Evaluation of regional sustainable development - Transitions and prospects

Joe Ravetz, Harry Coccossis, Ruggero Schleicher-Tappeser, Patrick Steele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Evaluation practice, "regional development" and "sustainability" are each complex and contentious. Each shows rapid trends and transitions, and opportunities to be gained for more integrated governance and regional development. This paper takes a case study approach, based on the "Evaluation Workshop" of the EU thematic network project REGIONET. The case studies each concerned the restructuring and modernization process: one in an industrial conurbation, another in an agricultural region and a third in a peripheral region. For each case study, the workshop sessions explored in depth the current evaluation practice, the technical tools, the social processes and the trends and prospects in sight. The results of this exploration highlight the rapid transitions emerging in several areas - in technical tools, in social participation and in multi-level governance. The implications are for a new kind of evaluation toolkit, a "meta-information system", which helps to link between existing methods and tools. They also point towards an evaluation approach that is based on a proactive "opportunity building", as much as a reactive "impact assessment". © Imperial College Press.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-619
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004


  • Evaluation and appraisal
  • Multi-level governance
  • Regional development
  • Sustainable development


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