European territorial cohesion policies: Parallels to socialist central planning?

Jiří Malý, Ondřej Mulíček
2016 Moravian Geographical Reports  
Contemporary EU territorial cohesion policy presents some striking reminders of features of socialist central planning. The objective of socio-spatial solidarity aimed at balanced spatial development is a core principle of both spatial planning doctrines. Reviewing key planning documents, this article compares territorial cohesion discourses in terms of their normative and analytical natures in order to critically evaluate the uniqueness and novelty of the current modern concept. In spite of
more » ... ological contradictions, a commonly-shared realisation of the importance of urban agglomerations as specific integrated spatial units and the need to improve living conditions in disadvantaged areas, are crucial characteristics for both spatial planning policies. Moreover, analytical spatial planning procedures are based on similar methods and lead to nearly identical results concerning the spatial pattern for one specific case settlement system (the South Moravian Region, Czech Republic). In this respect, the currently-emphasised territorial cohesion discourse is familiar to that in former socialist areas in Central and Eastern Europe. Based on these findings, spatial planning authorities should learn from the past in reflecting on the limitations and advantages of spatial planning in the socialist era.
doi:10.1515/mgr-2016-0002 fatcat:giajjyxayfd6lo7fhzr6sc6hpm