TRACK 5 GOVERNANCE: Integrating institutions, actors and policies 
Giancarlo Cotella (Politecnico di Torino, Italy, Netherlands) 
Pille Metspalu (Estonian Association of Spatial Planners, Hendriksson & Ko., Estonia) 

Spatial development processes are increasingly characterized by multiple, complex challenges that hardly can be dealt with by the public sector alone. As a matter of fact, in order to ensure the promotion of smart, sustainable and inclusive development a number of socio-economic, demographic and environmental aspects need to be taken into account. To that end, cross-sectoral and often multi-level networks of actors emerge, stemming from the public, private and civic spheres of our societies. With a growing number of local-to-global challenges that evolve cumulatively through functional and time-flexible geographies, leading to uncertainty to the future of spatial development processes, territorial governance arrangements are not necessarily expected to pretend certainty of a bright future. Rather, they are asked to provide room for joint action and to foster confidence through ideas, strategies and visions for dealing with uncertain, challenging futures.  

Acknowledging the above, this track aims at discussing existing conceptual boundaries and practical experiences of current governance settings and mechanisms, at the same time shedding light on their assets and pitfalls and exploring how and to what extent collaborative, place sensitive, territorial governance arrangements can make a difference when facing complex spatial challenges. It welcomes contributions with a theoretical, conceptual or empirical focus that seek to enhance knowledge on a number of key tenets within the governance of spatial planning debate by reflecting upon issues such as institutional design and capacity, legitimacy and accountability, territoriality/locality, re-scaling and subsidiarity, soft/hard spaces, planning cultures and policy diffusion, learning and adaptation. Comparative studies focussing on cases from Europe and beyond that take up multi-actor and multi-scale perspectives are especially welcome.  

Keywords: Responsibilities, institutions, institutional design, comparative studies, organizing, multi-actor, multi-scalar, spatial management, collaboration, confidence, legitimacy