This study presents and applies an integrative conceptual framework which is used to explain how culture, planning policy and territorial management outcomes are interrelated, and what the implications are for spatial planning. The study investigates territorial development processes in the context of floodplain management in urbanised delta regions. This specific context is selected because of its strong relations between physical attributes and spatial planning activities. The analysis is carried out based on a comparative approach at two levels. At the cross-national level, the Rhine-Meuse delta region in the Netherlands and the Chaophraya delta region in Thailand are used as case studies. The comparative approach is useful for this study because culture can be best understood in a relative form. The sub-national analysis emphasises comparison of floodplain management in three selected districts in the Chaophraya delta region. Besides the theoretical contribution, this study contributes methodologically through development of a common conceptual framework that can be applied to the analysis of various issues in territorial management, which is not limited only to the subject studied here.