Regional Planning

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia / dictionaryScientificpeer-review


Regional planning typically refers to various activities aimed at steering spatial development at the subnational level, for example, through regional land-use plans, economic development programs, or the coordination of infrastructure investments. However, the scope and style of regional planning are subject to change and reform, as can be observed in many countries around the globe. While formal regional planning remains a consolidated element in some planning systems, it has been abolished in others and sometimes been replaced by new informal or strategic governance arrangements. In addition to subnational regions, new spatial delineations such as metropolitan regions or megaregions have gained importance as planning scales. To some extent, regional planning has also transformed from a policy focused on the reduction of socio-spatial disparities to a growth-oriented policy favoring innovation and competitiveness. This chapter discusses the challenging task of defining regions and introduces regional planning as a policy field. It also highlights how regional planning and regional perspectives more generally can play a crucial role in the strive for ecological, social, and economic sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Global Sustainability
EditorsRobert Brinkmann
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-38948-2
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-38948-2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2022
MoE publication typeA3 Book section, Chapters in research books


  • strategic planning
  • regional policy
  • spatial planning
  • spatial development
  • cohesion policy


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