Territorial cohesion through cross-border landscape policy? The European case of the Three Countries Park (BE-NL-DE)

Anja Brüll 1 , Timo Matti Wirth 2 , Frank Lohrberg 2 , Annet Kempenaar 3 , Marlies Brinkhuijsen 3 , Marie- Françoise Godart 4 , Alain Coppens 4 , and Marc Nielsen 5
  • 1 Euregio Meuse-Rhine, Three Countries Park, Gospertstrasse 42, 4700 , Eupen, Belgium
  • 2 Aachen University, Chair of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Architecture, Jakobstraße 2, 52056 , Aachen, Germany
  • 3 Wageningen University, Landscape Architecture Group, Droevendaalsesteeg 3, 36708 PB , Wageningen, Netherlands
  • 4 Université libre de Bruxelles, Institute for Environmental Management and Land-Use Planning (IGEAT), 50 av. F. D. Roosevelt CP 130/02, 1050 , Brussels, Belgium
  • 5 Terres en Villes, 40 avenue Marcelin Berthelot, CS 92608 - 38 036 Grenoble Cedex 2, France, Bureau parisien:22 rue Joubert, 75009 , Paris, France


Landscapes can be understood as socialecological systems under constant change. In Europe various territorial dynamics pose persistent challenges to maintaining diverse landscapes both as European heritage and in their capacity to provide vital functions and services. Concurrently, under the competence of cohesion policy, the EU is attempting to improve policy making by better policy coordination and respecting regional specifics. This paper explores the question how a policy dedicated to landscape can help to handle territorial change and support territorial cohesion. It presents results and performances of the ESPON applied research study LP3LP: (1) a common landscape policy for the Three Countries Park, across the Dutch, German and Belgium borders, including a spatial landscape vision, a governance proposal of adaptive landscape management, and thematic strategies dealing with green infrastructure, cultural heritage, complementary biomass and quality production; (2) recommendations at the EU level. In discussing the significance of a landscape approach for EU policy,three dimensions of landscape are linked withimportant aspects of territorial cohesion: ‘landscape as asset’ addressing natural-cultural territorial capital as an indigenous base forsmart, sustainable, and inclusivedevelopment;‘landscape as place’ stressing the relevance of landscape for place-based policies; and ‘landscape as common ground’ highlighting its potential for horizontal, vertical, and territorial integration.

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