ESPON 2030 – Opportunities to Engage and Operational Insights from Previous ESPON Projects

Thursday, September 28, 2023 - 12:30 to 13:45

Maynooth University and the Southern Regional Assembly, as ESPON Contact Point (ECP) and Monitoring Committee (MC) members respectively for Ireland, invite you to an online event on the new ESPON 2030 programme: ESPON 2030 – Opportunities to Engage and Operational Insights from Previous ESPON Projects.
This online webinar will take place on Thursday 28th September from 12.30 to 13.45.  This 75-minute information session will introduce you to the new ESPON 2030 programme and outline how you, as regional development stakeholders, can actively engage in this programme through open calls and on-demand services.
ESPON is an EU-funded programme that bridges research with policy; providing spatial analysis, data and maps to

  • Underpin EU development policies, in particular Cohesion Policy, with facts and evidence, and
  • Support authorities and decision-makers in benchmarking their region or city, in identifying new challenges and potential, and in shaping successful development policies for the future.

The focus of ESPON’s work over this programming period will be informed by up to ten Thematic Action Plans (TAPs).  To date, four TAPS have been adopted, with a further four coming onstream in late 2023.  All open calls under the ESPON 2030 Programme will be underpinned by these TAPs. 
In preparation for future calls under this Programme, Maynooth University and the Southern Regional Assembly are holding an online information session for those interested in learning more.  This event is aimed at all those involved in regional development and territorial cohesion – policy makers, regional authorities, local authorities, academics, research centres, private consultancies and think-tanks.

You can find out more information on ESPON 2030 here also
Participation is open to all interested parties, and attendance is free of charge.  To register, click here


12.30-12.40 Welcome to Event
Mr. David Kelly / Mr. Kevin Lynch, Monitoring Committee (MC) Member for Ireland, ESPON 2030
12.40-13.00 An Overview of the ESPON 2030 Programme and Thematic Action Plans (TAPs)
Mr. Wiktor Szydarowski, PhD, Director, ESPON EGTC
13.00 – 13.20 ESPON 2030 Programme. Participation opportunities for policy stakeholders and researchersA Stakeholder Perspective – Mr. Lorcan Griffin, Senior Executive Planner, Cork City Council
An Academic Perspective
– Prof. Niamh Moore-Cherry, School of Geography, University College Dublin / 
Dr. Cian O’Callaghan, School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin
13.20 – 13.40  Q&A
13.40 – 13.45 Closing Remarks and Wrap-Up
Ms. Caroline Creamer, ESPON Contact Point (ECP) – Ireland, Maynooth University


Speaker Profiles


  Kevin Lynch
Assistant Director/Senior Planner
Kevin Lynch is Assistant Director/Senior Planner with the Southern Regional Assembly with responsibility for the development and implementation of the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy (RSES). Kevin has over 30 years’ experience in planning ranging from national and  regional planning in Ireland and Scotland,development management, policy development and heritage with Cork City, Cork County,
Limerick, Donegal & Westmeath County Councils and dealing with planning appeals across Ireland with An Bord Pleanála. He has extensive experience in European Projects and policy implementation
  David Kelly
Director of the Southern Regional Assembly
David Kelly was appointed as Director of the Southern Regional Assembly in 2019. Prior to this he held the post of Assistant Director at the Assembly and Head of the ERDF S&E Regional Programmes. David has been involved in managing EU funded programmes since 2001, including Interreg and three Southern & Eastern Regional Programmes (2000-16, 2007-13 and 2014-20), and now the development of the Southern, Eastern and Midland Regional Programme 2021-27. David also oversees the development and implementation of the Regional Spatial & Economic Strategy for the Southern Region.
  Wiktor Szydarowski, PhD,
Director, ESPON EGTC 
Wiktor Szydarowski is the Director of the ESPON EGTC in Luxembourg, overseeing the implementation of the EU-funded ESPON Programme. With over 25 years of experience in international cooperation initiatives, he joined ESPON EGTC in2020 after holding key public administration and consultancy positions in Poland and Sweden. Wiktor is a certified EU expert in various areas, including multimodal transport, territorial cooperation, and development policy. He has   an extensive track record in project management and authored approximately 50 research publications on different policy challenges (transport, regional development, innovation). He holds a PhD in Geography and Regional Planning from the University of Gdansk.
  Cian O’Callaghan
Associate Professor of Geography at Trinity College Dublin
Prior to joining Trinity, he worked at Maynooth University between 2008 and 2016. He holds a PhD from University College Cork (2009). Cian's main research interests include political economy of urban regeneration projects, critical housing studies and cultural imaginaries/creative engagements in urban spaces. 
  Niamh Moore-Cherry
Professor in the School of Geography, Deputy College Principal in the UCD College of Social Sciences and Law
Niamh Moore-Cherry is Professor in the School of Geography, Deputy College Principal in the UCD College of Social Sciences and Law, and Honorary Professor at the Bartlett School of Planning, University College London. Her research is focused on understanding governance and the impact of territorial politics on urban and regional decision-making and place-based outcomes.She founded and leads the Cities, Governance and Sustainability ( research group in UCD which brings together academic, policy and community engaged work. In summer 2022, she was appointed as an independent member of the advisory National Economic and Social Council (NESC) by An Taoiseach
  Lorcan Griffin MRUP, MSc (Urban Design), MIPI
Senior Executive Planner, Cork City Council, Ireland
Lorcan is an Urban Planner and Urban Designer, who has worked with Cork City Council since 2015. He is currently a member of the Strategic Planning and Heritage Team, tasked with managing and fostering Cork City as the “healthy heart” of the wider Metropolitan area.
As a team lead for the Cork City Development Plan 2022-2028 he primarily worked on delivering the Core Strategy and Cork City’’s first Green and Blue Infrastructure Strategy (2022). He has previously led the delivery of Pure Cork – An Economic and Community Action Plan for the City (2015-2021). Lorcan is a current member of the Cork Age Friendly City Steering Group and the Let’s Play Cork/Playful Paradigm ULG