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39 Ongoing Projects

Nordic Food Environments and Behavior Change for Better Diets

This project will support the implementation of the updated release of the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations (NNR) in 2023 and provide policymakers with suggestions for policies and interventions promoting a transition towards more sustainable and healthy diets. Current consumption patterns in the Nordic region do not meet national dietary guidelines or sustainability targets, and people need to adjust their diets for a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle. As part of the Nordic Vision project Healthy and Sustainable Food Systems, the Nordic Council of Ministers EK-FJLS (Livs) cooperates with Nordregio to deliver a research project about the Nordic food environments and behavior change for better diets. The purpose of the research project is to support the implementation of the updated release of the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations (NNR) in 2023 and to understand how Nordic food environments need to change for the Nordic population to make healthy and sustainable food choices in their everyday life. The project provides a knowledge base of effective policies that could be implemented in the Nordic countries to generate the required structural changes to make sustainable and healthy consumption easier. The project will explore the following questions:   What can be done to shift Nordic diets to become healthier and more sustainable? What policies and actions can be effective tools to enable behaviour change among Nordic citizens to adopt better diets? How can policy packages for implementing NNR dietary guidelines be designed to reach a high acceptance among consumers and producers? Close collaboration with the Nordic Council of Minister’s secretariat and the FJLS sector will enhance synergies and continuous monitoring. The studies will also consider how Nordic citizens’ background, education, and socioeconomic status affect their choices within a food environment. By promoting sustainable and healthy food systems, the project will contribute to good, equal, and secure health and welfare…

Small Town Attractiveness

The aim of this project is to deliver Nordic planning practices and strategies that municipalities can learn from and adopt to enhance small town attractiveness. More specifically, the focus will be to examine how municipalities design plans and strategies to maintain population growth and ensure multifunctional, liveable and sustainable communities.

Youth for Sustainable Living

This project will increase awareness about the sustainable development goals among youth in the Nordic countries. The project collaborates closely with existing organisations encouraging youth to take climate action and inspire peers to live more sustainably. The project is expected to have public impact through information, inspiration, and demonstration of necessary behavioural and cultural changes. The Nordic Region will be the most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030 according to the Nordic Council of Ministers’ vision for Nordic co-operation. The Nordic countries are at the forefront of work on sustainable development and progress toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, we have to address several challenges, in particular, associated with ecological sustainability. The Nordic countries have unsustainable production and consumption patterns, and this project will focus on working towards SDG 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. The project Youth for Sustainable Living collaborates with established organisations working with youth and sustainability. Through cooperation, events, campaigns and other activities, the project aims to increase knowledge of SDG 12 and encourage youth to take concrete climate actions. The project shall also provide youth with a platform to discuss and disseminate knowledge about sustainable development and promote networking with like-minded peers. During 2023 the project will participate in the following events:  Ungdommens Folkemøde NORD in Copenhagen, 21–22 April ReGenereation Week in Åland (in August, dates TBA) Nordic Youth Month in Iceland in November Sustainable living in the Nordic Region The project is part of the programme Sustainable living in the Nordic Region. The programme consists of six projects that will make it easier to live in a climate-friendly way in the Nordic Region. It is a cross-sectoral Nordic collaboration between the Nordic councils of ministers for gender equality and LGBTI (MR-JÄM), environment and climate (MR-MK), fisheries, aquaculture, agriculture,…

Giving Rural Actors Novel data and re-Useable tools to Lead public Action in Rural areas (GRANULAR)

Representing 30% of its population and over 80% of its territory, EU rural areas are facing simultaneous demographic, climate, economic, social and environmental changes. Addressing these issues requires a precise understanding of what rural areas are and what challenges rural communities are facing today.   Currently, established definitions of rural areas lean on the population density or size of rural settlements. These classifications do not provide sufficient insights into the dynamics, drivers and fluidity of contemporary diverse rural-urban relations and identities that characterise ruralities across Europe. However, the lack of data at a fine-grained scale frequently prevents characterisations of rural areas based on their functional characteristics.   Building on an updated conceptualisation of rurality based on the multi-dimensional nature of contemporary rural-urban interrelations and interdependencies, the interdisciplinary approach in GRANULAR generates new approaches and methods to characterise rural diversity. Based on insights from Multi-Actor Labs, the project performs novel analyses, indicators and datasets using a wide range of methods and primary data, including remote sensing, crowd-sourced data, mobile phone data and web-scraping.   Innovative data are to be combined with a variety of existing institutional layers of information to derive indicators measuring rural resilience, well-being, quality of life and attractiveness. These are relevant for rural communities and enable for the implementation of the Long-Term Vision for Rural Areas (LTVRA).  After ensuring the up-scalability of the results, datasets, visualizations and other tools will be directly available on a dedicated platform designed by and for rural actors.  Nordregio’s contribution to GRANULAR focuses on the characterisation of rural diversity. Our research explores salient territorial dynamics within European rural areas and produces relevant indicators covering economic, social and environmental aspects. These indicators contribute to the empowerment of European rural people and sustainable development of rural communities in the process of just, digital, economic and ecological transitions, with a…

Gen Z Agency: Mobilising young people to strengthen Nordic rural areas

This project will identify and describe key enablers and solutions that young people think are important for the Nordic rural areas to be attractive to live, work and thrive in.    Many rural municipalities are experiencing an aging population, outmigration of young people, a less diversified labour market and provision of services. The young people’s engagement and commitment are central to strengthening the Nordic rural areas and promoting the well-being of young people and rural communities. This project will draw on participatory and interactive methods that involve young Nordic people directly. The aim is to discuss and formulate enablers and solutions for the future of young people in rural areas in all Nordic countries and self-governing territories.  The project will recruit a network of Nordic young adults and engage them in a series of co-creative thematic workshops during 2023. The premise is the youths’ active participation in designing the themes and clarifying the issues from the start so that the project reflects the participants’ needs and wishes.   The project will explore the following questions:   What is essential for young peoples’ establishment and conditions for living, working, and thriving in rural areas?   What concrete enablers and solutions do young people identify as central in solving challenges or removing barriers keeping them from establishing themselves and staying in rural areas?  The young people will participate in the formulation of recommendations aimed at the Nordic ministers, the Nordic Council of Ministers, and national, regional, and local authorities. The recommendations shall provide the Nordic co-operation, national, regional and local authorities and organisations with knowledge and insights to strengthen the conditions for young people in rural areas and promote solutions and opportunities to enable young people to stay or establish themselves in Nordic rural areas. A reference group with representatives contributing with expertise and insights from…

Strategic Housing

On increasingly strained housing markets, affordable housing development has become a key concern in housing policy in the Nordic countries. Public policy explicitly states that new housing should be provided in many price and rent segments with the aim of reaching wider shares of the population, as well as contributing to socially mixed neighborhoods. In the project Strategic Housing, we wish to generate new knowledge on measuring housing market inclusiveness and use this to understand local housing market dynamics and to stimulate cities to develop a more active and comprehensive housing policy. The larger part of the project focus on Norwegian cities and towns, but Nordregio’s share in the project is an outlook on neighboring countries and how they plan for a more inclusive housing supply. One subproject investigates cities’ involvement with the housing needs of mid-income groups. Mid-income households are often depicted as the real losers when it comes to finding new housing as they can neither afford housing on market terms nor are entitled to public support. Here, we take a look at if, how and why the cities of Copenhagen, Hamburg, Oslo and Stockholm plan to expand housing supply attainable to mid-income groups. In a second subproject, municipal requirements to include affordable housing in otherwise market-rate housing developments are investigated. The very different forms such requirements take in Denmark, Norway and Sweden are described and analyzed in relation to housing and planning systems. In the third sub-project, we analyse two shared ownership and two cooperative rental models from legal and economic perspectives to see to what extent, and subject to what risks, these intermediary tenures add to housing opportunities of lower and mid-income groups.

Collaborative housing

This research project asks the question ‘What would be needed for collaborative housing to gain momentum and reach wider layers of the population?’ To answer the question a research overview of legal, economic, and social conditions of importance for developing collaborative housing is made to pinpoint obstacles and potential solutions. Collaborative housing is an umbrella term for a wide variety of housing models based on collectivity and self-organization, such as co-housing, housing co-operatives, self-build initiatives, and some community land trusts. In recent years, these types of initiatives have once again been highlighted as an opportunity to create sustainable housing and residential areas, as well as reduce housing costs. Due to the complexity and legal uncertainty that arises in connection with the start-up of collaborative housing communities, however, today the form is primarily an alternative for the middle class, that is people who generally already have access to the housing market. As a result of this, collaborative housing is often not considered a potential partial solution to housing market problems. The research overview will include a systematic mapping and analysis of the existing international literature on collaborative housing. The study will focus on three themes: 1) potential initiators, 2) key partners, and 3) legal institutional settings and thus relate to the current problems in developing this form of housing. The project is a cooperation between Nordregio and Stockholm University. Research results are continuously made public at FBS Forum för Bostadsforskning Stockholm (FBS Forum for Housing Research Stockholm).

GreenFORCE

GreenFORCE aims at fostering excellence in scientific research and innovation on the green transition in the Western Balkans. It supports Co-PLAN in Albania, CEA in North Macedonia, and UB-GEF in Serbia by enhancing their research profile, strengthening research and management capacities of their staff, and contributing to convergence between Western Balkans and EU research capacities, as well as to wider policy initiatives for the Western Balkans region. The project’s objective is reached through the twinning partnership of five organisations (Politecnico of Torino – POLITO and Nordregio in addition to the aforementioned) that will work closely to produce territorial knowledge through exploratory research and institutional learning; will transfer and exchange knowledge among partner organisations through applying the knowledge management cycle; and will engage in networking for sharing, crossfertilizing and amplifying knowledge at the societal level. Ultimately, the ambition is to transcend from individual learning to enabling institutional learning, making sure that research and research management practices become institutionalised within the recipient organisations. GreenFORCE will enable pathways of cooperation, exchange, co-design, co-creation with academia, civil society and policy-makers at the regional level. For Nordregio this is an important aspect as the project is not seen as one directional, but rather that the project offers opportunities for co-learning in multiple dimensions, which is important to gain more place sensitive understanding of the research and policy needs. Contrasting the institutional as well as the sustainability challenges of Balkan countries and regions with those in Italy and Nordic countries will generate interesting findings about different approaches to conducting green transitions. Visit the project’s website for more information.

Laks og ligestilling/Salmon and equality

For most of the Nordic countries fisheries and aquaculture are important economic sectors. The blue fields of the seas in the Nordic Region are however a sector traditionally male-dominated and statistics on gender ratio and female presence reveal gender-segregated labour market. The Nordic partners observe this gender imbalance in the sector as problematic on many levels. This motivates the project LAKS OG LIGESTILLING, in identifying the need to uncover reasons for what contributes to the gender imbalance. This project analyses what hinders or promotes improved gender balance in fisheries and aquaculture in the Nordic Region. The project aims to contribute to improved knowledge basis on equality questions in fisheries and aquaculture, and other new emerging blue economies across the Nordic countries. Parallelly it is to raise increased awareness of the need for more equal gender balance in the business and the recruitment of female skills. More specifically the project research output shall improve knowledge of which measures have proved effective in increasing gender equality within the sector. On the basis of the comparative analysis, we aim to build a knowledge basis for useful competence and exchange of experience. Lastly, the result from the comparative research will be presented in policy recommendations on measures likely to increase recruitment of women both as owners and practitioners in the sector. The project’s focus is to uncover active actions and measures that contribute to increased gender equality and more balanced representation of both males and females. Also to generate an overview of existing statistics on gender ration among employees and employers in the fisheries and aquaculture sector and to identify gaps across division of labour and strata within the sector. Project MilestonesM1: Statistical collection and harmonization of data to make comparative – Value Chain analysis for Blue Bioeconomy from gender perspective – and stakeholder…

Digital inclusion in action

This project will contribute to an inclusive digital transition in the Nordic-Baltic societies by promoting collaboration, dialogue, and knowledge sharing between practitioners and policymakers in the different countries and autonomous territories. The Nordic and Baltic societies are among the most advanced in Europe on digitalisation and they continually rank high on the European Commission’s Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI). Digital literacy, digital skills and competences are all necessary to participate in the digital economy and society. With increased digitalisation, there is a risk that some groups lacking certain skills could be excluded, among these are elderly people, people with disabilities, persons with low or no education, young people between 15-25 as this group often struggle with communicating digitally with the public sector , immigrants that lack language skills, and people residing in rural areas. Digital exclusion can result in consequences such as people not having access to and receiving public services, lack of information about public services, social inequality, and social exclusion. Furthermore, COVID-19 has transformed the everyday lives of our citizens and businesses, increasing the importance of accessible, reliable, and usable digital public services. The project will develop a clear understanding of the key aspects that make up digital inclusion in the Nordic-Baltic region, including the potential effects of these aspects on different societal groups. The methods used will be both qualitative and quantitative such as data collection, literature review, surveys, case studies and interviews as well as seminars with networks of digitally vulnerable groups. An important part of this project is the close collaboration with a Nordic-Baltic reference group on digital inclusion, public agencies, civil society groups, and other research projects working with digital inclusion.   Furthermore, the project will develop maps that can visualise the status on access and capability in the Nordic-Baltic region and publish…

Pandemics and Labour Migration (Delmi)

The aim of the study is to examine two aspects of the impact on previous crises on labour migration. The first is to examine the impacts of changes in the size, direction, and composition of migration flows. This would be a quantitative analysis based on national and international data sources such as from the International Labour Organization (ILO), International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations (UN), World Health Organization (WHO) and others. The second aspect being examined is legal or policy changes regarding labour migration because of these pandemics, and the impact that these policies have had. Such policy changes could be aimed to prevent, continue, or facilitate labour migration in the face of pandemics. These could be instituted by national authorities or regional authorities such as the European Union. The Covid-19 pandemic is only the latest epidemic, pandemic, or economic crisis which has impacted labour migration. The pandemic differs from previous crises in both size and geographic scope. Of pandemics over the past half-century, the number of people who have died from Covid-19 was exceeded only by HIV-AIDS. There is an increasing amount of research into different aspects of the pandemic, though most obviously focuses on the first 12 to 18 months of the pandemic. We know that Covid has had a strong impact on migration and mobility, but we lack systematic knowledge of how that compares to previous pandemics/crises. Is Covid unique in this respect or have previous crises caused similar disruptions? The project will produce a research overview report and a webinar.

Measuring Urban Sustainability in Transition (MUST): Co-Designing Future Arctic Cities in the Anthropocene 

MUST project seeks to organize wide-ranging collaborations among the international Arctic research community that will facilitate convergent research on the natural, social, and built environment transitions taking place in and around Arctic cities now and in the future. Arctic cities face multiple challenges from a changing environment, deteriorating infrastructure, and new pressures on the governance system. The key drivers behind these challenges are the changing climate, the accelerating energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables, demographic pressures, and demands for equity. In order to respond effectively, policy makers need a clear set of indicators that will help them measure changes in the natural environment to devise infrastructure and governance strategies that will assist Arctic cities to achieve future prosperity. A long-term research agenda and platform around Arctic urban sustainability as well as using cities and indicators as the centralizing organizing theme helps to integrate diverse theories and empirical evidence with new data. The focus on Arctic urban spaces and inclusion of Russia and other international partners addresses areas that need more attention. Creation of the indicators will establish a solid foundation for starting community conversations, clarifying values, measuring both the status quo and progress going forward, and understanding the linkages among the various elements of urban sustainability in extreme climatic conditions. The indicators introduce a shared vocabulary and explicit measures and assumptions that will allow studies across a variety of disciplines to validate, challenge and speak to each other. This collaboratory effort builds on previous NSF-funded work that developed a database measuring 128 indicators across 19 topics in 46 Arctic cities providing a snapshot of current conditions. This effort will make it possible to develop theories and test hypotheses in the natural, social, and urban planning sciences by adding historical data to the existing dataset making it possible to explore…

BSRWood – Accelerating wood construction across the Baltic Sea Region

The BSRWood project is financed by the Swedish Institute to push the sustainable agenda in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) via wood construction. The BSRWood project boosts collaboration and knowledge transfer amongst a diverse group of partners and stakeholders across the BSR. Activities are organised to identify the key barriers and opportunities and explore possible steps ahead to enable the sector’s development. Replacing steel and cement with wood in construction is an effective way to cut emissions and capture carbon. It also has important advantages over other structural materials: low construction costs, low weight, easy processing, thermal insulation, etc. Hence, wood construction is gaining momentum worldwide as a means to achieve the ‘green transition’. A fast expansion of the sector brings many opportunities to the BSR i.e. exporting technology, generating value locally and quality jobs, and strengthening labour resilience. However, significant efforts are needed to mobilise actors, economic sectors, and society. Several challenges need attention to seize the opportunities of wood construction. Policy and regulatory innovations are needed for the industry to embrace modern technologies and scale up to increase the market share of wood buildings. Also, communication efforts are needed to change the mind-set of policy-makers, builders and citizens in relation to the fears of wood-materials. Increased cooperation between industries, technology providers, research and other players across the BSR will be mutually beneficial in developing the industry. Particularly, technology innovations, environmental practises, quality and safety standards, and expanding the market everywhere. The project organises a number of study tours, workshops and network building opportunities in Skellefteå (Sweden), Latvia and online, via which we strengthen partnerships, share knowledge, explore business opportunities, and exchange ideas. As a result, the project produces strong BSR networks, co-learning events, a list of future actions, and an agenda for future cooperation. Read the story and…

Mapping of labour force and skills supply in the border municipalities of Innlandet, Dalarna and Värmland

The green transition, digitalisation and other structural changes in the labour market are creating demand for new competences, while demographic factors like aging population and migration constantly change the basis for supply. This project will analyse skills supply and competence in the labour market of the Innlandet-Dalarna cross-border region, what development can be seen over the past ten years and what the current trends are based on demographic and labour force data. The focus will be on the border municipalities in the Swedish regions Dalarna and Värmland and in the Norwegian county Innlandet, which include Eidskog, Grue, Kongsvinger, Nord-Odal, Sør-Odal, Våler, Åsnes, Trysil and Engerdal on the Norwegian side, as well as Arvika, Eda, Sunne, Torsby, Malung-Sälen and Älvdalen on the Swedish side.

Electric aviation and the effects on the Nordic regions 

The Nordic countries have ambitious plans to turn electric aviation into a reality in the Nordic countries in the near future. But how would this impact regions and local communities? This project​ analyses the effects of electric aviation on Nordic regional development. The Nordic regions share similar challenges of accessibility and mobility for remote and rural regions. Since the first-generation electric airplanes are small and have a limited range, they would suit many remote areas in Nordic Region. The time saved using electric aviation instead of car or rail can be extensive because of the geographies of water and mountains you must cross or pass. The increased mobility and accessibility have the potential of creating effects in regions and local communities, such as access to public services, and the establishment of companies or job opportunities. The effects can, however also be negative for some communities since increased accessibility also provides the possibility to leave the areas for work or education in other regions. Further, electric aviation can contribute to the green transition. The project investigates the effects on regions and local communities of implementing electric aviation. It will also contribute to the discussion of electric aviation as a sustainable transport mode for remote regions and highlight the contribution to Nordic mobility and sustainability. The study will explore the following research questions:​ Investigate the benefits and disadvantages of implementing electric aviation in regions and local communities in the Nordic region in terms of time saved, accessibility, work opportunities and skills for businesses, the public sector, the tourism sector and citizens. ​ Investigate environmental and climate impacts in regions and local communities.​ Investigate what kinds of infrastructure and energy capacity are needed to implement electric aviation in an efficient manner in order to respond to local needs. ​ Investigate critical factors for…

Transformative capacity in energy, food, and water (TANGO-W)

TANGO-W is an applied research project that uses the concept of Urban Transformative Capacities (UTC) to evaluate cities’ potential for sustainability, specifically at the intersection of food, energy, and water systems. By doing so, the project aims to help cities tackle challenges associated with climate change and encourage more sustainable urban development.  The food-energy-water nexus is a framework that takes into account the synergies and conflicts of the production, consumption, and scarcity of food, energy, and water systems. TANGO-W proposes tackling these challenges by using the concept of UTC. UTC encompasses the collective ability of multiple stakeholders to conceive of, prepare for, initiate, and perform transformative change at social, organisational, and ecosystem levels. The idea is to enable systematic change that ensures long-term transformation for food, energy, and water systems, thus enabling sustainable future development.   The project builds transformative capacity on two levels: 1) the urban level, through the design and implementation of Urban Living Labs (ULL), and 2) the European level, through establishing a transdisciplinary Community of Practice (CoP) among research partners and municipalities. Both levels provide spaces for the development of UTC, thereby accelerating urban change in a sustainable direction. The project will result in policy recommendations for replicating UTC practices; training tools connected to the working at the nexus of food, energy, and water systems; and pilot courses that support capacity building in the ULL cities—Weiz (Austria), Kalgenfurt (Austria), Stockholm (Sweden), Norrtälje (Sweden), Alytus (Lithuania), Halden (Norway), and Marker (Norway).  Nordregio coordinates the efforts of the Swedish partners (Campus Roslagen and the City of Stockholm); contributes to demonstration, peer learning, and analysis of UTC among all ULLs; and leads the communication and dissemination of the project.  TANGO-W is a transnational project funded by the ERA-NET Co-fund Programme. This programme, designed for the implementation of the European Research…

Integrating climate into macroeconomic modelling (ICMM)

The project aims to strengthen cooperation between experts and practitioners developing, working, and using integrated macroeconomic climate-economy models and tools for the design of climate policies and green transition strategies in the Nordic Region.   In the pursuit of ambitious climate targets and carbon neutrality till around mid-century, all Nordic countries have been developing and using modelling frameworks for simulating the potential socio-economic impacts of climate policies on public finances.  As countries use a very heterogeneous collection of models in nature, focus, level of development, application, usage and even ownership and governance of the tools, the case for further coordination and Nordic cooperation in these issues can be made. Main objectives to advance expert and policy-planning knowledge and networks among the Nordic countries on modelling decision when it comes to integrating and assessing climate and finance policies;  to enhance the Nordic countries’ international outreach and engagement by advancing common experiences and results from climate and finance integrated models; to identify future Nordic and international collaborative opportunities at both expert and policy-planning levels. Structure and implementation The project is structured in 9 main events divided in Technical Workshops (4 events with model experts and practitioners), High-level Policy Events (2 events with policy officers and planners from the ministries with competences on climate policies); and 3 coordination meetings with the Steering Group, at the project start, interim and finalisation stages. The exact timing, location, logistics and specific agendas and thematic focus for each technical and policy meeting will be determined as outcome(s) from of the kick-off meeting with the Steering Group and the network.

Nordic transport infrastructure planning – institutional barriers and opportunities for coordination (NORDINFRA)

Previous research points to institutional barriers hampering the planning of cross-border transport infrastructure in the Nordics. This project aims to increase knowledge of the institutional conditions for the development of a more coordinated transport planning in the Nordic region. The project will identify obstacles, point out opportunities and propose measures that facilitate coordination of transport infrastructure planning across national borders. This research project is a collaboration between Nordregio and Umeå University, financed by The Swedish Transportation Administration (Trafikverket). It consists of document studies and interviews with key stakeholders. The project includes a steering group from the Transport Administration and a academic reference group with researchers from Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark. To get in-depth knowledge, three case studies will be conducted, studying three different cross-border transport infrastructure planning objects; the Helsingborg-Helsingør fixed link (HH), the Stockholm-Oslo railway connection and the road and ferry connection stretching from Mo-i-Rana in Norway via Umeå in Sweden and over to Vasa in Finland.

Planning for socially mixed and inclusive neighbourhoods

The project will contribute to Nordic Added Value by generating new knowledge and evidence to support the planning and development of Nordic cities and urban areas to become more socially sustainable and inclusive. This will be achieved by exploring topics and questions that are of high relevance to the Nordic urban policy and planning agendas. In this project this means investigating how Nordic governments and cities work to counteract segregation and created more socially mixed and inclusive cities and neighbourhoods. The sharing of experiences, know-how, and learnings by bringing together relevant national, regional, local and cross-border actors from across the Nordic Region is also central for creating Nordic added value, which will be done through different dissemination activities.  While Nordic cities have traditionally had low levels of segregation, more recently, there have been growing concerns about increasing disparities between different population groups, which is reflected in greater socio-economic and ethnic segregation in many cities. There are especially concerns that certain neighbourhoods are developing unfavourably and falling into a state of decline. Hence, Nordic governments and cities have taken actions to reduce segregation and promote social inclusion through various policy and urban planning measures.  The purpose of this project is to deepen the understanding of how different urban planning and policy measures are used to create more socially inclusive and mixed neighbourhoods in Nordic cities. The aim of creating more socially inclusive neighbourhoods can be understood as creating communities where people can take part and feel included regardless of their resources, lifestyle, background, or abilities. The project examines initiatives and actions taken at different territorial levels. In the Nordic countries, national governments have introduced a range of policies and strategies to prevent segregation and increase the social mix in cities, while planning interventions are typically carried out at the city or…

National support initiatives 

The Nordic countries have ambitious cross-sectoral national targets (e.g. climate, biodiversity, segregation, etc.) that require necessary actions to be taken in urban areas and city-regions. The aim of this project is to provide a Nordic comparative overview of different national initiatives (e.g. agreement-based approaches), national funding mechanisms, regulatory measures, and the demand for national support measures, that appear in the evolving planning landscape in the Nordic countries, and assess their green and social implications on regional and local development in urban areas. Despite the ambitious national targets, the Nordic states have limited power to influence local level planning priorities, whereas municipalities have the most influential competences when it comes to regulating land-use as well as in a range of policy areas with implications on sustainable urban development. This raises the questions of if, how, and to what extent central governments, can, should, and have the willingness or tools to support and collaborate on the development and implementation of different kinds of local urban development projects. It also raises questions of if, how, and to what extent local and regional planning authorities need or would like further national support on the development and implementation of local urban development projects. One key aspect for national support initiatives is thus to both understand the regulative and national support aspect (top-down) and the needs aspect (bottom-up), to achieve the national cross-sectoral targets.  At the same time, other types of planning approaches which change the conditions for local level planning are emerging. For example, agreement-based planning approaches which include Stadsmiljöavtalen in SE; byvekstavtaler in NO and MAL-agreements in FI. Common to the emerging planning approaches is that they may limit or challenge conventional planning processes and deliberative local planning approaches. The inclusion of citizen participation in planning processes highlights the role of the civil society…