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Assessing Integrated Territorial and Urban Strategies

Challenges, Emerging Approaches and Options for the Future

Martin Ferry, Irene McMaster


This article is based on a research carried out for the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy. The importance of assessing the impact and results of public policy interventions is clear. The Commission expects integrated, place-based strategies and their interventions to be developed with results in mind. For reasons of accountability and efficiency, policy-makers, stakeholders and beneficiaries require knowledge and understanding of the progress and effectiveness of the strategies. It is, therefore, important to gather information with which to better understand the role of the interventions and an evidence base comparable to other interventions. However, measuring effectiveness presents several challenges, related to the specific characteristics of these strategies and to the fact that, at least in some Member States, integrated approaches to territorial and urban development are relatively new. Against this background, this article explores the challenges involved in assessing the achievements of integrated place-based strategies and reviews existing methodological approaches to assessing territorial provisions under Cohesion policy and under urban development. It then explores emerging approaches to the assessment of territorial and urban strategies launched under the territorial provisions set out for 2014-2020. Looking forward, the article then outlines options for developing frameworks for future assessments before presenting conclusions and recommendations on a framework and approach for measuring effectiveness.

Dr Martin Ferry is a Senior Research Fellow in the European Policies Research Centre at the University of Strathclyde. He specialises in regional economic development and policy governance in Central and Eastern Europe (particularly Poland) and the United Kingdom. The views expressed in this article are personal.

Dr Irene McMaster is a Senior Research Fellow in the European Policies Research Centre at the University of Strathclyde. She specialises in EU regional economic development policy and territorial cooperation. The views expressed in this article are personal.

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