Local energy production in action: Igelbodaplatån
How a Swedish housing cooperative turned apartments into energy-saving hubs. In Saltsjöbaden, just outside Stockholm, the housing cooperative Igelbodaplatån has significantly reduced its energy consumption. This accomplishment results from implementing geothermal heating systems, installing solar panels and upgrading the windows. These measures have not only earned the cooperative an energy class C rating but also substantially lowered energy expenses for its tenants. Impressively, Igelbodaplatån ranked as Sweden’s 52nd-largest solar energy producer in 2021 and produces up to 500,000-540,000 kWh per year. Discover how local energy production can bring about wide-ranging benefits.
Fragile communities finding strength from the inside
Discover Dalir, Iceland, where co-creation has breathed new life into the community focusing on involving diverse social groups. This storymap highlights the Fragile Communities project in Búðardalur, a small town in Dalir, Iceland. The project aimed to prevent the decline of remote municipalities through community empowerment and tourism development. It encourages local participation in addressing issues like housing and infrastructure, and seeks to improve local well-being and identity through workshops, grants, and cooperative projects. It also details Dalir’s unique approach to adapting to population decline and the importance of community mobilization and identity rediscovery.
Visualizing Future Migration Scenarios for Europe
The FUME project investigated how migration has shaped Amsterdam, Rome, Copenhagen, and Krakow, using data to understand segregation patterns. The findings indicate that despite variations in size, foreign population structure, and migration history, residential segregation, measured using grid cell level data, is surprisingly similar in three cities – Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Rome. However, Krakow stands out as an exception due to its recent immigrant influx and a smaller migrant population. Even in Krakow, there’s a noticeable downward trend in the dissimilarity index, reflecting a more even allocation of migrants across the city. The storymap includes population estimates and projections by foreign status for cities, which allows decision-makers to use the data in a very flexible way. To achieve this, cutting-edge methods were used such as machine learning and the most available spatially detailed data that is available is collected. The harmonized set of historical data and results of multi-scenario demographic projections allows researchers to study not only past spatial distribution, but also possible futures of spatial processes in cities under different national and regional scenarios; not only those related to population and migration (e.g., changes in the size and structure of mobility flows), but also scenarios of urban development (e.g., investments in infrastructure, housing, transport).
The OECD Rural Agenda for Climate Action Compendium of Best Practices: Peatland ACTION
Peatland ACTION is a programme delivering peatland restoration projects across Scotland to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss. Peatlands are terrestrial wetland environments where the peat – a dark brown substance like soil – is waterlogged for most of the year. 80% of the UK’s peatlands, the majority of which are in Scotland, are estimated to be in poor condition. In their natural state, peatlands represent the single most important terrestrial soil carbon store. Yet, activities such as artificial drainage, forestry, over-grazing and extraction, result in the peatlands emitting carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases (GHG), thereby contributing to climate change. In addition, other benefits of healthy peatlands such as source-water quality, flood management and addressing wildfire risks are much reduced. The UK’s GHG inventory estimates that degraded peatlands are contributing over 15% of Scotland’s GHG emissions. To reverse this trend and ensure that peatlands act as a carbon storage, Peatland ACTION provides funding to land managers to restore peatlands as well as advisory services, project design and restoration management. This storymap was produced as a collaboration between Nordregio and the OECD Rural Agenda for Climate Action.
The OECD Rural Agenda for Climate Action Compendium of Best Practices: GreenLab
The GreenLab industrial park in Skive, Denmark, is a best-practice example of a circular economy model and renewable energy utilization. The park integrates renewable energy sources and enables companies to share surplus energy and resources through an intelligent grid called SymbiosisNetTM. It also focuses on turning agricultural waste into valuable resources, reducing carbon emissions, and driving regional development. GreenLab is a research facility that promotes innovation and attracts private investments. The park has created economic, social, and environmental benefits for the local community and serves as a model for green innovation and rural development. The future vision of GreenLab is to become a leading global centre for sustainable energy and expand its impact by advising other regions interested in replicating the model. This storymap was produced as a collaboration between Nordregio and the OECD Rural Agenda for Climate Action.
Competence mobility: How can labour market mobility in the Nordic Region be increased?
It has been possible to work in another Nordic country since the establishment of the joint Nordic labour market in the 1950s. Nevertheless, only 1.7% of the working-age population work in a different Nordic country from the one in which they were born, and only 0.5 % commute to a job in another Nordic country. This is below the EU average of 1%. This story map examines why people choose to work in another Nordic country and why not. Welcome to explore facts about the Nordic labour market mobility and stories of people experiencing Nordic labour market mobility in Greater Copenhagen, Greenland and Vestfold Telemark.
The OECD Rural Agenda for Climate Action Compendium of Best Practices: Celtic Renewables
Celtic Renewables is an innovative biotech company in Grangemouth, Scotland, that converts whisky production waste into valuable biochemicals as sustainable alternatives to petrochemicals. Their technology has powered the world’s first car fueled by bio-butanol from whisky residues. They aim to replace petrochemicals, decarbonize transportation, and set high sustainability standards. The company creates jobs, contributes to the local economy, and envisions global replication of its technology to convert billions of tonnes of organic waste into valuable resources, driving environmental and economic benefits in a new bio-refining industry.
Ukraine: Before the storm
Current events in Ukraine cannot be understood in a vacuum. The story of Ukrainian migration patterns before the Russian invasion in February 2022 provides a context by which one may understand some of the dramatic migration shifts. Some of the places, people, and motivations mentioned in this storymap might have been heavily affected by recent events. The story documents a broader history, migration drivers, and trajectories of Ukrainians’ migration during the peaceful and turbulent times just before the war began, and it provides comparative input for future studies. The material is based on interviews conducted in Ukraine in the first half of 2021. The study is funded by the Horizon 2020 project “Future Migration Scenarios for Europe.” Explore the pre-war migration stories from Ukraine in the storymap below.
Accessibility study for electric aviation
Which routes in the Nordics would benefit most from using electric aviation? The accessibility study compared travel times of various routes by the electric aircraft and the fastest transport mode currently in use. This was done to understand where the implementation of electric aviation could offer the largest accessibility gains. Explore the results in the storymap. The Nordic region shares many similar accessibility challenges for remote and rural regions. Citizens in some of these regions have limited access to public services, work opportunities and the larger national and international transport system. In addition, companies and public administrations have difficulty attracting skills to the regions. The geographical characteristics of some of these areas, such as large bodies of water, vast forest areas, long coastal lines, mountain ranges and fjords, limit mobility to and from these areas. Poor road quality or limited public transport also worsen the situation. Some of these places are therefore more accessible by airplane than by other modes of transport and would experience a significant reduction in travel time using airplane as compared to other modes of transport, such as train, bus or car. However, the expansion of the aviation system varies among the Nordic countries. This accessibility study is a part of the project Electric Aviation and the Effect on Nordic Regions , which aims to investigate how regions and local areas in the Nordic area will be affected by the implementation of electric aviation. One of these aims is to understand where the implementation of electric aviation could offer the largest accessibility gains. This accessibility study will therefore investigate which routes benefit most in terms of time saved travelling from one point to another using electric aircrafts in comparison to the current fastest transport mode.
No longer solid: how thawing permafrost affects people’s lives in the Arctic
Rapid shifts in the environment caused by climate change impact people’s live in the Arctic. The changes challenge food availability, cause safety concerns, and in some cases deteriorate people’s health. Arctic air temperatures are rising up to four times as fast as the global average, and this causes dramatic changes to all components of the cryosphere, including permafrost. By 2050 permafrost will degrade and ultimately disappear in many areas of the Arctic and this will impact the lives of 3.3 million inhabitants. This storymap tells about local people and how they experience permafrost thaw. What challenges and impacts related to permafrost thaw do they recognize? How do local inhabitants deal with permafrost thaw and how does it affect their possibility to support themselves? The story presents the situation in three permafrost communities: Aklavik (Northwest Territories, Canada), Longyearbyen (Svalbard, Norway), and Qeqertarsuaq (Qeqertalik Municipality, Greenland).
Estonia: research-business partnerships in the bioeconomy
Among the three Baltic countries, Estonia has the strongest marine culture. Given the geographical position, the country’s coastline is five times longer than its landline. Despite marine characteristics, the Estonian bioeconomy is yet driven by primary activities on the land – biomass production from agricultural fields and forests. The valorisation of leftover or side-products from bioresources is yet limited. In the BioBaltic project, Estonian partners draw attention to the untapped potential of marine bio-resources, taking red seaweed, as an example. By exploring innovation ecosystem models, project partners aim to identify ways of valorising marine bio-resources and developing a bioeconomy in Estonia. This storymap welcomes you to dive in the Estonian bioeconomy journey.
Senegal: Leaving to return
Temporary migration and nomadic lifestyles are embedded in Senegalese culture due to the country’s geographical location, history, and demography. It is driven by environmental, economic and social dilemmas of Senegalese society. What makes people move further, return, or stay? This storymap will provide insights into migration drivers and trajectories, based on the interviews conducted in Senegal between 2020 and 2021. The study is funded by the Horizon 2020 project “Future Migration Scenarios for Europe” . Explore migration stories from Senegal in the storymap below.
Iraq: Lives in transition
During the past five decades, Iraqi society has been navigating through a complex combination of political upheaval, sectarian violence, unemployment struggles, and educational disappointments. This has led many people to migrate—first, from rural to urban areas, and later, abroad in search of stability, peace, and jobs, motivated by the hope for a better life. From where do these migrants come, and where are they going? And what are the factors driving their mobility? This storymap will provide insights into migration drivers and trajectories, based on the interviews conducted in Iraq between January and March of 2021. The study is funded by the Horizon 2020 project “Future Migration Scenarios for Europe” . Explore migration stories from Iraq in the storymap below.
Lithuania: creating symbiotic relations in bioeconomy
Richness in biological resources and a well-established bio-based primary production, represents a huge potential for developing the bioeconomy in Lithuania. However, one ingredient is still missing. A lack comprehensive interaction between stakeholders yet is a significant factor halting innovation and resource efficiency in the country. Within the BioBaltic project, Lithuania seeks to strengthen the development of the bioeconomy by facilitating collaboration and exploring the potential for industrial symbiosis. A key goal is to identify existing symbiotic relations between companies in resource utilisation, and ways to improve resource efficiency throughout the supply chains. This story map invites you to follow Lithuania’s bioeconomy development journey. This storymap is a part of the BioBaltic storymap series overviewing the bioeconomy development in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The BioBaltic project provides a platform for generating awareness of different bio-economy models through peer-to-peer learning and building networks across Baltic and Nordic countries. The project is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.
Tunisia: at the crossroad of worlds
Historically, Tunisia has been a gateaway for migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa to Europe. Recently, the migration pathway started to change. The country has become not only the area of trasition but also of destination and settlement. What has made the biggest impact on such a turn? What motivates and prevents people from moving to certain areas of Tunisia and abroad? This storymap will provide insights into migration drivers and trajectories, based on the interviews conducted in Tunisia between January and October, 2021. The study is funded by a Horizon 2020 project “Future Migration Scenarios for Europe” . Explore migration stories from Tunisia in the storymap below.
Latvia: towards a knowledge-driven bioeconomy
Vidzeme is the largest region in Latvia occupying almost one-third (30,6%) of its territory. Favourable climate conditions and a high concentration of natural resources make the Vidzeme region a competitive economic player in the agricultural and forestry sectors. In the past years, the region has put a lot of effort into developing knowledge and innovation-based bioeconomy strategies, as well as in creating collaborations among key bioeconomy actors in the region. As part of a Nordic-Baltic collaborative BioBaltic project on bioeconomy, the Vidzeme region aspires to develop its bioeconomy sector further. Driven by the food production sector and ambitions to integrate innovative digital solutions, the region is currently testing the bioeconomy development approaches based on a bottom-up perspective, with grassroots-level actions and local value creation that could benefit the entire region. This storymap is a part of the BioBaltic storymap series overviewing the bioeconomy development in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The BioBaltic project provides a platform for generating awareness of different bio-economy models through peer-to-peer learning and building networks across Baltic and Nordic countries. The project is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.
Simone Grind: Promoting a self-sustaining lifestyle through community support agriculture
Simone works at Under Tallarna, a small-scale farm initiated by a bunch of young enthusiasts passionate about self-sustaining lifestyle and sustainable living. The farm is managed under the community support agriculture (CSA) model, where the clients become members of the farm. This eliminates the need for intermediaries securing a more fair and stable income for the farmers and a reliable product to the clients. Farming farmers is, however, Simone’s biggest ambition. She organises events for anyone to try out what it is to be a farmer and to learn about sustainable living. This storymap is a part of the BeUBio storymap series – about young people whose business ideas, jobs and other activities lead the way towards a different and more sustainable economic path. With a variety of different examples, young people from across the Baltic Sea Region, inspire new ways of making business while having a positive impact to the environment and society. The overall aim is to build a community of like-minded people, by sharing our stories and inspiring each other. This initiative comes from the BeUBio project, a collaboration between different partners across the Baltic Sea Region pushing for youth participation in the transition to a bio-based economy, and create synergies with other actors and initiatives addressing the SDGs.
Jussi Nissi: Cows are not the problem, but the system!
Jussi is a young farmer passionate about food production and carbon sequestration through sustainable farming. Jussi is now finalising his bachelors program at Häme University of Applied Sciences. Jussi is also attending Savory Institutes online course where he has expanded his knowledge of ‘holistic management’. Holistic management involves a combination of practices that ensure the health and wellbeing of land, plants, animals, and the community. Jussi is currently applying some of these practices and developing new methods at Qvidja Gård (manor house) in Southwest Finland. These are improving the quality of the soil and the wellbeing of the cows and lambs while capturing carbon from the atmosphere. In the near future, Jussi will take over his family farm and introduce his knowledge on sustainable farming, which he also hopes will set an example for other farmers to follow. This storymap is a part of the BeUBio storymap series young people whose business ideas, jobs and other activities lead the way towards a different and more sustainable economic path. With a variety of different examples, young people from across the Baltic Sea Region, inspire new ways of making business while having a positive impact to the environment and society. The overall aim is to build a community of like-minded people, by sharing our stories and inspiring each other. This initiative comes from the BeUBio project, a collaboration between different partners across the Baltic Sea Region pushing for youth participation in the transition to a bio-based economy, and create synergies with other actors and initiatives addressing the SDGs.
Māra Lieplapa: Generating value in rural areas from wild herbs
Freshly graduated from university, in 2018, Māra Lieplapa founded PLŪKT, a company producing teas from herbs hand-picked from Latvian nature. “There are some 1300 varieties of herbs in Latvia that are good for human consumption, yet, only few of these are actually used”. Making a product with a positive impact on the environment and the local area of Madona, was Māra’s drive to start her own business. This storymap is a part of the BeUBio storymap series young people whose business ideas, jobs and other activities lead the way towards a different and more sustainable economic path. With a variety of different examples, young people from across the Baltic Sea Region, inspire new ways of making business while having a positive impact to the environment and society. The overall aim is to build a community of like-minded people, by sharing our stories and inspiring each other. This initiative comes from the BeUBio project, a collaboration between different partners across the Baltic Sea Region pushing for youth participation in the transition to a bio-based economy, and create synergies with other actors and initiatives addressing the SDGs.