Executive Summary
Make your own book

THEME 6 Developing More Competitive Cities and Towns
Waterfront Communities Project
SmartLIFE - International
Liveable City
PURE North Sea

Vitalizing City Centres through Integrated Spatial Planning
Project Aim

The aim of the VISP project was to develop a new transnational planning strategy, new methods and new ways of working for the creation of attractive and competitive physical, social, economic and environmental areas in the periphery of large cities in the North Sea Region through combining social, economical and environmental vitalization within spatial planning and by building on life-long learning, networking and complementarities and increased citizens involvement.

Project implementation and results

The VISP project carried out a guide book “Integrated Spatial Planning” that presents a model for practitioners summarizing the ways in which medium size cities can address major challenges and achieve successful city centre vitalization through integrated spatial planning practices.

As an example VISP has influenced the library in the partner City of Kortrijk (BE) t broaden their concept of a new library into a Life Long Learning Centre in collaboration with adult education institutes and the music academy and a music club.

During the lifetime of the project, VISP has won several awards in national competitions. For instance Drammen’s Central Square received the best award for integrated spatial planning in Norway. As well as this Tu-Technology GmbH in Hamburg-Harburg (DE) ended on the fifth place in the prestige’s international competition the DIFA Award 2006 for the best European urban quarter in the field of life quality.

Leverage of extra investment
All partner cities will as a leverage effect of VISP until 2010-2011 realize major investments that have been scaled-up as a result of VISP and as well, will serve as a good example for implementing the integrated spatial planning model.

Joint transnational strategy

Through the VISP project an increased awareness and understanding of the topics at hand and a wider range of perspectives on the subject of spatial planning has been achieved. City regions have been envisioned within the plan and became an understanding of their position and role in terms of wider North Sea Region. As well as this there has been a growing understanding of the instruments of EU policy ideas such as polycentric development in regard to regional and local actors. As a result partners gained a better understanding of how they may be influenced and altered.

Impact of the project

Long-term achievements
Several additional outputs, results and impacts have been identified in the VISP project both on transnational and local level. Additional transnational outputs include the fact that the local investments in Mölndal (SE) and Matlock (UK) have been considerably scaled up as a result of the implementation of VISP project. As well as this VISP partners have in the lifetime of the project managed to effectively start up two transnational networks:

  • NSR Libraries Network initiated by Mölndal and Kortrijk and
  • European Design Cities Network.

The European Design Cities Network initiated by Kortrijk (BE), supported by Mölndal (SE) and extended to cities like Eindhoven (NL), Milano (IT) and Essen (DE). This project has led by Eindhoven also managed to get through with a successful Framework Programme 6 application (ADMIRE) and is making rapid success in the design sector.

The VISP project is a good example for effective communication of results leading to good visibility, and the concrete value added to investments (e.g. improvements) through learning exchange between partners.

Policy shaping
Project results will be used to change or influence legislation or shape future policies or planning guidance, such as in Sweden, which was confirmed by the national conference of Boverket by the National Planning and Building Authority - on the 30th of October 2007 in Stockholm.

Attractive urban square in Mölndal (SE)


City of Kortrijk, BE
TU-Technology GmbH, DE
Municipality of Drammen, NO
Gemeente Enschede Stadsdeel Oost, NL
City of Matlock, UK
University of Sheffield, UK

The City of Mölndal

Project Manager

Eva Fabry
The City of Mölndal Göteborgsvägen 11-17
S-443 182 Mölndal
Tel: 0046 31 77 922 66

Measure: 1.2

Start Date: 30 September 2003
End Date: 30 June 2007

ERDF Grant:
Total Eligible Sum:
The North Sea
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