Nordic cycling policy: National objectives, mechanisms, and actors in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden
This paper reviews how Nordic countries are working to improve cycling via policy and planning. It takes a national-level approach to review cycling objectives, mechanisms and key actors in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden.
Should I stay or should I go? Early career mobility and migration drivers
This working paper is a part of the project “Early Career Mobility in the Nordic Region”. The project explores current migration aspirations and associated factors of young people in the Nordic region. The study is conducted under the Nordic Thematic Group for Green, Innovative and Resilient Regions (2021 – 2024). Learning more about current migration drivers and migration aspirations of the early career cohorts in the Nordic countries will help policymakers to shape the future of Nordic labour markets and better prepare the future labour supply and demands in rural areas. This working paper will present the main findings from previous studies on migration drivers and will serve as a baseline for the data collection on migration history and migration aspirations of young people in the Nordic countries. The overall objective of Early Career Mobility in the Nordic Region is to develop a deeper knowledge of young people´s regional mobility and migration aspirations within the Nordic region. The research will address and assess the following key research questions: The aim of the project is to understand recent and future developments in regional migration trends in the Nordic region, targeting the population cohorts aged 25 – 39 year olds, which we refer to as the household-creating ages. The project will put an emphasis on urban-to-rural migration, addressing cross-cutting themes such as gender and the Green Transition. The project will collect survey data on individuals in the household-creating ages in the Nordic region, exploring migration aspirations and factors associated with the wish to leave. Furthermore, there is a rising interest in understanding how digitalisation and remote work opportunities are influencing labour mobility and lifestyle decisions among the younger cohorts in the labour market, which this project also will shed light on. Documenting migration aspirations can offer insights into migration forecasts and migration…
Young Voices from the Arctic: Insights on Climate Change and Permafrost Degradation
The Arctic is warming at four times the global rate, significantly impacting communities, especially the youth. This working paper emphasizes the need to amplify Arctic youth voices and calls for more research on youth engagement to address the impacts of climate change and permafrost degradation. The Arctic region is warming almost four times as fast as the global average. Snow and ice are thawing at an increasing rate, and the rapid environmental shifts have a disproportionate effect on communities across the Northern Hemisphere. This leads to significant permafrost degradation, which disrupts community infrastructure, cultural heritage, landscapes, and impacts animal migration and subsistence activities. This change has severe consequences for the youth in the region, affecting their present lives and future outlooks. This working paper emphasizes the importance of addressing these issues and enhancing the voices of Arctic youth, who advocate for climate change adaptation and mitigation, as they will be central in shaping society in the face of these environmental shifts. The paper highlights Arctic youths’ perspectives on climate change and permafrost degradation, covering individuals from the legal age to early-career experts up to 35. Further, the paper states a need for more research and exploration of youth engagement methodologies in the Arctic to address the impacts of climate change and permafrost degradation.
Overview of Electricity and Energy Capacity for the Establishment of Electric Aviation Routes in the Nordic Region
This report explores which routes in the Nordic Region will be suitable for establishing electric aviation according to two factors: energy demands of airports and regional power adequacy. The report is part of the Nordregio project Electric aviation and the effects on the Nordic Regions and substantially builds on the project’s Accessibility study. The Accessibility study identified 203 airports in the Nordic Region as feasible for accommodating electric aviation, on the basis of savings in transport time, connecting rural areas with urban or other rural areas, and overcoming cross-water distances or other geographical obstacles. It is impossible to clarify the energy capacity and infrastructure adequacy of all 203 airports within the scope of this report. Consequently, a regional perspective on the power adequacy is applied for the report assessments. This will assist in the selection of reasonable case studies, which will be explored in the next stages of this project, for the first generation of electric aviation in the Nordic Region. It is important to emphasise that power conditions and connections of local distribution grids differ within regions, as does the energy demand of airports. Standard conditions of battery electric airplanes, power demands, and charging infrastructure are described in the following chapters, with an aim to understand requirements for power capacities and infrastructure to adequately support electric aviation.
Electric Aviation Outlook in the Nordics
Regarding geographical accessibility questions, the five Nordic countries stand out in Europe due to their low population density, geographic variety including fjords, lakes, and mountains but also the prominence of sustainable energy sources. Before this backdrop, electric aviation holds the potential to make the region’s transport sector more sustainable while helping to overcome regional development and accessibility challenges, particularly in rural areas. The introduction of electric airplanes in local transport networks promises the reduction inter alia greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. While several options to achieve zero- or low-emission aviation are currently being developed, this report focuses primarily on the electrification of aviation. Yet, electric aircraft still face several technical and economic challenges, including limited range and passenger capacity. Despite these limitations, this working paper highlights a heightened interest in the introduction of electric aviation, exploring the existing situation, challenges and knowledge in the 5 Nordic countries.
Implementing Electric Aviation: Critical Factors and Relevant Policy Instruments
The Nordic countries have ambitious plans to turn electric aviation into a reality in the Nordic countries in the near future. This working paper describes some critical factors that might challenge the further development and establishment of low and zero-emission aviation in Nordic countries. A special focus will be placed on purely electric aviation solutions. The publication is based on a literature review comprising first and foremost reports published in recent years in the Nordic countries, resulting from in-depth studies on low and zero-emission aviation in the region. It further presents possible policy instruments which could serve the creation of a Nordic policy framework to help address the identified challenges and support the implementation of electric aviation and other solutions in the Nordic countries.
Innovation Dynamics in Wood Construction in Sweden and Finland
The rapid developments in wood-construction and the huge expectation built around the potential of ‘greening’ the construction sector by replacing concrete and steel with wood provide our empirical ground to study the drivers of innovation. This publication provides the results of a case study on the construction sector transformation process triggered by the emergence of wood-based construction in Sweden and Finland, particularly of multi-storey buildings. We especially aim at reconstructing the micro-processes leading to innovations and breakthroughs in the market. Interviews with a variety of stakeholders have contributed to a reconstruction of a historical overview of some of the main events and drivers decisive for the industry’s development, from far past industrial and policy-driven steppingstones to more recent developments. In our analysis, we zoom into the more granular microprocesses that become evident when examining the interactions between actors within and beyond their formal roles. The publication is one of the outcomes of the project titled “Systems perspectives on Green Innovation (GRINGO)” that explores the bottlenecks to innovation and the green transition from a systemic perspective. The project focuses on uncovering the links between agency and innovation, particularly regarding the role of different ‘change agents’ in driving transition processes. The previous step of the project consisted on exploring key concepts, their application, and their theoretical foundations within innovation and policy traditions. It concluded in the Discussion Paper: A conceptual review on the systems perspectives on green innovation, published in September 2022. The paper touches upon the academic discussion that has developed around the drivers of innovation. The debate breaks away from the simplistic structure-agency divide, which attributes causality either to structures (rules-of-the-game) or agency (actors), to consider the complex interplay between actors, formal and informal institutions, and contextual conditions determining innovation. These theoretical perspectives then guided the second step of the…
Scaling up Nordic impact through public procurement
In 2019, it was estimated that, of 5,000 Nordic start-ups, 10% included solutions that addressed the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, many of them struggled to make a profit, especially at the early stages and mostly due to a lack of access to the market and to the right supporters. Considering this, Nordic Innovation has funded this desk study for mapping barriers and enablers of impact start-ups through public procurement. This publiction consists of two sections: The first part addresses barriers to public procurement, enablers for social innovation, and institutional support measures. In part two, we evaluate how Nordic municipalities use alternative financial models such as social impact bonds (SIBs) and public-private partnerships to achieve social impact. The content is developed from the perspective of impact start-ups and entrepreneurs, institutions, public-private partnerships, and impact investors. Each perspective considers the barriers and enablers for impact start-ups according to their spheres of action. By reviewing the existing obstacles and opportunities facing impact start-ups in the Nordic Region, planners and policymakers can improve the legal framework to remove barriers and strengthen existing enablers to help impact start-ups meet societal needs.
Re-start competence mobility in the Nordic Region
The Nordic Council of Ministers’ vision is for the Region to be the most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030. Cross-border labour market mobility in the Nordic Region will play an important role in achieving that goal. In this working paper, we share the latest data on labour market mobility across national borders in the Nordic Region in the form of both migration and commuting. We also present findings from a review of current literature on labour market mobility in the Nordic Region and present an analytical framework for exploring potential improvements to it. The paper represents our contribution to research in this area and we invite others to comment on it. The project will present its final results in 2023. This working paper is part of the research project “Re-start Nordic competence mobility” under the thematic group of Green, resilient and innovative regions, which is part of the regional co-operation programme funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers. The first phase of the project resulted in a chapter, “Labour market mobility between the Nordic countries” in State of the Nordic Region 2022.
The social impacts of climate mitigation policies on vulnerable groups in the Nordic Region
This discussion paper analyses the Nordic just green transition from the perspective of a set of target social groups, including unemployed persons and those at risk of unemployment, older adults, children and persons with disabilities. Based on a diverse literature review, comprising peer-reviewed academic papers, legal documents and unpublished reports, the report explores how climate mitigation policies may impact these social groups, both positively and negatively, and thereby sheds light on how such policies may contribute to a just green transition in a Nordic context. This report is part of Not Just a Green Transition – Examining the path towards a socially just green transition in the Nordic Region (NJUST), a Nordic research project funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers. The report contextualises the notion of a just green transition in the Nordic Region, and elaborates on how climate policies can be implemented in such a way that the transition does not negatively harm vulnerable groups in society.
Just Green Transition – key concepts and implications in the Nordic Region
This discussion paper is based on a literature review of the just green transition in a Nordic, European and OECD setting, via the lens of three interrelated dimensions within this concept: transition, green economy and social justice. Like all countries around the world, the Nordic countries are facing climate change and the transition towards a more sustainable future. All Nordic countries and self-governing territories are in the process of implementing national, regional and local strategies and policies aimed at mitigating climate change and its effects on society. The transition to a more sustainable future has implications for the economy, for example different economic sectors and their composition and how we interact with and govern natural resources and biodiversity. This process is often referred to as the green transition. One key component of the green transition is how it can unfold in a just way that protects communities, territories and specific social groups from the potential negative consequences of such policies – or enables their involvement in or empowerment by such processes. The discussion paper starts by outlining the aim and the guiding questions. There then follows a section presenting the research methods and sources of material. Section 4 presents a review of the concepts transition, green economy and social justice, along with an overview of the overarching concept of the just green transition. This is followed by a discussion of its key implications in the Nordic Region. The section concludes with proposals for working definitions of concepts for the NJUST project.
Welfare institutes in sparsely populated areas
This working paper is a part of Welfare institutes in sparsely populated areas (WIiSPA) project. The overall purpose of it is to clarify and determine the definition of WIiSPA and identify WIiSPA actors in sparsely populated areas (SPAs) in the Nordic Region and beyond. Underpinning the concept of WIiSPA is the belief that the stable provision of health and social care services is crucial for regional development. In other words, a well-functioning welfare sector with effective and accessible services is a prerequisite for regional growth across different sectors in SPAs. Another important objective is to promote the development and revitalisation of welfare services in rural areas through networking and knowledge-sharing with other WIiSPA actors across the Nordic Region. Since SPAs in the Nordic countries often face similar challenges, this pan-Nordic WIiSPA network would facilitate the implementation of results and recommendations based on Nordic welfare and regional development projects. WIiSPAs would benefit from the experiences of projects like iHAC/iVOPD, which in turn would contribute to the development of health care and social care services in SPAs of the Nordic Region – with a focus on distance spanning solutions, integration of health and social care services, and recruitment and skills supply. This working paper aims to shed light on the following project objectives: What components, stakeholders, and visions could constitute a WIiSPA; what elements are necessary for creating a WIiSPA? (Definition of WIiSPA) Identifying existing and potential WIiSPA clusters in the Nordic countries and beyond; their prerequisites, strengths, and eventual lack of components for creating a WIiSPA (Mapping of WIiSPA) How could a network of identified WIiSPA clusters best be developed? (WIiSPA network) The results of this working paper are based on academic research, short interviews, and roundtable discussions. The material includes academic articles, information from websites and notes from discussions with local stakeholders. The concept…
Synergies between Nordic studies on resilience, digitalisation, smart specialisation and skills development
Regional (economic and social) resilience determines how capable the regional economies are to cope with change (negative or positive shocks or stress) and continue to develop. Regional resilience is achieved through regional actions that turn global perspectives into strengths and opportunities. Generally speaking, regional resilience is adesirable place to be in, and this should be supported by all different policies and regional actions. Rather than being and end result, regional resilience should be seen as a continuous effort of addressing and adapting to global trends and other developments that may threaten the economy and social wellbeing. Global drivers such as demographic trends and industrial changes, sustainable development, and green transition, need to be met in Nordic regions through place-based actions. Smart specialisation strategies, skills development, and actions supporting the digital transition are examples of place-based actions that strengthen regional resilience. This dynamic state of being reflects the Nordic Vision 2030 of a green, competitive and socially sustainable Nordic region. In addition to synergies between the major themes, the study also revealed topics of high common relevance for all themes of the TG2 work. These relate to the importance of bridging across governance levels and sectors and finding new models for leadership and engagement. This section explores the more general regional development measures needed to support the development towards innovative and resilient regions.
Klimatomställningen och relationen stad och land
Denna rapport syftar till att ge ett kunskapsunderlag om hur stad och landsbygd i Norden påverkas av klimatomställningen och vilken effekt detta har på sammanhållningen i Norden. Trots skillnader mellan stad och land när det gäller befolkningsutveckling, utbildning och inkomst, ser vi att utvecklingen skiljer sig mer mellan olika typer av städer och olika typer av landsbygder än mellan stad och land i sig. Det är i allt väsentligt dessa ekonomiska utvecklingsmönster som skapar olika förutsättningar för att leva och verka i olika delar av Norden. Vi finner här mycket lite som indikerar att polariseringen mellan stad och land generellt ökar. Däremot ser vi att inkomstskillnaderna inom kommunerna ökar, vilket pekar på att det snarare är skillnaderna mellan olika socio-ekonomiska grupper i samhället som ökar än skillnaderna mellan stad och land. Vi finner också indikationer på att tilliten till samhällets institutioner är minskande hos socio-ekonomiskt svagare grupper i samhället, samt hos dem som redan har låg tillit till samhället.Europeisk forskning kring den så kallade missnöjets geografi (geography of discontent) visar att en ökad andel röster på antietablissemangspartier,framförallt uppstår i områden med långvarig ekonomisk nedgång. Åtgärder som syftar till att minska koldioxidutsläppen, till exempel ökad beskattning av fossila bränslen för transporter, ökad andel fossilfri el och vindkraft, eller åtgärder för att öka konsumtionen av utsläppsfria och resurseffektiva varor och tjänster, kan få olika effekter – både positiva och negativa – för olika sociala grupper och för invånare i stad och på landsbygd. För att få en bättre förståelse för effekterna av klimatpolitiska åtgärder, finns behov av mer systematiska genomlysningar av hur klimatpolitiken slår mot olika geografiska områden och/ eller sociala grupper i samhället. De nordiska regionerna är här en relevant analysnivå för att analyseraklimatpolitikens effekter, men regionerna är också en viktig aktör i klimatomställningen – med närhet till invånarna och vana…
Marint Gränsforum Skagerrak – delutvärdering
Projektet Marint Gränsforum Skagerrak syftar till att skapa förutsättning för marin näringslivsutveckling i Skagerrak. Projektet startade i januari 2019, vilket innebär att det varit igång i ett år när denna första delutvärdering genomfördes. Projektet som finansieras av Interreg löper 2019-2021. Projektägare är Svinesundskommittén, Viken Fylkeskommune, Göteborgs universitet/ Tjärnö marinbiologiska laboratorium och Länsstyrelsen Västra Götaland. Projektet Marint Gränsforum Skagerrak bygger vidare på en rad tidigare projekt i området, inklusive Interreg-projektet ”Framtiden är blå 1+2”. Det syftar till att främja utveckling av nya näringar som baseras på havets resurser och för att uppnå detta ändamål, bygga samverkan mellan näringsliv, förvaltningsorganisationer och forskning i gränsregionen. Projektet har under det första året kommit igång väl med olika aktiviteter, men har också viktiga utmaningar som bör hanteras för att projektet ska nå de långsiktiga målen och skapa ett friskt och produktivt Skagerrak.
Kompetensbehov för Smart specialisering i Värmland
I Region Värmland pågår arbetet med att ta fram en ny regional utvecklingsstrategi, en kompetensförsörjningsstrategi och en ny strategi för smart specialisering. Nordregio har fått i uppdrag av Region Värmland att göra en genomlysning av kompetensförsörjningsbehov inom områdena för Värmlands forsknings- och innovationsstrategi för smart specialisering som löper under perioden 2015 – 2020.
Polar Peoples in the Future: Projections of the Arctic Populations
Projections of the future size, composition and distribution of the populations of the Arctic states and regions are useful for policymakers for planning purposes. This paper presents and analyses the most recent population projections undertaken for the Arctic states and regions. Global population growth is projected to continue rising, from the current total of 7.4 billion to 10 billion in 2055. The population of the Arctic, as defined here, is predicted to change little, with a projected population increase of just 1%. However, there will be considerable variation in growth rates among the Arctic regions. Among the Arctic regions of Alaska, Yukon, Nunavut, Iceland, Troms, Khanty-Mansiy okrug and Chukotka, substantial population increases are projected, amounting to more than 10% over the projection period specified for each. Nordland, Finnmark, Pohjoil-Pohjanmaa (North Ostrobothnia) and Nenets autonomous okrug are projected to experience a more modest rate of growth of between 5% and 10%. The population of the Northwest Territories, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Västerbotten, Norrbotten, Lappi, Yamal-Nenets okrug, Yakutia and Kamchatka oblast are projected to remain roughly the same, neither growing nor declining by more than 5%. Kainuu in Finland, Karelia, Komi, Arkhangel’sk, Murmansk, and Magadan in Russia are projected to undergo reductions in population of more than 5% each. Common trends identified for nearly all Arctic regions in the future are aging populations, more balanced gender ratios between men and women, increased concentrations of population within larger urban settlements, and the depopulation of smaller settlements. Research for this article is part of a project entitled Polar Peoples: Past, Present, and Future. This is supported by a grant from the U. S. National Science Foundation, Arctic Social Sciences Program (award number PLR-1418272). I would like to thank Olivia Napper, graduate student in the Department of Geography at George Washington University, for creating the…
Nationella lagar och regler i arbetet med stadsgrönska i Norden
I denna kortversion av en nyligen publicerad rapport sammanfattas de nordiska ländernas legala ramverk avseende möjligheterna för att utveckla, bevara och skydda gröna värden i städer. Alltfler människor flyttar till städerna som blir allt tätare. Därmed blir det extra viktigt att städernas gröna värden utvecklas, bevaras och skyddas. Dessa gröna värden fyller flera syften, såsom att bibehålla eller utveckla städernas ekosystem och inte minst som gröna rekreationsrum för befolkningen. Gröna värden i städer fyller inte bara miljömässiga syften, utan även sociala och ekonomiska – till exempel ur ett folkhälsoperspektiv. I de nordiska länderna spelar planlagstiftningen en viktig roll, eftersom den reglerar mark- och vattenanvändningen. Plansystemens legala ramverk är ett viktigt instrument för kommunerna i deras ambitioner att skapa grönare städer.
Atlas of population, society and economy in the Arctic
The Atlas of Population, Society and Economy in the Arctic provides an in-depth overview of the changes that are affecting populations in the circumpolar North. Continuous environmental, economic and social changes are currently underway in the Arctic regions. Global warming, for example, is challenging traditional livelihoods, accessibility and economic activities. The atlas presents a collection of standardised indicators that illustrate the state of the Arctic regions focusing on demography, society, economy, production, accessibility and infrastructure as well as physical conditions and resources in the Arctic. As part of Nunataryuk’s research, this working paper examines the environmental challenges related to permafrost by combining geographical data with demographic data in order to describe coastal and inland settlements. Permafrost thaw is a challenge for many Arctic communities, as it has an impact on infrastructure, economy and the health of Arctic populations.
Nordic Population in 2040 – Executive summary
How strong is the urbanization trend in the Nordics in the long haul? Will the rural areas be depopulated by 2040? This is the executive summary of the report The Nordic Population in 2040 – Analysis of past and future demographic trends. The findings show that the rural areas in the Nordic region face several demographic challenges, but at the same time the rural future does not seem as grim as often predicted. The population and the working age population will continue to grow in the Nordic Region, but the fastest growth will occur in the old-age dependency ratio challenging the Nordic welfare model with a growing group of pensioners compared to the working age population. The report is divided into three sections: projections of total urban and rural populations, projections of the age structure of the population, and projections of the working age populations. If the expected future differs from what is desired, policy interventions can be designed and implemented to attempt to achieve the desired population outcome. This research examines the future size and age composition of the populations in the Nordic region at the national, regional, and municipal levels. The national statistical offices of all the Nordic countries and autonomous areas regularly produce projections of their populations which differ in detail, assumptions, and length of the projection period. To allow comparison across the Nordic regions, a typology of urban and rural regions is used with five different types of regions 1) predominantly urban regions, 2) intermediate regions, close to a city 3) intermediate regions, remote 4) predominantly rural regions, close to a city and 5) predominantly rural regions, remote. This classification is adopted from the OECD and is used throughout the report. In depth analysis can be found in the original report The Nordic Population in 2040…