Nordregio News Issue 2 2011: Sustainable Urban Planning Revisited
This issue of Nordregio News sheds light on the debate on sustainability in urban planning. What has happened during the past two decades and what is going on today?
Planning for resource efficient cities
Application of the Metabolic Impact Assessment tool in Stockholm and Newcastle. This working paper is based on the results of two case studies completed by Nordregio researchers for the EU FP7 project: Sustainable Urban Metabolism for Europe (SUME). The working paper presents the so-called Metabolic Impact Assessment (MIA) as an evaluation of two urban development projects: in Stockholm, the first phase of the Stockholm Royal Seaport development, and in Newcastle, England, the development of Newcastle Great Park. A synthesis of the two projects, including their local policy and socioeconomic contexts, are provided to complete a comparative analysis on the “metabolic” performance of each development. The MIA as a planning and appraisal tool is also evaluated according to experiences obtained during the two assessments. It is compared to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) legislation in Sweden and the UK with a specific focus on the decision making criterion applied in EIA. The goal is to identify potential synergies and prevailing contrasts between EIA and MIA. This provides an ability to ultimately assess the potential of MIA for becoming a mainstream planning tool for assessing resource performance of prospective urban development projects.
Demography in the Nordic countries – A synthesis report
The synthesis report introduces a set of tools to get a better overview over the mechanisms in the demographic change. Further the connections between the research based process of analysis and the administrative process of policy development is discussed. A general demographic trend is the migration from smaller places to larger towns and cities. Besides that we tend to live longer and we tend to produce fewer children per woman. The consequence of this trend is that the population is gradually growing older. The main challenge in respect of gender is the uneven settlement pattern. With the exception of some major city areas few places see a surplus of women. The rest of the regions have a surplus of men. Another trend in the policy of the Nordic countries has in the recent years been to focus on attracting international migrants with a higher education. Thus, the value of international migration is seen more and more as an investment in human capital in the same way as investments are made in education itself. These are only some of the demographic challenges being discussed in the synthesis report. The report is based on the most up to date demographic data from the national statistical agencies in the Nordic countries and on the numerous research rapports recently produced by Nordregio, the OECD and other institutions on various demographic themes. A draft was discussed on a workshop in August 2011. The purpose of conducting this knowledge overview on demography in the Nordic countries is to use this as a basis for creating a handbook with tools and ‘good practice’ descriptions enabling national, regional and local authorities to work more effectively with issues in relation to the emerging demographic challenges they face and the future possibilities that stem from this.
The New Rural Europe: Towards Rural Cohesion Policy
Much of rural Europe is steadily shifting away from our twentieth century conceptions. However, rural policy has been slow to adjust. There is an urgent need for a fresh approach, more attuned to contemporary realities and issues, which we shall term “Rural Cohesion Policy”. Rural Europe has in many senses been transformed in recent years, particularly by the arrival of broadband internet, together with all the changes in business practice, consumer preferences, working conditions, education, service delivery, and other aspects of daily life. Transport infrastructure has been extended and improved in many parts of Europe. A large swathe of rural areas in the Centre and East of Europe has experienced the effects of accession to the Single Market. This report is based on findings from the EDORA (European Development Opportunities in Rural Areas) project. The overarching aim of EDORA was to examine the process of differentiation in rural areas, in order to better understand how EU, national and regional policy can enable these areas to build upon their specific potentials to achieve (in the words of the EU 2020 strategy) “smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.” EDORA was a project funded under the ESPON 2013 programme. It began in September 2008 and was completed in March 2011. This project was coordinated by the University of the Highlands and Islands, supported by a large consortium representing twelve EU Member States.
Perspectives on rural development in the Nordic countries
Policies, governance, development initiatives Based on discussions and presentations at seminars held by the Nordic working group 1b: Future rural areas. As part of the work of the Nordic working group Future rural areas (appointed by the Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers), a series of seminars were held during 2009 and 2010. All in all four seminars were organised – one in each of the continental Nordic countries. The seminars focused on service provision, governance and business development in rural areas. This report functions as a documentation of the presentations given and the discussions held during the seminars. It is designed to provide an overview of Nordic rural development policies, to highlight the work of the various actors and initiatives at the centre of rural development work and to present ideas for future Nordic cooperation in the field of rural development. Four of the Nordic countries; Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden constitute the geographical focus of the work as these countries provided the active members of the working group and the venues for the seminars.
An actor-oriented survey of territorial governance systems in the Nordic capital regions
This paper aims to provide an introductory overview of territorial governance systems in the Nordic capital regions. In doing so, it focuses on the categorisation of various actors that constitute these governance systems. This is achieved through the gathering of information on their principal tasks, scope of action and institutional character. This survey was initially developed within the Nordic Working Group for exchange of experience and knowledge development (Urban policies) and while in progress, the theme was followed up by a seminar on ‘Metropolitan Governance in the Nordic Capital Regions’ held in Helsinki on the 11th of November 2010. At this seminar, representatives from all 5 Nordic metropolitan regions illuminated governance structures within a particular case study from each Nordic capital region. The lessons and experiences gained from these insights have also been included in this paper.
Nordregio News Issue 1, 2011: Europe’s strive for Territorial Cohesion
In this first issue of Nordregio News we aim to provide a better understanding of the ongoing discussion on the future European Territorial Cohesion policy; and specifically the role of the Territorial Agenda of the European Union 2020 (TA 2020).
Adaptive Urban Planning in Response to a Changing Climate
Climate change can be seen all over the world. In the Nordic countries, we have experienced warmer winters, stronger storms and greater precipitation, especially heavier rainfalls. Management of, and planning for, larger quantities of water, as well as adaptation of our territorial structures to climate changes are on everybody’s agenda. This Working Paper reflects a Nordic seminar, Adaptive Urban Planning Challenged by Changing Climate (Stadsplaneringens utmaningar i ett förändrat klimat), hosted by Nordregio in Stockholm on June, 8, 2011. The seminar was initiated by the Working Group for exchange of experience and knowledge development (Urban Policies) under the Nordic Council of Ministers. The purpose of the seminar was to create dialogue among Nordic practitioners responsible for physical planning and adaptation to climate change at different administrative levels. Further, the aim was to share knowledge among the Nordic countries concerning challenges and needs for new planning instruments at the local, regional and national level. The main message from the seminar, presented in this Nordregio Working Paper, is that planning for adaptation to larger precipitation calls for cooperation of authorities within the drainage area. In many cases, climate adaptation concerns a geographical area different from the one delimited by the borders of municipalities or regions. Thus, cooperation in planning across the boundaries of municipalities is needed, as is cooperation between relevant municipal and regional authorities. The geography of the solutions should match the geography of the challenges. Cooperation also involves different levels of government. Coordination between local, regional and national policies is often necessary and should be done, respecting the tasks and duties of the various levels. The Working Group for exchange of experience and knowledge development (Urban Policies) recommends all stakeholders to consider how such processes of cooperation could be promoted.
Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth
How Renewable Energy and Clean Tech can contribute to the Europe 2020 Strategy. Main messages from the Mid Sweden Conference 14 – 15 June 2011. The County Administrative Boards and County Councils of Jämtland and Västernorrland in Sweden organized the second Regional Development Conference aimed at addressing the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy in the context of renewable energy and clean technologies. The conference was held in Östersund on the 14th and 15th of June, 2011; with participants from different levels of governmental units, public and private sector, academia and NGOs in Europe as well as Canada. Main messages from the conference emphasized synergies between the clean technologies and renewable energy sectors that will help regional development strategies promote the EU 2020 strategy; ‘Smart, sustainable and inclusive Europe’. To reach the ambitious objectives set in the EU 2020 strategy, it is essential to have a bottom up approach while the objectives, strategies and measures need to be deeply rooted in strong communication among the local, regional and national levels. The role of regional and local authorities in this regard, is imperative to make use of the regional and local conditions and to establish innovative methods for integrating and utilizing local strengths and possibilities.
Economic crisis management, vulnerable regions and future regional policy
Which policy responses that can and will be used to tackle consequences of economic crisis is a constantly debated and highly relevant topic. Seen from a territorial perspective economic crisis tend to have the most severe consequences on regions with a small labour-market, strong dependence on one or a few branches and limited access to surrounding labour-markets due to long distances and poor communications. More robust regions better prepared to handle economic crisis are those with a diversified labour-market and also a good access to surrounding labour-markets. The Nordic Working Group on Third Generation Regional policy arranged a seminar at Nordregio on January 26th 2011 where public officials from both national and regional levels in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden participated. The first part of the seminar consisted of a discussion of the overall consequences of the economic crisis in the Nordic countries and what policy tools were used nationally to respond to the crisis. The second part of the seminar consisted of presentations from three Nordic regions that have found ways of tackling the economic crisis in an efficient way. The report contains a summary of the presentations and discussions from the seminar as well as a part where conclusions from the discussions are drawn to serve as an input to formation of future regional policy in the Nordic countries.
Cross-border co-operation in the Nordic region. 11 projects that have changed their region
Cross-border cooperation in the Nordic countries is strongly anchored in regional and local actors, who have seen a natural need for and benefits from co-operation across the Nordic region’s land and sea borders. The Nordic Working Group on Globalisation and Cross-border cooperation has published a catalogue gathering examples of projects from each of the 11 cross-border committees that receive support from the Nordic Council of Ministers. The projects presented are only a selection of the many cross-border co-operation projects and joint activities that have been implemented with Nordic support over the past three decades. The aim of the catalogue is to provide anyone who is wondering about the benefits of Nordic co-operation with a series of examples of successful initiatives that have produced good results. The aim is also to display the Nordic way of co-operating across borders.
Nordic Council of Ministers, 2011. TemaNord 2011:527. The current pace of global change has already had a decisive impact on the Arctic. To understand the current and likely future situation in the Arctic it is important to acknowledge the pre-conditions, challenges and tendencies at work here. Some of these developments should be characterised as megatrends because they overarch and impact on everything else. They are trends deemed so powerful that they have the potential to transform society across social categories and at all levels, from individuals and local-level players to global structures, and eventually to change our ways of living and thinking.
EGTC – European Groupings for Territorial Cooperation
The European Grouping for Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) is a new EU legal instrument established in 2006 to enhance and facilitate cross-border cooperation throughout the EU. Partners in an EGTC can be local or regional authorities or organisations as well as national authorities. The EGTC instrument differs from previous regulations of cross-border cooperation as it makes it possible to create a legal entity across national borders that can own property and have employees. The Nordic working group on globalisation and cross-border cooperation has published a paper which gives a background on the instrument and describes existing EGTCs. Most importantly, the paper discusses the possibilities to establish EGTCs for cross-border co-operation in the Nordic Countries. The paper is only published in Swedish.
Utvärderarnas rapport 2010. Landsbygdsutvecklingsprogrammet för landskapet Åland för 2007-2013
NORDREGIO, ÅSUB, 2011 (ÅSUB rapport 2011:4) Denna rapport utgör utvärderarnas underlag till Ålands landskapsregering inför 2011 års avrapportering avseende programmets genomförande. Underlaget har utarbetats i samverkan mellan Nordregio och ÅSUB, där de senare haft huvudansvar för den statistiska bearbetningen. Underlaget består av tre huvuddelar. Inledningsvis ges en presentation av nuläget och den senaste tidens utveckling inom programområdet avseende allmänna förutsättningar. Därefter följer en presentation av hur långt programmet nått avseende beslut och utbetalningar inom olika åtgärder i de fyra axlar som utgör grunden för programmet. Enligt önskemål från landskapsregeringen genomförs slutligen en fördjupad analys av potentiella effekterna på kompensationsstödet (LFA) och miljöstödet om regler för stöd inom axel 2 ändras genom en sänkning av maximiåldern och/eller en höjning av minimiarealen.
Möjligheter och utmaningar för näringslivets utveckling
Kartläggning och analys av förutsättningar i den regionala stadskärnan Täby centrum-Arninge och Stockholm Nordost. Six municipalities in the Stockholm North East are revising their vision and developing an action plan for Täby-Arninge, one of eight regional urban cores in Stockholm. Both processes have a clear focus on business development. Nordregio has provided input to the process, including a comparative analysis of the business structure and a discussion of potentials and obstacles for business development. Our report presents reflections concerning the role of municipalities and suggestions of the future Täby-Arninge core for local planners.