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Key dimensions of territorial cohesion. A review of the existing sources of information on the territorial cohesion

Profesor Jacek Zaucha

The paper presents the results of the desk-based review of theories, trends and policies related to territorial cohesion with the focus on the latter one. It provides a critical examination of the past and ongoing policy discourse based on screening of the key policy documents, various projects (including ESPON ones) and results of scientific analysis. Separate section is devoted to models of territorial cohesion and attempts of their operationalization including measurement of this category or their components. The main result of the review is typology of practical application of the notion of territorial cohesion in policy making. The three main types of application of this notion have been identified:

 Territorial cohesion as a process of integrating development policy towards various territorial units (e.g. via territorial keys, territorial monitoring, territorial impact assessment),

 Territorial cohesion understood as a contribution of territorial assets to the economic growth (the efficiency of the territory – mainly economy of flows and territorial capital),

 Territorial cohesion as a platform enabling inclusion of the specific objectives to development policies (such objectives as polycentricity spatial order etc.). The conclusions on the further research on territorial cohesion with regard to economic growth have been also formulated.

The paper is based on the results of the project financed by the Polish National Science Centre “Concept of the territorial cohesion in cohesion policy. Implications for Economic Growth "(no. 2012/05/B/HS4/04212) and the ESPON project TeMo. 


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  • JEL:R11, R12, R58
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