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Coordination Action of the European Network of Territorial Intelligence

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The smart approach to territorial intelligence

‘Territorial intelligence’ offers local communities in Europe the chance to manage their own sustainable development. However, empowering them to do so requires close coordination at the European level.

Climate Change and Environment

Territorial intelligence is a discipline that aims to advance the sustainable development of various territories by empowering the local communities living in those territories. This emerging science employs multidisciplinary knowledge on territories and their dynamics and strengthens the ability of local communities to participate in their region’s development fairly and sustainably. It also improves territorial information and tool sharing, and promotes governance and decision making that are centred around participation and partnership. Major challenges facing the territorial intelligence community include the fragmented nature of the European research landscape in this area and the lack of availability of research tools and practices that can be used not only by highly specialised experts but also by the territorial actors themselves. The ‘Coordination Action of the European Network of Territorial Intelligence’ (Caenti) project – which was funded by the Sixth Framework Programme’s (FP6) sustainable development thematic priority – sought to integrate current European research into territorial intelligence tools. Caenti’s coordination activities revolved around designing tools for and with territorial actors and taking stock of scientific methods, research protocols and generic instruments for territorial information analysis. Project partners also worked to ensure that the resulting tools complied with principles of good governance and the ethics of sustainable development. One of the project’s key activities was the organisation of an annual international conference on territorial intelligence that assembles network members together with other researchers and territorial actors. These gatherings have been held across Europe and continued to take place beyond the duration of the project. Another key achievement was the creation of the Territorial-Intelligence.eu portal which provides an online forum for network members, highlights ongoing research, showcases relevant scientific events, and contains a wealth of publications, training materials and useful tools and links. The portal has also continued beyond the life of the project. Caenti also focused on the dissemination of spatial analysis and territorial information processing methods and tools. It investigated the ethical and governance aspects of these technologies. These results were all synthesised to develop and distribute tools and methodologies ‘for, with and by’ territorial actors. Towards that end, the project drew up specifications for harmonising the tools used in Europe. It then worked on developing the outline of an integrated territorial information system which would be accessible to the various actors in the field through a transparent editorial chain.

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