European Urban Spatial Planning

Introduction: When Spatial Planning and Economic Development Walk Hand in Hand

Urban spatial planning is one of the hardest tasks, seeing how it presupposes that environmental, economic, financial and political factors must be taken into consideration (CEC 2010a, p. 4). By following a common plan for urban redesign, the states of the EU can coordinate their actions and, therefore, make the changes to the spatial planning as favorable for their economic and political performance on the global scale as possible. However, with the adoption of the territorial cohesion principle, the specifics of the regions have been compromised for the sake of the correlation between the actions of the EU states (European Commission n. d., p. 3).

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United Kingdom and the European Spatial Development Perspective

When talking about the redesign of the UK spatial development principles, one must keep in mind that the EU and the local authorities may have different opinions concerning the issue. As it has been stressed above, for the most part, the EU bodies are completely unaware of the specifics of particular areas, as well as the effects that the EU plan implementation is going to have on the economy and financial state of the region in question. It is important to stress that in the European Spatial Development Perspective, the United Kingdom should reconsider not its land use, but the policy of land usage by making the existing strategies more favorable to the evolution of the local SMEs.

Lincolnshire background: what needs development

Over the past few years, Lincolnshire has gained the reputation of a city with a well developed lake system and the following economic peculiarities (North Lincolnshire Council 2013, p. 1). For example, due to erosion issues and the damp climate, the location for built-on sites is supposed to be calculated very carefully and with due regard to the possible floods and the unstable foundation (Scunthrope Telegraph 2014, para. 2).

Key objectives and their correlation with the current economic state

According to the existing information on the purposes of the spatial reconstruction of the member states of the European Union, the main goal is to have common standards introduced into the economic and financial system within each of the countries. The resulting acceptance of the common standard is bound to lead to improvement in the processes of running business and expanding into other states, having business and trading relationships with partner states, using and providing economic support for other states that comprise the European Union, etc. The objectives, in their turn, mostly concern shaping the existing spatial characteristics of the states in question. Despite the fact that these changes have seemingly little to do with major economic changes that are about to happen, they still provide the premises for implementing new economic and financial policies, particularly the creation of SMEs and other types of entrepreneurships (HM Government n. d., p. 5).

Legislation and Spatial Issues: Lincolnshire Lakes. District Councils vs. the Regulations of the EU

As it has been explained above, because of the lack of information concerning the peculiarities of the areas in which the EU regulations are to be applied, Lincolnshire being one of these areas, local authorities have to face a number of issues, including both economic and environmental ones (European Commission 2011, p. 4). Indeed, the intrusion into the fragile ecosystem of the state, which urban planning with its traditional lack of thought typically presupposes, often leads to most deplorable effects which the case of Lincolnshire and its lake drainage is a very graphic example of (Scunthrope Telegraph 2014, para. 1).

Environmental concerns: lakes drainage as the path to ruining the ecosystem

Unfortunately, the changes that incur the compliance with the European Spatial Development Perspective and its present-day demands are bound to have rather drastic effects on the Lincolnshire ecosystem. According to the 2013 report, some of the lakes have already been drained to provide enough room for building construction development. While having admittedly positive effects on the entrepreneurship of the shire, this measure has contributed to the deterioration of the environment (North Lincolnshire Council 2013, para. 1).

Climate change and the associated issues: contributing to reduction of the greenhouse effect

Another environmental issue worth mentioning in relation to the changes that have been suggested to the United Kingdom in general and Lincolnshire in particular, the concern for the climate change should be kept in mind. Because of the drainage of lakes, which is going to be carried out in accordance with the regulations provided by the European Union and the following process of building new premises for SMEs development, as well as the redevelopment of the exiting transport infrastructure, major changes to Lincolnshire environment are going to be made: “The concept of the spatial planning system has been used as a generic term to describe the ensemble of territorial governance arrangements that seek to shape patterns of spatial development in particular places” (Nadin & Stead 2011, p. 35).

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Transportation: options for creating new routes finally opened and the possible conflicts with the EU legislation

Among the rest of the spatial planning concerns, the creation of new routs tops the list of the EU priorities in Great Britain in general and in Lincolnshire in particular. The introduction of new routes is, however, fraught with several major consequences. Although the European Union admittedly makes impressive efforts in order to correlate its legislation with the specifics of the state to which these legislations are supposed to apply (HM Government n. d., para. 1), with the Lincolnshire, the organization has clearly made a rather hasty decision.

Because of the large system of lakes, which Lincolnshire is famous for, building new routes will not only affect the environment in a negative way, but also demand that considerable funds should be spent on adapting the area to being used as a highway (European Commission n. d., para. 2).

The specific needs of Lincolnshire vs. territorial cohesion

The concepts of sustainability and global market have been the focus of the EU’s work for quite long; however, the third dimension has been introduced into the process of stretching the boundaries of the global market recently. According to the existing data, the principle of territorial cohesion, which has been proclaimed by the European Union as the primary condition of the spatial redesign of stats and their major cities, should be implemented by the representatives a local authorities instead of the people representing the European Union; otherwise, a range of important characteristics of the areas in question will be omitted, which will affect the efficacy of the attempts to coordinate the evolution of the EU territory.

Spatial Planning and Economical Development of the Lincolnshire Region: The Questions to Be Answered

Apart from the environmental issues, a plethora of economic concerns have been glossed over when the strategic plan for the spatial development if Great Britain was created. Claiming that the territorial cohesion mentioned above does not serve any actual purpose and does only harm would be wrong – on the opposite, the idea of introducing the principles that will lead to a better coordination between the actions of authorities in different areas of the EU territories is quite positive. The step that was considered strategically crucial to the concept of spatial planning suggested by the EU, the given concept promotes a better paced and a more coherent spatial evolution of the EU states in general and the United Kingdom with Lincolnshire in particular. At the same time, the invention of the territorial cohesion concept begs the question whether the entire process of spatial redesign should be located at the European level (Scholich 2009, 3). Indeed, the application of changes on a regional level with their coordination at the global one is fraught with serious misconceptions at best and irreparable damage at worst.

Local SMEs and the reconsideration of spatial planning: evaluating the effects

There is no reason to stress that the steps undertaken by the EU members in order to reorganize the UK spatial structure are aimed at upgrading the British economic activity within the realm of the global market. However, it is practically impossible to adapt the regulations created by the European Union for different states to the unique features of a particular state, mostly due to the restrictions imposed on the executives by the guidelines of the European Union (Dühr, Colomb & Nadin 2010, p. 5). As a result, the evolution of local SMEs, including the ones that are located in Lincolnshire, is paused because of the implementation of the European Spatial Development Perspective.

Service based economy and the spatial redesign of Lincolnshire: key implications and their analysis

It would be wrong to claim that the effects of the redesign suggested by the European Spatial Development Perspective are solely negative. Created to help the states in question integrate into the global market system and elevate their economy to the state of economic prosperity and well being that only the world’s leader states have, these measures clearly deserve being viewed as the steps to economic growth. Giving credit to where it belongs, one must mention that the European Spatial Planning program offers a perfect chance to enhance state entrepreneurship, therefore, boosting the GNP and GDP rates.

Indeed, the implementation of service based economy principles does work for the benefit of the SMEs development. Not only does it allow for the upgrade in the quality standards of the goods and services produced in the states in question, but also encourages the enhancement of sustainability principles. Therefore, it could be argued that technically, the EU has provided the solution to the possible ecological and environmental issues that may possibly emerge (European Commission 2011, 9).

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Nevertheless, the positive changes to the state economy that the EU project allows for can be viewed as temporary, while the negative effects that these changes will have on the state political, financial and environmental state, are clearly going to be rather long lasting. Judging by the recent accounts of the EU project implementation in Lincolnshire, the lack of flexibility of the plans developed by the European Union is to blame:

The European social model, characterized in particular by systems that offer a high level of social protection, by the importance of the social dialogue and by services of general interest covering activities vital for social cohesion, is today based, beyond the diversity of the Member States’ social systems, on a common core of values. (Nadin & Stead 2011, p. 36)

While the idea of basing the model in question on a universal set of principles doe seem very legitimate, one still has to admit that changes must be made for the model to fit into any environment without damaging it. Unfortunately, the European Union does not seem to have either enough time, or enough resources, or both, to facilitate a more well-paced change process, which could be tailored specifically for the region that it is carried out in.

Transportation issue in the light of the economic specifics of Lincolnshire: what spatial redesign triggers

Needless to say, the development of new routes is bound to affect the Lincolnshire economy greatly and in the most positive way. Because of the lack of routes, the process of transporting goods from one location to another means spending considerable amounts of money for the local SMEs. The losses taken in the process, therefore, affect the companies’ financial state and drag them down to the bottom of the list of efficient enterprises. Hence, the redesign of Lincolnshire will clearly allow for more business opportunities, including the expansion of local companies and their further integration into the global market (Fischer et al. 2014, p. 2).

Conclusion: Reconsidering the Scale of Changes Required for Lincolnshire

Denying the EU Spatial Project its economics, finances, and business related benefits is impossible – the spatial redesign of states is obviously aimed at increasing the number of SMEs and major enterprises within the areas in question. However, when EU does not notice – or, perhaps, doe s not want to notice – is that in the long run, the

Recommendations: improving the cohesion between the EU legislation and Lincolnshire’s concerns

It can be suggested that the steps planned by the EU would be more successful and easy to implement once the organization cold trust the local authorities enough to allow the latter shape the EU regulations in order to make them suit the economic, environmental, political and financial features of a particular region, state or even country. Because of the major differences in the strengths, weaknesses and asses of the states in which the EU spatial planning is used in order to redesign the place an adapt it towards the global standard, the city, area of state in question may become extremely vulnerable to the outside influence, as well as lose control over its own economic processes (CEC 2010b, para. 3). Hence, the necessity to allow local authorities more freedoms appears, as the case of Lincolnshire shows in a very graphic manner.

Solving the possible conflicts: when changes require more time

While the plan suggested by the EU obviously includes a number of positive changes to the United Kingdom in general and Lincolnshire in particular, it still fails to not only utilize the region’s key assets in order to promote economic growth, but also to ensure that the instructions for introducing the required elements into the state economic infrastructure differ depending on the specifics of the region, in which these instructions are put to practice.

Reference List

CEC 2010a, Investing in Europe’s future – fifth report on economic, social and territorial cohesion, Brussels. Web.

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CEC 2010b, Europe 2020 – a European strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, CEC Publishing, Brussels. Web.

Dühr, S, Colomb, C, & Nadin, V 2010, European spatial planning and territorial cooperation, Routledge, New York, NY. Web.

European Commission n. d., The EU compendium of spatial planning systems and policies. United Kingdom. Web.

European Commission 2011, Bio-based economy for Europe: state of play and future potential Part 1, Brussels, European Commission. Web.

Fischer, T B, Sykes, O, Gore, T, Marot, N, Golobič, M, Pinho, P, Waterhout, B, & Perdicoulis, A 2014, Territorial impact assessment of European draft directives – the emergence of a new policy assessment instrument, Routledge, European Planning Studies. Web.

HM Government n. d., Supporting economic growth through local enterprise partnerships and enterprise zones. Web.

Nadin, V & Stead, D 2011, ‘European spatial planning systems, social models and learning,’ DISP, vol. 172, no. 1, pp. 35–47. Web.

North Lincolnshire Council 2013, Lincolnshire lakes area action plan. Web.

Scunthrope Telegraph 2014, Lincolnshire Lakes’ 6,000 homes plan for Scunthorpe put on hold by floods. Web.

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