LP3LP - Landscape Policy for the 3 Countries Park


This project shall highlight the identity of the 3 Countries Park (3LP), emphasizing on its importance within its cross-border and polycentric metropolitan situation as well as territorial capital and potentials within a European context. In this project landscape shall be understood as an asset to support smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. As such, the 3LP is a cross-border testing ground for improving the effectiveness of European policy for territorial cohesion.

Thematic scope

The 3LP, situated in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine, is a cross-border European landscape with high importance within its polycentric metropolitan context. In this project, ESPON studies and results are used to place this region in a European context, to identify the potential effects of EU policies and to take stock of the unique territorial potentials of this region.

This information is used to formulate and establish a shared vision on the future of landscape in cross-border collaboration resulting in a cross-border landscape plan. The landscape plan will serve as a framework for regional (cross-border) policy aiming to preserve and develop the core landscape qualities in the 3LP region in a sustainable manner.

The interface between the landscape plan and EU policy will provide insight on how European environmental policies and legislation can be harnessed to develop a cohesive European landscape that in turn can contribute to overall European objectives of smart, inclusive and sustainable growth.

Please read more about the main areas of analysis and main results envisaged.


  • Province of Limburg, Department of Spatial Development – The Netherlands (Lead Stakeholder)
  • The Operational General Direction for land -use planning, housing, heritage and energy of the Wallonia public service – Belgium
  • The Flemish Region, The Department for Spatial Planning and Cultural Heritage – Belgium
  • City region of Aachen, The Department of Building and Environment – Germany
  • City of Aachen, The Department of Planning and Environment – Germany

Main stakeholder interests

The following aspects and questions shall be addressed:

1) Determining the European identity of the 3LP:

  • The identity of the 3LP in regard to its polycentric metropolitan situation.
  • How can the landscape identity contribute to a smart, inclusive and sustainable development?

2) Drawing up a landscape plan for the 3LP:

  • How can a shared landscape policy be developed?
  • Which recommendations can be made for the development and coordination of spatial functions in order to preserve and develop the core qualities of the landscape in 3LP?

3) Understanding the interface between the landscape policy of 3LP and European policy:

  • The role of European funds and regulations in preserving and enhancing the core qualities in the 3LP.

The added value of the project will consist of:

  • Recommendations for coordinating developments of various spatial functions in relation to the landscape core qualities and for using them in support of the development of a cross-border region.
  • Consolidated new findings regarding the identity of a region in a cross-border and polycentric metropolitan situation within the European context, revealing territorial capital as well as potentials and identifying similar regions in Europe.
  • Analysis and description of relevant European policy and instruments using evidence from completed and ongoing ESPON research, along with recommendations for the territorial coordination of European policies.

Lead Partner

RWTH Aachen University, Department of Landscape Architecture, Germany. Detailed information on the contracted project team can be found under Transnational Project Groups.

Budget: € 360 000.00

Project’s lifetime: February 2012 – December 2013

Delivery of Reports

Inception Report: 21 June 2012
Interim Report: 31 December 2012
Draft Final Report: 30 September 2013
Final Report: 31 December 2013


Reports will be published once they are approved by the ESPON Monitoring Committee

More information

Please contact the Project Expert at the ESPON Coordination Unit: Ann-Gritt PANNENBORG (NEUSE), e-mail: [email protected]

Main areas of analysis

This project is targeted to produce a better understanding of the particular identity of the 3 Countries Park compared to other European regions in relation to physical qualities, occupation patterns and -processes, land-use and economic potentials. It aims at revealing the importance of the Landscape Park within its polycentric metropolitan context as an important starting point for a cross-border landscape policy.

A vision for the future of the cross-border landscape shall be provided, based on solid empirical evidence, which focuses on the preservation, development and clever exploitation of the core qualities as argued for in the European Landscape Convention.

The analysis will have the following key elements:

  • Determining the European identity of the 3LP in regard to its cross-border polycentric metropolitan situation, as well as territorial capital and potentials within a European context.
  • Drawing up a landscape plan for 3LP, within a cross-border setting with different landscape approaches, and enabling a shared landscape policy to be developed.
  • Identification of the most important policies with an impact on landscape in the stakeholders region.
  • Understanding the interface between the landscape policy of 3LP and European policy.

Main results envisaged

The envisaged results of the targeted analysis are the following:

  • Insight through analyses of the core qualities and potentials of the landscape.
  • Recommendations for coordinating territorial development of various functions related to core qualities of the landscape.
  • Identification of options within relevant European policies and instruments to support landscapes across borders.
  • Consolidated new evidence regarding the identity of the 3LP within the European context, revealing territorial capital and potentials and identifying cross-border regions in Europe with similar landscape potential.
  • Design study and elaboration of a cross-border landscape framework, which can be used for water management, nature development, recreational access and landscape development.


Final report - executive summary

  • Acrobat Document | 1.42MB

Final report - main report

  • Acrobat Document | 7.00MB

Final report - scientific report

  • Acrobat Document | 18.58MB

Final report - Atlas of Maps

  • Acrobat Document | 67.97MB

Draft Final Report

  • Acrobat Document | 4.81MB

Draft Final Report - Annex

  • Acrobat Document | 11.78MB

Interim Report

  • Acrobat Document | 2.39MB

Interim Report - Annexes

  • Acrobat Document | 10.34MB

Inception Report

  • Acrobat Document | 979KB

Project Specifications

  • Acrobat Document | 228KB