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Comparative research on spatial quality in Europe: motivation and approach

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This paper presents the structure of the ESF-founded TERM research project "Environmental Quality in European Space", and serves as the introduction to the special issue presenting the results of this project. The aim of the project was to organise existing European research teams in the area of spatial sustainability, focusing on two themes "transport and environment", and "energy efficiency and spatial sustainability". A number of criteria are identified for the comparison and evaluation of research in these areas for 12 European countries: UK, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Finland, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, Israel and Austria. These criteria involve: "intrinsic characteristics" (problem definition, policy options, theoretical assumptions, method and data) and "meta characteristics" (scientific innovation and contribution to real policy-making).

Keywords: environmental and spatial research, meta-analysis, comparative research

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