For an effective policy development, policy makers take into account the specific characteristics of the different regions.

The ESPON Typologies provides support to understand specific types of territories.

A special ESPON project in conjunction with the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy worked out nine regional typologies: urban-rural, metropolitan regions, border regions, islands regions, sparsely populated regions, outermost regions, mountainous regions, coastal regions and regions in industrial transition.

In addition, ESPON developed useful recommendations for a better understanding of specific types of territories in the European context.

The 9 regional typologies, which ongoing and future ESPON applied research projects and ESPON publications could make use of for analytical purposes, if relevant, are:

  • urban-rural;
  • metropolitan regions;
  • border regions;
  • islands regions;
  • sparsely populated regions;
  • outermost regions;
  • mountainous regions;
  • coastal regions;
  • regions in industrial transition.

The related Guidance Document provides background information regarding the development of these 9 regional typologies, guidance on how the regional typologies should be understood and used within P1 projects and some examples of good practice. The xls-file includes data and metadata for the nine typologies. Finally, links to Commission documents are given that describe one or more of the typologies.