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Critical Dictionary on Borders, Cross-Border Cooperation and European Integration

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Edited By Birte Wassenberg and Bernard Reitel

This Critical Dictionary on Borders, Cross-Border Cooperation and European Integration is the first encyclopaedia which combines two so far not well interconnected interdisciplinary research fields, i.e. Border Studies and European Studies. Organised in an alphabetical order, it contains 207 articles written by 115 authors from different countries and scientific disciplines which are accompanied by 58 maps. The articles deal with theory, terminology, concepts, actors, themes and spaces of neighbourhood relations at European borders and in borderlands of and around the European Union (EU). Taking into account a multi-scale perspective from the local to the global, the Critical Dictionary follows a combined historical-geographical approach and is co-directed by Birte Wassenberg and Bernard Reitel, with a large contribution of Jean Peyrony and Jean Rubio from the Mission opérationnelle transfrontalère (MOT), especially for the cartography. The Dictionary is also part of four Jean Monnet activities supported by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union for the period 2016-2022: two Jean Monnet projects on EU border regions (University Strasbourg), one Jean Monnet network (Frontem) and the Franco-German Jean Monnet excellence Center in Strasbourg, as well as the Jean Monnet Chair of Bernard Reitel on borders and European integration. Rather than being designed as an objective compilation of facts and figures, it should serve as a critical tool for discussion between researchers, students and practitioners working in the field of borders, cross-border cooperation and European Integration.

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Spatial Planning

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About town and country planning, as then introduced in the United Kingdom, the so-called Schuster Report (1950) said the obvious: For nearly all its activities the community depends on a limited supply of land, and the location of development can have profound effects on social and economic issues. For allocating their land, taking account of existing and future uses, the Town and Country Act 1947 has charged authorities with making so-called development plans.

Schuster invoked a classic argument, the limited supply of land. So, in the interest of the whole community and of the well-being, now and in the future, of its members, planning must ration its allocation per use or function. The rights of land-owners come second. See here the basics of spatial planning.

The authorities concerned exercise their powers strictly within their areas of responsibility. However, they cannot avoid their neighbours’ actions from adversely affecting the allocation of land to its optimal uses; nor do authorities need to be concerned about doing the same to their neighbours. Unless there is a mutual understanding – or perhaps a legal requirement – to take account of external effects, spatial planning in fact deals with what are virtual islands. The representation of spatial plans often suggests precisely this: plans being made for islands floating in empty spaces.

The outcome is far from optimal. An optimal allocation of land uses would require considering wider areas for which no single authority is responsible. The same is true...

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