Attractiveness of European regions and cities for residents and visitors

Project details

Full project title: Attractiveness of European regions and cities for residents and visitors

Duration: 2010 - 2012

Sponsor: European Commission

Project leader for SPE: Professor Rob Atkinson

Other UWE researchers: Dr Ian Smith

Research partners/collaborators:

  • Department of Geography, University Rovira i Virgili, Spain (Lead Partner)
  • EURICUR (European Institute for Comparative Urban Research), Netherlands
  • The Department of Economics of the University of Venice Ca´ Foscari, Italy
  • Department of Architecture, Urbanism and Planning (ASRO) of the Catholic Univ. Leuven, Belgium
  • The University of Coimbra, Portugal
  • Centre for Regional and Tourism research (CRT), Denmark
  • Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization (IGSO), Poland
  • University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Project summary

The objective of this research project is to analyse the attractiveness of cities and regions in Europe. It focuses on the assets and potentials characterising EU places and the modalities through which such assets can be mobilised in order to contribute to the creation of new development paths and visions for the EU territory.

The concept of ‘attractiveness' is a powerful one because it focuses on the quality of places and their capacity to attract a range of people. It explicitly draws attention to the spatial aspects of places and emphasises their complexity whilst simultaneously highlighting the differential capacity of places to provide and mobilise the qualitative aspects of place, both with regard to existing residents and potential future residents, and to various types of visitors.

Key issues to be addressed

  • What are the policy implications of the project findings?
  • How can public actions enhance the factors of attractiveness?
  • More specifically, what is the role of EU policy in enhancing the attractiveness of EU regions within the framework of the territorial cohesion strategy?
  • What type of indications can the project provide to enhance the functioning of multilevel governance processes?

Key project outputs

  • Policy recommendations to relevant European and National policy communities.
  • Cartographical elaboration of the policy prescriptions.
  • Publications:
    • (with Smith, I.) ‘Mobility and the smart, green and inclusive Europe', Local Economy, Vol. 26(6-7), pp562-576), 2011.
    • (with Servillo, L. and Russo, A.) ‘ Territorial attractiveness in EU urban and spatial policy: A critical review and future research agenda', European Urban and Regional Studies , Vol. 19, 2012.

For further information on the project, please contact Rob Atkinson or visit the ATTREG project website.