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Ansträngande partnerskap: näringslivet i nordisk stadsplanering

How urban planning contributes to economic growth and local development is a question high on the political agenda in the Nordic countries. This highlights, in turn, other key policy issues: how public planning can more efficiently contribute to private urban development, in particular the production of new housing, to accommodate rapid urbanisation and solve the housing crises. The various interactions between different public and private actors and their different rationales are at the heart of these problems, including the potential tensions between efficiency and legitimacy (see Nordregio News Issue 2 2015 Tensions in Nordic urban planning). Urban development and planning are collaborative processes between different actors. It can, as suggested by John Friedman, be seen as an intervention or a power struggle between state, capital and civil society. However, these collective actors are very heterogeneous. The state includes, for example, both politicians and a variety of civil servants (including planners) at different administrative levels and sectors. The private sector (i.e. capital) includes a diverse array of actors such as financiers, developers, architects, consultants and so on. The civil society (collectively organised private persons) is also an increasingly diverse collective, something that is often neglected or at least overseen when public-private relations and planning efficiency are discussed. In this working paper, public and private relations in urban planning are opened up and discussed with a focus on how public authorities and private developers collaborate in urban development projects in the Nordic countries. This paper provides different examples of the possibilities and challenges of different forms of collaborations and partnerships between public and private actors. Particular attention is given to the initial unregulated phase in the planning process, which has been shown as crucial for both efficiency and legitimacy (see Nordregio Report 2013:1 A Review of the Norwegian planning system – Scandinavian…

The potential of industrial symbiosis as a key driver of green growth in Nordic regions

In 2014, the Nordic Working Group on Green Growth – Innovation & Entrepreneurship, nominated by the Nordic Council of Ministers, commissioned Nordregio to conduct a study on different approaches to developing industrial symbiosis and its implications for regional development in the Nordic countries. Industrial symbiosis can be viewed as one of the possible approaches to realizing a circular economy (CE) and achieving green growth. The aim of this study is to provide an overview of the potential for growth in industrial symbiosis at the national, regional and local levels, and analyse policies related to industrial symbiosis in the Nordic countries. The empirical part of the study consists of an analysis of five cases of industrial symbiosis: the Kalundborg Symbiosis in the Zealand region, Denmark; the Kemi– Tornio region in Lapland, Finland; the Svartsengi Resource Park on the Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland; the Eyde Cluster in the Agder region, Norway; and the Händelö industrial symbiosis in Östergötland county, Sweden. This study shows that there are differences in approaches to industrial symbiosis in the Nordic countries. In Finland and Denmark, there is generally a strong top-down approach to industrial symbiosis, accompanied by a clear vision and comprehensive strategies for a CE/industrial symbiosis at the national and regional levels. Industrial symbiosis exchanges have been actively facilitated by municipal and regional actors and networks in combination with key private companies.

Adapting to, or mitigating demographic change?

The Nordic countries continue to experience the impact of the long term demographic trend of migration from rural areas and smaller communities to larger towns and cities. In addition, the share of the Nordic population aged over 65 is increasing. Ageing population is especially pronounced in areas outside the largest city-regions. Depopulation and having relatively fewer people in working age is expected to have a severe impact on many Nordic municipalities causing additional problems with the future provision of welfare services. In addition, these municipalities face challenges when it comes to accessing the labour force especially in the welfare sector. Moreover, while population decrease imposes particular challenges to rural and peripheral areas, the large city-regions in the Nordic countries are experiencing significant population growth, bringing an altogether different set of challenges. At the same time, the nuances in this general picture need to be acknowledged given, primarily, the continuing strongly positive fl ow of international migration. All municipalities in the Nordic countries experience an in-migration of people from abroad. Indeed, in Norway in particular, migration from abroad has clearly contributed to population increases in rural and peripheral areas. The major demographic trends in the Nordic countries can be summarised as follows: Concentration of the population to urban areas has resulted in significant differences in population structure between growing urban areas and sparsely populated rural areas. Th is has led to new regional imbalances in the availability of and demand for labour. Stagnation or reduction of the workforce. The younger generations are not large enough to fully replace those leaving the labour market. Strong increase in the share of population aged over 65 and within the next 30 years there will be an increase in this age group in all the Nordic countries. Gender imbalance in many Nordic municipalities and regions.…

Initiativ för lokal utveckling

Urbanisering, rörlighet och åldrande befolkning präglar den demografiska utvecklingen i de nordiska länderna. Många kommuner och samhällen – särskilt de som ligger långt från större städer – påverkas starkt av dessa förändringar och står inför stora utmaningar när det gäller till exempel kompetensförsörjning och tillgång till både offentlig och privat service. De nordiska länderna delar dessa utmaningar och därför finns det ett stort intresse av att lära av varandra i Norden när det gäller hur utmaningarna ska hanteras. Nordiska ministerrådets ämbetsmannakommitté för regionalpolitik samlar nationella tjänstemän från samtliga nordiska länder. Under lång tid har de demografiska utmaningarna stått högt på agendan – och då med särskilt fokus på gles- och landsbygdsområden. Två av de satsningar som gjorts från Nordiska ministerrådets sida är att inrätta en arbetsgrupp för demografi och välfärd och att lansera det Nordiska demografiprogrammet om sammanlagt 6 miljoner DKK. Syftet med programmet är att stödja lokala och regionala initiativ och nya arbetssätt för att hantera de demografiska utmaningarna. Syftet är också att uppmuntra till kunskapsutbyte mellan de nordiska länderna genom att samtliga projekt utformats som samarbeten mellan minst två nordiska kommuner, regioner och/eller organisationer. Sommaren 2012, lanserades den första omgången av demografiprogrammet och fyra nordiska projekt beviljades finansiering. Den andra omgången av programmet lanserades i slutet av 2013 och då beviljades totalt sex projekt finansiering. Tre av dessa hade redan startat i den första omgången och fick då möjlighet att fortsätta sitt samarbete. Totalt har ett trettiotal kommuner, regioner och aktörer runtom i Norden medverkat i projekten. I den här publikationen presenteras resultat från de sex projekt som var med i den andra omgången av programmet. I flera av projekten har konkreta modeller utvecklats och testats med syfte att ge regioner och kommuner verktyg för att kunna arbeta mer systematiskt med de här frågorna. Här finns både verktyg…

Local development initiatives

Demographic trends in the Nordic countries are characterised by urbanisation, mobility and ageing population. Many municipalities and societies – especially those that are distant from large cities – are deeply affected by these changes, and they are facing serious challenges when it comes to issues such as ensuring a population of skilled people and access to both public and private services. The Nordic countries share these challenges, and therefore there is great interest in learning from one another in the Nordic region when it comes to how to meet the challenges. The Nordic Council of Ministers’ Committee of Senior Officials for Regional Policy is a gathering of national officials from all the Nordic countries. The demographic challenges have ranked near the top of their agenda for a long time – with a particular focus on sparsely-populated and rural areas. Two of the committee’s initiatives are to initiate a working group for demography and welfare, and to launch the DKK 6 million Nordic demography programme. The purpose of the programme is to support local and regional initiatives and new work approaches in order to meet demographic challenges. The programme is also intended to encourage knowledge exchange among the Nordic countries, by organising all of the projects as partnerships between at least two Nordic municipalities, regions and/or organisations. The first round of the demography programme was launched in the summer of 2012, and four Nordic projects received financing. The second round of the programme was launched at the end of 2013, and a total of six projects received financing. Three of them had already begun as part of the first round, and received support to continue their cooperation. A total of about thirty municipalities, regions and actors throughout the Nordic region have participated in the project. The results from the six projects…