Small and Medium-sized Towns (TOWN)
Summary: The research project questions the concept of Small and Medium-sized towns (SMSTs), and how it can fit into a research proposal within the framework of ESPON. The varied and complex nature of SMSTs in their territorial locations requires a specific focus. In order to build a coherent methodological framework that will provide important inputs for a large variety of stakeholders and policymakers, the first research priority will be to use the existing literature on scale, place and uneven development to study the conceptual dimensions of SMSTs. It will provide the basis for an original combination of morphological, quantitative and qualitative methodologies that will provide new evidence, based on comparable information covering the entire European territory in terms of regional characterization of SMSTs, which will be tested and implemented in combination with in-depth analysis of case studies.
Overall purpose: The objective of this research project is to investigate the role of SMSTs in their functional context and their potentialities for promoting territorial cohesion in Europe. It recognizes SMSTs as crucial territorial factors in realising the EU2020 strategy, and more generally, as crucial elements of the European territory essential to strategies seeking to address the deep economic crisis currently affecting Europe. The focus will be on towns with a population between 5 000 and 50 000.
Results and recommendations: Due to its recent start, there are no results available for the moment. However, the projects aims to deliver innovative results that can help understand the roles, potentialities and the threats facing SMSTs across Europe, and that can support policy development in the field of territorial development, competitiveness and cohesion, providing new evidence-based development opportunities for the European territories.
EAFRD priority area(s) and themes: Horizontal aspects. Policy development and analysis.
Main target end users: Policy makers
Project partners: Catholic University of Leuven (leader partner) and has partners from the Universities of Tours, Tarragona, and Charles University, Prague and University of the West of England.
Funding source: ESPON 2013 Programme
Start and end date: April 2012 – March 2014
Loris Servillo, Catholic University of Leuven firstname.lastname@example.org