In a general sense, governance refers to the steering and regulatory framework of a society. Various interests of public and private stakeholders are being negotiated and implemented within this framework. In the European context, steering and regulating territorial development is no longer the sole responsibility of the state. Increasingly corporate stakeholders and the public (associations, interest groups, citizen groups, media etc.) are becoming part of the process, communicating through formal and informal networks. Parcipatory approaches are a crucial element of governance processes.
Source: Partizipation und nachhaltige Entwicklung in Europa
Territorial governance is a global concept which characterises the way how spatially-relevant policies, considered together, are applied. Territorial governance is assessed against its contribution to the achievement of the objectives of spatial development policies. It is the result of the quality of multi-level and cross-sectoral relationships in the field of public policies. It refers to horizontal and vertical cooperation in the shaping and implementation of these policies. In this respect, the principles of subsidiarity and reciprocity advocated in the Guiding Principles, are of particular relevance.
“Governance can be understood as the emergence and the implementation of innovative shared forms of planning and managing of socio-spatial dynamics. At its simplest level, territorial governance can therefore be understood as the cultural embeddedness and practical application of the general principles of governance to spatial development policies… sound territorial governance aims at managing territorial dynamics through indicating the spatial consequences of various policies planned by public and private sector actors. The aim is to negotiate a set of commonly agreed objectives as well as a framework of shared responsibilities by the use of spatial development strategies and policies”1).
CEMAT Glossary of Key Expressions Used in Spatial Development Policies in Europe