European Union Projects

ISOCARP participates in several European Union projects, such as SUSREG, plan4business, and the earlier PLAN4ALL and HLanData. Find more information on this page. Actual projects running are thinkNATURE and ESPRESSO.



ESPRESSO wants to define the scope of the project by analyzing sectorial systems, defining use cases and test scenarios, and building a conceptual standardized interoperable framework by evaluating the current standards landscape including gap analysis, and design pilots, which will be used to run test scenarios with the project partner cities to make practical experiences with the currently available set of standards and technologies.

One of the key objectives of ESPRESSO is to identify a collection of open standards that work well together (“conceptual standards framework”), having been proven to help smart cities, and of course to identify gaps and weaknesses in the framework of available standards. We have started by reading a lot of reports from organisations and networks, and now we’d like you to contribute your experience, as a city or community. Wherever you are on your journey, and whatever route you’ve taken to get there, we would like your input. At this stage we are interested in “conceptual” standards, i.e. business processes, monitoring and indicators, information models – not the technical computing standards. It would be most effective if we get a single response from each city, but don’t worry if you end up submitting two or more. If you know reasonably well what standards (or other approaches) your city has taken, we believe it should take no more than thirty minutes to help us in this way.



SUSREG stands for empowering sustainable urban planning.

Stimulating the use of sustainable energy resources and energy efficient methods in urban and regional planning by improving knowledge, skills and attitudes of professional planners at regional authorities, local organisations and national associations.

SUSREG D6.9 Final Report

ISOCARP contact person: David Struik,



The plan4business Project ( is a EU co-funded Project under the ICT Program (Information Communication Technologies Program) of the European Commission. It had a total duration of 2 years (from March 2012 to March 2014).

The project’s aim was to develop a web platform, which offered to urban and regional planning data users a full catalogue of harmonized planning data and services such as transport infrastructure, regional plans, urban plans and zoning plans. Under urban and regional planning data users are considered: spatial planners, researchers, professionals from the real estate world as well as other disciplines, such as insurance industry, investors, or market-relevant activities related to urban development.

The Plan4Business Final Conference »A Service Platform for Aggregation, Processing and Analysis of Urban and Regional Planning Data« will take place on 14 March 2014 at the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland in Dublin/Ireland.

Read the Press Release on the Plan4Business project. is the final result of the plan4business Project, providing a new web platform offering urban and regional planning data users a full catalogue of harmonized planning data.



Download the HLanData_Flyer.



The harmonisation of spatial planning data according to the INSPIRE Directive based on the existing best practices in EU regions and municipalities and the results of current research projects is the main focus of the European eContentplus project Plan4all. Plan4all will forum SDI in spatial planning, a database of best practices and analysis of best practices in terms of organisation, sharing, harmonisation and SDI recommendations for spatial planning.
Although there are basically the same ideas and concepts behind urban and spatial planning across Europe, the legal situation is completely fragmented. Current planning laws are disjointed and even experts from one country might have difficulties to understand the planning regulations of a neighbouring country. For investors and decision makers it is almost impossible to compare planning regulations across Europe.
Plan4all will significantly contribute to improve this situation.

INSPIRE – Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community

On 24 February 2011 a seminar for public and private actors active in the field of spatial planning in Europe was held in Brussels/B. The topic was ‘Spatial Planning in Europe in terms of INSPIRE’.

Due to the lack of availalaibility, quality, organisation and sharing of spatial information experienced across various levels of public authorities in Europe, the European Community decided in 2007 to establish an European infrastructure for spatial information. This infrastructure called „INSPIRE – Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community“ is under contruction and has to be operational in 2014.
The Seminar organised by ISOCARP within the Plan4all Project discussed first the question of INSPIRE and spatial planning, related to the Plan4all project, and focussed in a second part on public and private actors active in the field of spatial planning having to deal with INSPIRE in a near future: Environment, Spatial Planning, Real Estate Industry. Final Programme

The results of the seminar and presentations are now available online and can be downloaded:

According to the EC Directive 2007, a harmonized  Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE) has to be established in the near future in all member states of the the EU, covering 25 spatial relevant themes.

The harmonized spatial data will assist policy-making in relation to legislation and activities that have a direct or indirect impact on the environment. For public and private actors, this new pan-European Spatial Data Infrastructure will have crucial consequences on procedures and methodologies for spatial data sharing, new spatial planning standards, regional planning and land-use planning in Europe. Plan4all, addressing data harmonization for 7 specific spatial themes,  is one of the projects set up to realize the aims of INSPIRE.


Final Conference of the Plan4all Project
Brussels, 13 October 2011
The first part of the Conference consisted of three keynote speeches from the DG Environment, the Joint Research Centre and the DG Region, and the second part presented the results of this EU Project funded by the eContent+ Program, which was focusing on the harmonization of spatial planning data based on the existing best practices in EU regions and municipalities. It involved detailed description of the current description, and proposes, tests and implements spatial planning metadata profile, common data model and harmonization procedures on the topics of e.g. land cover, land use, utility and government services, agricultural facilities, area management and risk zones.

Plan4all BOOK: a comprehensive report on the EU-funded Plan 4all Project – “Interoperability for Spatial Planning” on the harmonisation of planning data according to INSPIRE guidelines is now available as well as paperback as for download in PDF-format and free distribution!

Plan4all has considered ending with a printed book that summarises the work and the achievements, mainly on the basis of the idea that the achieved results about spatial planning interoperability should be spread among the wider communities at EU and international level as well. The Plan4all project delivers technical results that will be of interest for spatial planners, GI experts and ICT professionals. The Plan4all project fosters the exchange of ideas and experiences between those professional communities. To be fruitful, such dialogue requires a common language. This book, focusing on the approaches more than on the technicalities, is aimed  to contribute to this common language.
More information and download at:

You can order a copy of the book “Plan 4all Project – Interoperability for Spatial Planning” for free by sending an email to:
Thomas Mildorf
Plan4all Coordinator
Department of Mathematics – Section of Geomatics
Faculty of Applied Sciences
University of West Bohemia
Univerzitni 22
CZ – 306 14 Plzen

Tel: +420-377 632 673
Fax: +420-377 632 602


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