Stocktake on available good planning practices: the IN-PLAN introduction to an integrated vision for energy, climate, mobility, and spatial planning



Climate planning, adaptation and resilience
Energy planning and mitigation


Integrated planning has gained increasing relevance in tackling complex planning challenges and facilitating the local implementation of actions to meet energy, climate, and sustainability targets. Achieving the EU objectives to become climate neutral by 2050 and enabling a just and inclusive transition requires bringing together all key actors, including local and regional governments, citizens, academia, and businesses. Integrated spatial planning is now a “key agent” and a driver for implementing transformative processes and (innovative) actions and for better management and implementation of a territory’s economic, social, cultural, and ecological policies. Furthermore, integrated plans allow all people to be supported and also include those most vulnerable to sustainability challenges.

This report introduces an integrated vision for energy, climate, mobility, and spatial planning and takes stock of good planning practices to feed the “IN-PLAN practice”. The LIFE project IN-PLAN practice is a long-lasting support structure enabling local and regional authorities to effectively implement their sustainable energy and climate plans. Partners selected, reviewed, and identified a comprehensive and tested set of instruments, practices, current standards, and approaches used for spatial, energy, and climate planning in European local and regional authorities. They conducted desktop research on available scientific work and other relevant information sources. It included projects funded by different EU programmes, local and EU initiatives, strategies on integrated energy and climate planning in local and regional governments and conducted interviews with integrated spatial planning experts.

This research helps define the building blocks for the IN-PLAN practice, covering quite a wide range of different territories and approaches, to identify sources of inspiration and practical guidance for local and regional governments. They play a vital role in the fight against climate change in the EU. The report also identifies learnings from the use of integrated planning, and draws 6 key steps to success that IN-PLAN partners recommend to local authorities and urban planners to implement a successful integrated planning approach:

  • Create a governance structure and governance plan to ensure vertical and horizontal cooperation;
  • Assess the local context for opportunities and barriers: Review existing plans and legislations to ensure consistency;
  • Engage stakeholders and citizens from the very beginning: Create an engagement and implementation strategy to ensure a shared strategic vision and common use of planning instruments and tools;
  • Use data: Define a data collection and management plan to ensure consistency, reliability, and accessibility of data;
  • Create the plan: Develop a flexible action, monitoring, and continuation plan to ensure compliance and impact;
  • Implement high-resolution spatial plans, adopt good practices and use innovative planning-support tools to support common understanding, aid in visualising the goals and foresee the challenges and opportunities.

Download the report


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