Each issue of the Nordregio Magazine provides perspectives on a specific theme related to regional development and planning in the Nordic countries. With Nordregio Magazine you are kept up to date with the interesting research results produced by Nordregio in a European and global perspective.
- 2022 January
- Nordregio magazine
- Baltic Sea Region
- Nordic Region
- Arctic issues
- Gender equality
- Green transition
- Labour market
- Maritime spatial planning
- Regional innovation
- Rural development
- Sustainable development
- Urban planning
Ålands Utvärderarnas fördjupade årsrapport för 2018
Ålands landsbygdsutvecklingsprogram perioden 2014-2020 Utvärderingens syfte är att förbättra kvaliteten, effektiviteten och måluppfyllelsen för det åländska landsbygdsutvecklingsprogrammets 2014-2020 (Ålands landskapsregering, 2017) genomförande. Programmets målsättning är att bidra till en mer hållbar ekonomisk och smart utveckling som fokuserar på produktivitet och miljömässig hållbarhet och skall ge lönsamma och livskraftiga lantbruksföretag, ett aktivt lantbruk och en attraktiv landsbygd. Landsbygdsprogrammet för Åland omfattar totalt en budget uppgående till 58,5 miljoner euro, varav EU delfinansierar programmet med 20,7 miljoner euro.
State of the Nordic Region 2018: Immigration and integration edition
State of the Nordic Region 2018 Migration and Integration presents a series of facts and figures showing the current state of integration within core socioeconomic sectors, including demography, the labour force, health, and foreign background in state-funded culture in the Nordic Region. The report is produced by Nordregio, an international research center for regional development and planning established by the Nordic Council of Ministers, on behalf of Nordic Welfare Centre and the programme Nordic co-operation on integration of refugees and migrants, along with Nordic Agency for Cultural Policy Analysis. The report is partly based on State of the Nordic Region 2018, which is a unique compilation of statistics and maps, giving a detailed view of the Nordic countries at both national and regional level.
The Compact City of the North – functions, challenges and planning strategies
In this report, the characteristics and consequences of the compact city ideal in Nordic cities, and more specifically in their city centres, are investigated. The research was done in the form of a series of small case studies of city centre development, and they are presented thematically. They focus on public spaces and the threat from external shopping, densification as a planning strategy, new housing as a planning tool, and finally governance and actor collaboration. The Nordic region is dominated by small and medium sized cities, and we chose the following cities for our investigation of city centre challenges and planning strategies: Bodø (Norway), Kokkola (Finland), Mariehamn (Åland), Mosfellsbær (Iceland), Sorø (Denmark) and Västervik (Sweden). The cities were investigated through planning and policy documents, interviews and observations, and the work was guided by the following questions: What does “the compact city” mean in the investigated cities – and how is it operationalized? What are the main planning problems related to city centres, and what are the visions for the future in relation to these? What can we learn from different ways of approaching city centre development across the different Nordic countries? Two strong themes related to development in city centres, and to the commonly held view that the city core needs to be strengthened, regenerated or recreated, are competition from external shopping centres, and urban sprawl. These themes point to the challenges to the central city as the one and only centre. The examples from the Nordic region show that the competition from external shopping is very real, and that planning regulations do not always have the desired effect on the competition. This has led to a variety of responses – new central housing, new attractive spaces, new types of plans and new governance collaborations. In addition to their different…
Enhanced Labour Market Opportunities for Immigrant Women – Arctic case studies
Migration has been a major source of population increase in the Nordic countries for the past decades. Meanwhile, the employment gap between refugees and immigrants, on the one hand, and the native-born population on the other has increased. This report identifies policies and practices for enhancing access for immigrant women to the local labour market in the Arctic region. Different initiatives have been established to enhance labour market access for immigrants in the Nordic region, and some are specifically intended for women. Although there are similarities between the Nordic countries, it is not a homogeneous region in terms of labour market opportunities for immigrants, nor in terms of the proportion of immigrants in need of this access. At the same time, little research has been conducted to determine the effectiveness of the different measures in place. This publication is the outcome of a comparative study focusing on immigrant women’s access to the labour market in small and medium-sized cities in the Arctic region. The study is funded by the Nordic Gender Equality Fund, which supports projects aimed at knowledge sharing and problem-solving with regards to gender equality across the Nordic countries. The research was carried out by the University of Akureyri, Nordregio and the University of Lapland.
Making the most of brownfield sites in the Baltic Sea Region
Brownfield regeneration involves the redevelopment of underutilised areas of a city. This contributes to limiting urban sprawl and promotes investment to restore land that has been contaminated by industrial activity. As such, it is an important path towards more integrated, resilient and sustainable urban development. The European Environment Agency (EEA) estimates that there are three million urban brownfield sites with potential for future regeneration in Europe. In the Baltic Urban Lab project, partners around the Central Baltic Region have identified planning challenges in brownfield regeneration and developed solutions to tackle them through early and broad stakeholder involvement. This policy brief was produced within the Baltic Urban Lab project, an Interreg Central Baltic project that ended in September 2018.
Global goals for local priorities: The 2030 Agenda at local level
The aim of this report is to provide local authorities with ideas on how to implement the 2030 Agenda and to inform experts and policy makers at national and regional levels on how to support the municipalities in their work. On 25 September 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Municipalities are key when it comes to their implementation, since they are closest to the people, local businesses and civil society organisations. This report identifies 27 Nordic local authorities that are “first movers” in working with the 2030 Agenda and describes their priorities and activities. It also highlights challenges and success factors in working with the SDGs. The 27 first movers use the SDGs to inspire or guide new environmental policies, quality of life plans, the development of a new suburb, the design of local strategies, the merger of municipalities and many other purposes. They differ in their approaches, priorities, and their plans to involve the local population, businesses, civil society organisations and other partners in the work with the SDGs. Despite these differences, the first movers share common expectations towards national and Nordic authorities. They recommend a clearer communication of national priorities and activities within the 2030 Agenda, guidance on how to work with the 17 SDGs, and assistance in monitoring progress. Addressing these issues would facilitate local authority efforts to reach the SDGs.
Young people not thriving in rural areas
Despite relatively high standards of living, several indicators show that large groups of young people in the Nordic countries are not thriving. In addition, regional variations in the situation of young people across the Nordic countries are striking. Some attempts have been made to map the unhappiness among young people in the Nordic region. But so far, none have focused on regional variations within national boundaries or have taken the comparative Nordic perspective you will find in this policy brief. In the project, Rural perspectives on spatial disparities of education and employment outcomes, we focus on youth in rural areas of the Nordic region who are marginalised in terms of labour market participation, training and education. The findings suggest that the living conditions that mainly influence displacement among young people are poor physical health, poor mental health, lack of income opportunities, unemployment and limited social contact. The final report will be published in the middle of 2019. Research Assistant Alex Cuadrado talks about the factors that make young people from Nordic rural areas fall behind in terms of participation in school and employment rates, and also discusses ways to address this issue and re-engage youth in society:
Demographic change and labour market challenges in regions with large-scale resource-based industries in the Northern Periphery and Arctic
Low population density, low accessibility, low economic diversification and abundant natural resources are common characteristics of Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) areas. At the same time, ageing populations and the emigration of young people are key challenges facing many communities. The REGINA1) project provides local and regional practitioners with a deeper understanding of demographic and labour market trends and challenges in NPA regions in Finland, Greenland, Norway, Scotland and Sweden. Alongside social impact management and increasing local benefits associated with large-scale natural resource industries, ‘demography and labour markets’ form one of the three strategic planning pillars of the Local Smart Specialisation (LS3) concept, as developed in the REGINA project. This report describes this pillar from a planning and policy perspective. In Section One, the essential concepts and issues related to demography and labour markets are introduced, followed by an analysis of the current demographic and labour market situation in the communities participating in the REGINA project in Section Two. Sections Three and Four offer tools and approaches to help practitioners further understand the local demographic and labour market situation in their communities to support evidence-based policymaking. They describe examples of policies to improve demographic trends and labour market conditions that have been applied in other NPA communities and regions.
Planning for agglomeration economies in a polycentric region
Envisioning an efficient metropolitan core area in Flanders. To some degree, metropolitan regions owe their existence to the ability to valorize agglomeration economies. The general perception is that agglomeration economies increase with city size, which is why economists tend to propagate urbanization, in this case in the form of metropolization. Contrarily, spatial planners traditionally emphasize the negative consequences of urban growth in terms of liveability, environmental quality, and congestion. Polycentric development models have been proposed as a specific form of metropolization that allow for both agglomeration economies and higher levels of liveability and sustainability. This paper addresses the challenge of how such polycentric development can be achieved in planning practice. We introduce ‘agglomeration potential maps’ that visualize potential locations in a polycentric metropolitan area where positive agglomeration externalities can be optimized. These maps are utilized in the process of developing a new spatial vision for Flanders’ polycentric ‘metropolitan core area’, commonly known as the Flemish Diamond. The spatial vision aspires to determine where predicted future population growth in the metropolitan core area could best be located, while both optimizing positive agglomeration externalities and maintaining its small-scale morphological character. Based on a literature review of optimum urban-size thresholds and our agglomeration potential maps, we document how such maps contributed to developing this spatial vision for the Flemish metropolitan core area.
Developing brownfields via public-private-people partnerships
Lessons learned from Baltic Urban Lab. Regeneration of brownfield sites into attractive urban areas is often considered both an opportunity and a challenge by cities: providing chances for resource-effective use of hard-made surface, while being challenging in terms of costs, technical issues, fragmented landownership and contamination issues. The Baltic Urban Lab project has developed and tested new ways of planning brownfield areas in the Central Baltic region, focusing on the potential of integrated planning and improved partnerships between public and private actors and citizens, also known as Public-Private-People partnerships or 4P. Between the project kick-off in January 2016 and September 2018, the four partner cities – Norrköping, Tallinn, Riga and Turku – have identified, developed and tested new planning methods based on 4P approaches. This paper summarizes learnings with focus on stakeholder involvement organized by the partner cities. This corresponds to Baltic Urban Lab’s objective of improving urban planning in the Baltic Sea region by increasing the capacity of local authorities and planners.
Developing and Managing Innovation Ecosystems in the Circular Economy
– Outline of a Digital Monitoring Tool. Innovation ecosystems are vitally important for facilitating sustainable regional economic growth and stakeholder cooperation, particularly within the circular economy. This policy brief examines the new digital monitoring tool developed by the Council of Tampere to compile relevant data on ongoing circular economy initiatives and actions, including information on essential actors, material flows and current stakeholder collaborations. This policy brief outlines the main aims and features of the digital monitoring tool and makes recommendations for how to support the development and management of effective innovation ecosystems, such as the importance of fostering a culture of open data sharing amongst key regional innovation actors.
Stege, trappa eller kub – hur analysera dialoger i stadsplanering?
This policy brief has been produced within the project The Impact of Participation: mapping and developing the scope, forms and impacts of the communicative turn in urban planning (TIPTOP) (Medborgardeltagandets effekter: en kartläggning och utveckling av den kommunikativa planeringens omfattning, former och resultat) and is therefore written in Swedish. Projektet Medborgardeltagandets effekter: en kartläggning och utveckling av den kommunikativa planeringens omfattning, former och resultat undersöker inbjudet medborgardeltagande i stadsplaneringsprocesser i tolv svenska kommuner mellan år 2000 och 2015. Deltagare i projektet är Förvaltningshögskolan Göteborgs universitet, Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH), Nordregio samt kommunerna Stockholm, Nacka, Botkyrka, Upplands Väsby, Göteborg, Alingsås, Tjörn, Lerum, Malmö, Helsingborg, Lund och Landskrona. Associerade partners är: Trafikverket, Mistra Urban Futures, Boverket och SKL. Projektet finansieras av FORMAS, Mistra Urban Futures och Trafikverket. Projektet avslutas under 2019.
In Search of Domains in Smart Specialisation: Case Study of Three Nordic Regions
This article analyses and compares three smart specialisation strategies in the Nordic regions. The European Union has promoted regional smart specialisation strategies for some years, and several studies on this topic have focused on key concepts such as the entrepreneurial discovery process and good implementation practices. However, the definition and the role of the domain in regional smart specialisation settings is largely missing, despite it being an important outcome of a successful entrepreneurial discovery process. This article aims to fill this research gap by establishing what a domain entails as a theoretical concept, its role in the entrepreneurial discovery process and how it has featured in regional smart specialisation strategies. Our study analyses and compares three smart specialisation strategies in the Nordic regions of Lapland (Finland), Värmland (Sweden) and Nordland (Norway), focusing on the understanding and adaptation of the domain concept. The results indicate that the regions have managed to establish domains, even though the concept itself has not been adopted in the regions because of insufficient clarification of the term.
Participation according to the law? The research-based knowledge on citizen participation in Norwegian municipal planning
Citizen participation is enshrined in the Norwegian Planning and Building Act (PBA) 1985 and accentuated by the 2008 revision of the PBA. In this article, we ask if the research on participation in municipal planning is sufficient to draw conclusions on whether the Act is effective with regard to both the spirit and the letter of the law. The guiding framework for the analysis is based on the concepts of input and output legitimacy and the distinction between ‘tidy’ and ‘untidy’ participation. The analysis is based on scientific publications published after the 2008 revision of the PBA. We find that the majority of the research concentrates on zoning plans and municipality-initiated ‘tidy’ participation. As a result, there are gaps in the research with regard to both the planning context and the interconnectedness of different forms of participation. Therefore, the research reviewed can only partially inform the law-makers on the functioning of the Act. This article is published by the European Journal of Spatial Development, which in turn is published by Nordregio and Delft University of Technology, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment.
Evaluation Report 2018
Rural Development Program for Åland 2014-2020 The report has been developed in cooperation between Nordregio and Statistics and Research Åland (ÅSUB) on behalf of the Landscape Government in Åland. The objective of this annual evaluation is to improve the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of the implementation of the Rural Development Programme (RDP) for Åland Islands for the period 2014-2020. The evaluation aims to provide valuable information to inform the planning and enactment of future policies for rural development. It will provide a basis for improved support for rural development activities within the current RDP and facilitate a common learning process. Åland RDP 2014-2020 aims to contribute to smart, sustainable economic development that focuses on productivity and environmental sustainability, ensuring Åland Islands is an attractive rural region that is home to profitable and viable rural companies and an active agricultural sector. The RDP for Åland has a total budget of 58.5 million Euro.
Att skapa regioner och organisera för regional utveckling
This policy brief was created as a collaboration between Nordregio and Centrum för kommunstrategiska studier at Linköping University, and has therefore been written in Swedish. The assignment was given by Region Östergötland. Regionerna är viktiga pusselbitar i de nordiska ländernas välfärdsystem inte minst inom sjukvårdsområdet och för kollektivtrafiken. Men regionernas roll i samhällsplaneringen är mer oklar. Regioner är både aktörer och arenor för att skapa hållbar utveckling. Regionernas form och funktion är dock inte en oproblematisk fråga, som politiker, planerare och forskare försöker finna svar på. Det experimenteras just nu mycket kring formell och informell regional organisering framför allt i de nordiska länderna. Syftet med denna text är att ge en kortfattad översikt över problematiken och vad forskningen berättar om att organisera regional utveckling och tillväxt, men också att lyfta fram några nordiska erfarenheter.
Building Effective Transnational Partnerships: The Case of Smart Lighting
This policy brief examines the requirements for building effective transnational partnerships in different policy fields, based on the lessons learned from the recent Lighting Metropolis project – a cross-border innovation venture between Denmark and Sweden that sought to develop smart lighting solutions in urban environments. The brief begins with an overview of this new technology area, before outlining the main opportunities and challenges in the implementation of smart lighting throughout Europe. This is followed by a review of the key findings from Lighting Metropolis, with a focus on assessing the experiences of transnational co-operation identified during the project. Finally, the concluding section outlines a number of recommendations for enhancing transnational collaboration. The policy brief has been prepared by Nordregio as part of the BSR Stars S3 project. It is based on a literature review and interviews conducted with partners involved in Lighting Metropolis.
From Migrants to Workers: International migration trends in the Nordic countries
The populations of the Nordic countries are ageing, and to maintain economic growth there is a need to increase immigration and have these newcomers play a substantial role in the labour markets at the national and regional levels. This paper is one of several outputs of a project called From Migrants to Workers: Immigrants’ Role in Local Labour Markets in the Nordic Region for the 2013–2016 Nordic Working Group on Demography and Welfare (Nordregio, 2016). This paper analyses data on recent migration flows into the Nordic countries. Another working paper analysed case studies of the process of integration in selected Nordic regions (Harbo, Heleniak, & Hildestrand, 2017). The paper also provides additional detail for the chapter on migration in the State of the Nordic Region 2018 report. The paper starts by examining migration trends into the Nordic countries over recent decades, examining migration as a component of population change, immigration and emigration, net migration by citizenship, net migration by sex, immigration by country of origin, total population of foreign origin, foreign-born people by age, reasons for migration, and flows of refugees and asylum seekers. The conclusions concern the implications of the integration of recent flows.
State of the Nordic Region 2018
State of the Nordic Region 2018 gives you a unique look behind the scenes of the world’s most integrated region, comprised of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, along with Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Åland. The report presents a series of facts and figures showing the current state of play within core socioeconomic sectors, including demography, economy, the labour force and education. In addition, you can read about the latest developments within the Nordic bioeconomy, get the status of Nordic digitalisation as well as the latest on health and welfare, plus culture and the arts. State of the Nordic Region 2018 is published by the Nordic Council of Ministers and produced by Nordregio, an international research center for regional development and planning established by the Nordic Council of Ministers, along with the Nordic Welfare Center and Nordic Agency for Cultural Policy Analysis.