If distinguishing between spatial planning systems and practices, the latter reflect on the continuity and perspective of planning cultures and are concerned with the values, attitudes, mindsets and routines shared by those taking part in concrete planning processes. Some recent studies demonstrated comparative assessment of European spatial planning. Thus, the coexistence of continuity and change, as well as convergence and divergence concerning planning practices, was delineated. Moreover, the trends and directions in the evolution of spatial planning and territorial governance were explored when focusing on linkages between diverse national planning perspectives and EU policies. The relevant outcome of European projects met their visionary statements in general and are towards the inspiration of policymaking by territorial evidence. However, it showed a highly differential landscape for territorial governance and spatial planning across Europe in terms of terminology, concepts, tools and practices. Therefore, the paper focuses on how the most relevant outcome of European research may initiate a reasonable in-depth study of concrete planning practices and substantiate an effective planning approach. Mainly based on critical literature review and comparative analysis and synthesis techniques, the overviewed key research results led (1) to agenda-setting for comprehensive evidence gathering (CEG) if exploring spatial planning practices and territorial governance in selected European countries, and (2) to a set of objectives for a values-led planning (VLP) approach to be introduced for improvement of land use management.
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