Spatial Planning: The Crucial Element for Sustainable and Resilient Local Development (IN-PLAN Policy Brief)

In its 1st policy brief from June 2023, IN-PLAN presented six practical steps for regional and local authorities to integrate energy, climate, and mobility into spatial planning. Also, it outlined five integrated planning phases developed in the IN-PLAN practice that aims to facilitate the effective implementation of sustainable energy, climate, and spatial plans.

Six Steps to successfully integrate energy and climate planning 

Based on a literature and good practices review, the partners identified key learnings from integrated planning approaches and practices. IN-PLAN recommends six key steps to success for regional/local authorities and urban planners to implement a successful integrated planning approach.  

Assessing Authorities’ Capacities and Needs – key takeaways 

While developing the IN-PLAN Practice, the five regional partners consulted their local and regional authorities through a survey and several workshops. As they were mentioning their goals, they declared their need for support in better integration of existing strategies into spatial plans, while taking a more critical look at current planning processes and dealing with differing stakeholder interests. 

Buildings Decarbonising heating and cooling 
Heightening energy efficiency in the current building stock 
Mobility Increasing air quality (e.g. low emission zones) 
limiting urban traffic 
increasing sustainable mobility 
RES development Supporting local production, distribution, and storage 
Resilience Reducing the heat island effect 
Reducing the impact of natural hazard 
Risk mitigation 

The complete results of the survey are available in the Capacity Gap Assessment

IN-PLAN Practice: How-To Guidance for integrated spatial planning 

The IN-PLAN Practice is an adaptable document structured in five successive phases intended for the participating authorities to step up their long-term energy and climate planning by integrating relevant parts into their spatial plans. The IN-PLAN Practice provides authorities and spatial planners with:

  • a checklist of what to do and bear in mind,
  • concrete “How to” guidelines, examples of best practices,
  • explanations and links to existing tools,
  • techniques and methods, and
  • intended outcomes after each step.

Get involved with IN-PLAN

Regional and local authorities, and energy, climate, or development agencies are welcome to join IN-PLAN, to be trained on and apply the practice in their local context. The IN-PLAN practice will empower and provide them with a unique opportunity to receive support for their integrated planning processes, both from EU-level actors and from other authorities and agencies, exchanging and learning from their peers around Europe. Any questions? Contact

Read the full brief

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