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Associate Professor

+39 0110907442 / 7442 (DIST)

Giancarlo Cotella is Associate Professor of spatial planning at Politecnico di Torino. His research focuses on the comparative analysis of of territorial governance and spatial planning systems in Europe and beyond and on the mutual influence between European Union territorial governance and domestic territorial governance and spatial planning.

More in particular, in his research he explored the evolution and impact of the EU cohesion policy and related programmes and initiatives on the Member States' cities and regions. He conducted research on spatial development trends and evidence based policy-making since 2005, with a particular attention for the indentification and transferability of good practices.

Through time, he has been teaching and researching in numerous universities in Europe and beyond, and has published widely in the international scientific literature, with over 100 articles and book chapters.

He coordinated and/or participated in several international research projects, among which it is worth mentioning a number of pan-European researches conducted within the framework of the European Territorial Observatory Network ESPON:

- METRO - The role and future perspectives of Cohesion Policy in the planning of Metropolitan Areas and Cities (;

- SUPER - Sustainable Urbanization and land-use Practices in European Regions (;

- COMPASS - Comparative Analysis of Territorial Governance and Spatial Planning Systems in Europe (;

- ReSSI - Regional Strategies for Sustainable and Inclusive Territorial Developmen (;

- URRUC - Urban-rural connections in non-metropolitan areas (;

- TANGO - Territorial Approaches for New Governance (;

- SMART-IST - Smart Institutions for Territorial Development (;

- FOCI - Future Orientation for Cities (;

- 2.3.1 - Apllications and Effects of the ESDP in the Member States (;

- 2.3.2 - Governance of Territorial and Urban Policies (

(Area 0008 - Ingegneria civile e Architettura)
Curriculum Curriculum file application/pdf (496 KB)
Identifiers ORCID: 0000-0001-8445-412X
Scopus Author ID: 17343421200
WoS ResearcherID: B-1403-2009
Google Scholar ID:
ResearchGate ID:
Research topics Comparative spatial governance and planning research
Skills and keywords

ERC sectors

SH2_8 - Energy, transportation and mobility SH2_5 - International relations, global and transnational governance SH2_10 - Land use and regional planning SH2_9 - Urban, regional and rural studies


Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy Goal 10: Reducing inequalities Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities


Coesione territoriale Energy transition European territorial cooperation European territorial governance Europeanization Governance territoriale Governo del territorio Pianificazione spaziale Politica di coesione Regional development Spatial planning Spatial planning systems Sustainable cities Territorial governance
Scientific responsibilities and other assignments

Awards and Honors

  • Finanziamento delle attività base di ricerca conferred by MIUR, Italy (2017)


Editorial boards

  • EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF SPATIAL DEVELOPMENT (2020-), Editor of magazine, editorial series, encyclopaedia
  • PLANNING, PRACTICE & RESEARCH. (2018-), Editor of magazine, editorial series, encyclopaedia
  • EUROPEAN SPATIAL RESEARCH AND POLICY (2016-), Editorial board member
  • EUROPA XXI (2013-), Director


  • AESOP Annual Congress 2019 "Planning for Transition"/ AESOP - Association of European Schools of Planning, Italia, 9-13/7/2019, Program committee
  • AESOP Annual Congress 2017 "Space of dialogue for places of dignity"/ AESOP - Association of European Schools of Planning, Portogallo, 11-14/7/2018, Program committee
  • AESOP Annual Congress 2018 "Making space for hope"/ AESOP - Association of European Schools of Planning, Svezia, 10-14/7/2018, Program committee
  • World Planning School Congress 2016 "GLOBAL CRISIS, PLANNING & CHALLENGES TO SPATIAL JUSTICE IN THE NORTH AND IN THE SOUTH"/ GPEAN - Global Planning Education Association Network, Brasile, 3/7/2016-8/7/2021, Program committee
  • AESOP Annual Congress 2015 "DEFINITE SPACE - FUZZY RESPONSIBILITY"/ AESOP - Association of European Schools of Planning, Repubblica Ceca, 13-16/7/2015, Program committee
  • AESOP Annual Congress 2014 "From Control to Co-evolution"/ AESOP - Association of European Schools of Planning, Paesi Bassi, 9-12/7/2014, Program committee
  • 2nd AESOP Young Academics Conference "Looking Behind One's Nose", Program chair
  • 1st AESOP Young Academic Conference. CE3 - Central amd Easterm European Engagement/ AESOP Young Academics Network, Slovacchia, 1/1-10/2 2007, Program chair
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Other research or teaching roles outside Politecnico

  • Visiting Researcher at University of Tokyo (1/10/2017-16/9/2018)
  • Ricercatore at Technische Universität Kaiserslautern (1/10/2010-31/12/2011)
  • Visiting Professor at Wroclaw University of Technology (1/1/2010-1/7/2010)
  • Visiting Professor at University of Tartu (1/1/2010-1/6/2010)
  • Visiting Researcher at Newcastle University (20/2/2006-25/6/2006)

Research networks