ESPON Conference - Southern Europe at the crossroads: are we making the right decisions about accessibility investments for the future?

Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, Parlamentino Room (IV floor), via Nomentana 2, Rome
Event Type:
External Event
Working Group:
Event Date:
09:00 - 17:30

Regions with high accessibility are most often also economically and competitively successful. Accessibility is most often land focused and often neglects maritime issues. However, in the Mediterranean area maritime activity also remains a key aspect of accessibility e.g. ports and terminals, motorways of the sea, and hinterland and port catchment areas.

Transport policy, accessibility and mobility are key aspects of spatial planning and transport planning needs to be integrated at all transport levels. Transport planning is also a function of wider EU policies, which are central to current and future Cohesion Policy and the Connecting Europe Facility[1]. Accessibility questions also revolve around transport type and options, land-use and individual needs.

The Transnational Outreach Conference in the first of a series of ESPON activities over the next two years aims to open a wide discussion on accessibility and transport as key drivers of development and to examine challenges for sustainable development and spatial planning.


The objectives of the Conference are three fold:

1.     To develop an advanced understanding of current issues in the southern and Mediterranean area in terms of accessibility and transport infrastructure with a focus on Italian policy and strategy and compare the drivers and challenges of this strategy with other Southern European countries (Spain and Romania) so as to identify common drivers and challenges.

2.     To profile three ESPON projects ESatDOR[2], TRACC[3] and PROFECY[4] that will be able to inform future accessibility and transport strategies and identify key state-of-the-art academic thinking.

3.     To develop recommendations both at national and European level for future transport policy thinking with reference to the Cohesion Report and the future debate at EU level on Cohesion Policy and the EU budget which may inform current and future macro regional strategies and their competences and funding.


The Conference will involve high-level Italian government ministers and officials to outline the Italian situation followed by a round table of transport and infrastructure experts. The afternoon session will be devoted to the results and policy recommendations of the three ESPON projects and the final part of the Conference will involve a round table of expert speakers and engaged audience participation to examine how the featured and future ESPON studies can support policy making by place based evidence and also make recommendations for current and future accessibility policies and studies. 


A warm welcome is extended to all policy makers, practitioners, scientists and experts, who want to know more about drivers and challenges for transport accessibility in southern Europe and the Mediterranean area with a strong focus on Italy. This will also be the opportunity to learn from ESPON evidence and projects and network with like-minded professionals.

The seminar is open for all, but has a maximum capacity of 100 participants. It is free of charge but each participant has to cover expenses for their own travel arrangements and accommodation. Interpretation between Italian and English is foreseen.


ESPON website