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Short-Term Territorial Investment for Europe’s Long-Term Future

Maria Prezioso


Starting from a critical review of the literature, this paper discusses what the models the European policy actions should adopt in order not to compromise the results that the implemented austerity measures have so far obtained. Multilevel experiences (at different geographical scales) from several 2013 programs (mainly ESPON and URBACT) are summarised below to support this thesis, orienting towards the cities’ role within the cohesive developing policy.

In order to assess this stance, territorial cohesive capability is used as it has proved to be the most effective way to transform European challenges into common geopolitical goals, partly devoting the discussion to the effective compliance with Structural Funds objectives, declared priorities of investment and territorial regional capability.
Examples of place evidence and socio-economic trends from countries, regions and cities are mentioned and compared so as to establish the potential distance between symbolic anticipated priorities and real potentials in the short term. To this scope, the 2020 political addresses to attract capital public and private investments towards cities will be illustrated by considering in particular Italy’s future role within Southern Europe.

Detailed attention will also be devoted to the significance of European territorial evidence in relation to the European Union funding policy. This allows us to understand better the different impacts and effects produced by such European directives taking in account the relationship between territorial evidence and programming obligations aiming at increasing employment and income.
A set of feasible recommendations provide viable, flexible, and effective answers to the existing needs for territorial investment in the short term.


European Regional Development 2020; Territorial Cohesion; Post-crisis perspective; Sustainable development; Integrated Territorial Investment

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