Policies and Regulatory Frames in the EU and the Needed Link with Spatial Planning

  • Carlo RegaEmail author
Part of the Cities and Nature book series (CITIES)


The driving forces of territorial transformation examined in the previous chapters produce effects at the local level but what is observed empirically is the resultant of the mediation realized by the political institutions, the system of regulations in place and the complex institutional technologies through which planning systems are articulated. Territorial policies—i.e. policies with an explicit or implicit spatial component that are able to influence patterns of landscape transformation either directly or indirectly—are a pivotal element of this complex. In this chapter, the focus will be on the most relevant European Policies in terms of territorial transformations. In particular, the following policies will be addressed: the Habitat Directive, the Water Framework Directive, The European Biodiversity Strategy (and its focus on ecosystem service and Green Infrastructure) and the Common Agricultural Policies. For each of them, the link (implicit, explicit, or in need to be fully developed and exploited) with spatial planning is addressed and discussed. The role of the “environmental safeguard directives” and in particular Strategic Environmental Assessment as a cross-cutting policy tool to foster ecological rationality is also discussed. A substantial and deep integration between planning policies and agricultural policies is put forward as a pressing need in order to advance towards ecological rationality in spatial planning.


Territorial policies Habitat directive Water framework directive Strategic environmental assessment Biodiversity strategy Ecosystem services MAES Green infrastructure Common agricultural policy Rural development policy 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ITERAS - Research Centre for Sustainability and Territorial InnovationBariItaly

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