Espon lakes is a targeted regional analysis of the regional development and integrated development opportunities of Europe’s Great Lakes. MDI conducted a case study on the management of Lake Päijänne and related activities in the lake area (‘area’ is defined here from an operational and administrative point of view). The work focuses on the formal and informal structures that promote joint decision-making in the fields of environmental protection, economic cooperation and spatial planning. The aim was to describe and compare the different ‘institutional models’ used in the management of large lake areas. The work is commissioned by DG REGIO with MDI working as a subcontractor for Spatial Foresight.