between territorial rescaling and polycentric governance in Albania. It concludes that polycentric governance can enable cooperation and efficiency throughout rescaling, assuming some conditions are in place for addressing the polycentricity gap.</p> 2021-12-30T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Economic growth agenda: The effects of full utilisation of capital budgets among statistical planning regions in North Macedonia 2022-02-25T13:38:04+01:00 Vesna Garvanlieva Andonova Marjan Nikolov Ivana Velkovska Ana Marija Petrovska <p>North Macedonia can improve its economic growth by addressing the infrastructure gap by at least full capital budget utilisation. The outturn/execution of capital budget expenditures is low and in relative terms decreasing. The planned public finances for regional balanced development are also low and non-compliant with the legally set levels. A test of several hypothetical scenarios of full capital budget utilisation it is expected to positively contribute to the economic growth immediately and in the period to follow. Even if total debt increases in nominal terms, in relative terms the debt-to-GDP on a longer-run reduces through generating additional economic output.</p> 2021-12-30T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2022 The opportunity to develop strategic spatial planning with the impulse of integrated territorial investments in Croatia 2022-03-01T08:27:45+01:00 Ivana Katurić Sven Simov <p>Regional development and spatial planning in Croatia are organised as parallel planning systems regulated by different legislations and coordinated by two ministries, the development of which has been strongly influenced by the European Union (EU). In the last two decades, the intensive development of strategic documentation on a local, regional, and national level regarding diverse territorial governance aspects has had extensive analytical scope but little potential for implementation due to the overlapping of responsibilities and disconnected budget and implementation instruments. The Integrated Territorial Investments (ITI) mechanism of implementation contributed to the understanding of multifaceted territorial governance beyond strategic document drafting. This paper analyses the first phase of ITI implementation in Croatia, i.e. the processes which unified functional urban areas, creating the possibility to develop joint management structures and strategies, integrated projects, and common participative planning models.</p> 2021-12-30T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2022 The impact of China’s Belt and Road Initiative on the Western Balkan Region: An erosion of EU conditionality? 2022-02-25T13:38:09+01:00 Giancarlo Cotella Erblin Berisha <p>The EU integration process contributes to influence the ongoing institutional changes in the Western Balkans. At the same time, the incremental inflow of Chinese capital in the region that followed the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative is progressively reshaping power relations there. This article sheds light on the interaction between these two processes, discussing whether the increasing inflow of resources may gradually erode EU conditionality and hinder the overall integration process. To do so, the authors draw on an extensive review of academic and policy documents and on selected expert interviews, upon which they compare the actions of the EU and China in the region.</p> 2021-12-30T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Improving compliance of the EU Cohesion Policy via prevention measures? The case of the Polish Operational Programme ‘Technical Assistance’ 2014–2020 2022-02-25T13:38:17+01:00 Julia Walczyk Nicola Francesco Dotti <p>The EU Cohesion Policy was observed to be marked by financial compliance problems due to a relatively high level of irregularities. This problem brings into question the issue of how to prevent such infringements of the rules applicable to EU expenditure. Against this backdrop, this article investigates how Poland worked to prevent irregularities during the 2014–2020 programming period. Specifically, the focus is on whether prevention measures enhanced Poland’s financial compliance performance. For this purpose, a novel model of ‘non-compliance financial rate’ (NCFR) is proposed and triangulated with qualitative findings from semi-structured interviews and documentary analysis, which has shown encouraging results that might be relevant also for other Member States.</p> 2021-12-30T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2022 2020 parliamentary elections in Georgia: Results and geographical peculiarities 2022-02-25T13:37:55+01:00 Revaz Gachechiladze Giorgi Gogsadze <p>The article aims to show the main political-geographic trends of the 2020 parliamentary elections in Georgia. The political systems of the post-Soviet counties are still imperfect and fragile. Although international observers recognised the vote results in Georgia as legitimate, many opposition parties boycotted the parliament for almost six months. It took several western officials to engage in regulating the post-election crisis. The work focuses on analysing turnout and voting patterns pointing to the changes that occurred in the last decade. A geographical study of elections enables one to identify the merits and drawbacks of the electoral process from the regional standpoint. The findings of the work underline the complexity of the election outcomes. While certain legal and political changes bring Georgia closer to European democracies, the country still lags in terms of several electoral/geographical features. </p> 2021-12-30T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2022 People-Powered Planning: Planning from the bottom up in a top-down system 2022-02-25T13:38:20+01:00 Patrick Collins <p>This paper is concerned with spatial policy in Ireland. It adopts an historical lens to help explain why Ireland currently finds itself at the bottom of the European league table with regard to local governance. After categorising the Irish political and planning system as highly centralised, bureaucratic and linear, the paper uses a case study of the Moycullen village plan to show an alternate path towards place development in Ireland. This case study sets out to contrast the desire of a people to collaborate in the authorship of their place with the top down nature of spatial planning in Ireland. By making clear the methods and results of the project, this paper highlights the latent demand that exists in a community that is subject to national planning system that reduces their ability to affect change. Through the use of some innovative approaches, this project has sought to fire the geographic imaginary of a people with respect to their place. </p> 2021-12-30T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Farmers’ markets and community gardens in Slovakia: How do town authorities approach these phenomena? 2022-02-25T13:38:11+01:00 Petra Hencelová František Križan Kristína Bilková <p>The aim of the paper is to evaluate alternative food networks (farmers’ markets and community gardens) in Slovak towns in order to determine the views of town self-governing authorities. Data was collected through a questionnaire sent to representatives of towns. The results have shown that only 39% of towns regularly organise farmers’ markets but, overall, 52% of towns support or plan to support their organisation. There are a total of 40 community gardens in 17 towns, mainly in the west of Slovakia. The paper discusses the ways in which Slovak towns support alternative food networks.</p> 2021-12-30T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Collaborative communities as a selling point? From community-driven to service-purposed coworking spaces 2022-02-25T13:38:14+01:00 Marko Orel Will Bennis <p>Coworking spaces emerged in the mid-2000s as collaborative workplaces that actively supported teleworkers and self-employed knowledge workers who shared various (work) environments to interlace themselves in supportive networks, tackle isolation, positively influence well-being, and collaboratively participate in knowledge-sharing activities. However, with the swift popularisation of the coworking model by 2020, newly established flexible office spaces have begun to refer to themselves as community-based workplaces even though they lacked the capacity to support their users’ interactions and collaborative work. Therefore, the purpose of the paper is to explore how coworking spaces have transformed from community-based environments to a flexible place of work where establishing a collaborative community is not an organisational priority. The following exploratory research investigates a sample of 13 coworking spaces in Prague, the Czech Republic, and considers their capacity for supporting interactions and collaborative processes between their users. The results uncovered significant differences between coworking spaces, their spatial designs, the presence of mediation mechanisms, and the frequency of interactions between users, and suggest that the handful of sampled coworking environments misuse the notion of community. In that context, the following study indicates that contemporary coworking spaces can revert to community washing to deliberately pursue economic self-interest rather than support decentralised peer-to-peer exchange that would lead to developing a coworking community.</p> 2021-12-30T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Foreword: Territorial governance in the Western Balkans: Multi-Scalar approaches and perspectives 2022-02-25T13:37:39+01:00 Giancarlo Cotella Rudina Toto <p>Since the beginning of the 1990s, the Western Balkans have embarked on a complex path of transition and societal transformation, that was intended to eventually lead to their integration into the European Union. The pace of this process has, however, varied, with some countries already having acquired membership, while others still struggling. Territorial governance plays a particularly important role in this process, as the internal cohesion of the region is key to its successful integration into the EU. However, knowledge on territorial governance in the Western Balkans is still limited and fragmented. This special issue aims to shed some light on the matter, discussing territorial governance contexts and practices in the Western Balkans from a multi-scalar perspective. This editorial serves as an introduction to the special issue, framing its context and guiding the reader through the articles that follow.</p> 2021-12-30T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2022 COVID-19 aftermath and tourism innovation in Western Balkans: A commentary 2022-02-25T13:37:41+01:00 Peter Nientied Dritan Shutina 2021-12-30T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Book Reviews 2022-02-25T11:15:41+01:00 Ildikó Egyed Zsuzsanna Zsibók Gábor Nagy Lidia Groeger 2021-12-30T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2022