Nordregio News 4 2017
Today, with increasing digitalization, the importance of physical distance is diminishing. The size of functional regions, i.e. the geographical areas in which many people both live and have their daily work and social life, is expanding beyond administrative borders. The last issue of Nordregio News this year focuses on the connections between the urban and the rural areas which is also the major topic of Nordregio Forum that was held in Oslo at the end of November, 2017. What opportunities are offered by better linkages between the urban and the rural areas? Or, is it utopian to believe that rural areas can develop and prosper in parallel with ongoing urbanization? Finally, what could the rest of the world learn from the Nordic approach to sustainable small and medium-sized cities?
Nordregio News 3 2017
The Baltic Sea Region is one of Nordregio’s four main geographical focal areas. Our background has previously been on terrestrial spatial planning primarily, but Nordregio is now also increasingly involved in research and projects on maritime spatial planning. In this Nordregio News issue, you will learn more about the outcome of the Baltic SCOPE project, dealing with transboundary Maritime Spatial Planning. Also, you will find case examples on how maritime spatial planning is implemented in different parts of Europe, as well as the information about two upcoming projects – BONUS BASMATI focusing on Baltic Sea maritime spatial planning for sustainable ecosystem services and PanBaltic SCOPE. Finally, we include a youth perspective, asking how we can make the Baltic Sea a better environment for future generations?
Nordregio News 2 2017
Twenty years have passed since Nordregio was established by the Nordic Council of Ministers. It has been quite a ride for a small but ambitious research institution. We have steadily grown, both in number of people and research projects, and our focus has expanded. The Nordic Region is among the richest regions in the world, with vast natural resources, high technological development and a prosperous welfare system built on social equity. But we are also facing serious challenges in many areas related to regional development. In recent years, regional development has been severely affected by the economic crisis and the impact of rapid demographic change driven by urbanization, a shrinking and aging population in remote areas and increasing refugee immigration. In this jubilee issue you will get a glance at our current topics, but we will also provide you with some retrospective on regional development and some optimistic projections of the future for the Nordic Region.
Nordregio News 1 2017
This issue of Nordregio News focuses on innovation and governance. What are the key issues in innovation policies and how should they be considered in governance? We view this from different perspectives, with a common focus on the interests of people, their institutions and the knowledge they bring to the table. Different modes of innovation have different normative implications regarding whose interests and knowledge count as significant. National economic welfare is the predominant normative value driving innovation policies; which are often operationalised using success criteria such as competitiveness, economic growth and production of know-how protected by intellectual property rights. However, e.g. innovation in the bioeconomy raises questions over environmental sustainability, social justice and human rights relating to land, forests, the marine environment and water. All of these are vital to human subsistence, are limited in supply and are usually difficult or impossible to reproduce solely by technological means and capital.
Nordregio News 4 2016
At Nordregio Forum 2015 ”Nordic City Regions in a Global Environment” all the international speakers emphasized unique qualities of Nordic cities’ in terms of human scale and sustainable solutions from a social and environmental perspective. The world’s leading expert on the so-called mega-projects, Professor Bent Flyvbjerg of Oxford University, stated that instead of investing in costly prestige projects we should continue to put people first in Nordic urban planning. This final issue of Nordregio News in 2016 looks closer at some projects and concepts where people are part of the planning process. Involving citizens early in the planning processes opens up for new ideas and approaches and including art when discussing architecture and urban planning might be the way forward when planning and building sustainable cities.
Nordregio News 3 2016: Migration and integration
The old age dependency rate is a ticking time bomb that threatens to blow the Nordic welfare model into pieces. Old age dependency rates are rising across the Nordic countries as in most parts of Europe. Due to a selective outmigration of young people towards the cities, the dependency rates are particularly high in rural municipalities, where access to healthcare services is one of the major issues. This issue of Nordregio News focuses on recent migration flows and the Nordic societies’ readiness to welcome the newcomers. Full and successful integration at different levels requires more efforts in match-making between the Nordic labour market needs and the skills of the immigrants. Validation of skills seems in this regard to be especially problematic in some sectors (e.g. health). But first and foremost we need a change in atmosphere and attitudes. The inflow of immigrants and refugees should be seen more as a resource than a problem.
Nordregio News 2 2016
This issue of Nordregio News focuses on the Nordic Arctic. The area shares a number of common features, such as low population density, low accessibility, low economic diversity and abundant natural resources. It is also an area of increasing international attention, due to the effects of climate change and expectations about future exploitation of raw materials and the opening of new sea routes. The Arctic region is also the home of four million people – if we include the Arctic populations in Russia, USA and Canada – as well as the object of hundreds of millions of Euros in research funding. However, the bulk of those funds are spent on the natural sciences and ethnological research, while only a fraction is used for social science research that is aimed at the region’s economic development and making it a better place to live. Because of this, we at Nordregio have chosen to put people first in our research on the Arctic. We wish to contribute to the body of knowledge about opportunities for creating sustainable regional development there. A large part of this work has already been carried out on behalf of the Nordic Working Group for Sustainable Regional Development in the Arctic, under the auspices of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Committee of Senior Officials for Regional Policy. This special issue of Nordregio News describes this work and some of its results. The main part of the working group’s activity has been to carry out a foresight analysis, based on the challenges and opportunities experienced by the residents of 12 Arctic local communities. An important reflection from the foresight work is that the attitudes of the residents have been changing; people are tired of the image of Arctic society as being underdeveloped, as well as with their own image of…
Nordregio News 1 2016
This is a theme issue of Nordregio News, offering you an overview of industrial symbiosis in the Nordic countries. By browsing through this issue you will get a picture of what it is, why has it become a hot topic, what motivates the industries to get involved and what interesting results we have found through our case studies. This issue of Nordregio News is all about industrial symbiosis, more commonly known as the use of waste or by-products from one company as resources for another company. The development of industrial symbiosis is often associated with geographic proximity, but it is not a necessary prerequisite. Nor is industrial symbiosis limited to physical resource exchange. It can also include networking to enhance eco-innovation and new business opportunities. With its long tradition of cooperation and environmental awareness the Nordic Region has excellent preconditions for developing industrial symbiosis. Kalundborg in Denmark was a pioneer in the field when it started in 1961, long before the term industrial symbiosis came into use in 1989. Similarly, the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy has boosted activities at the national scale, and Finnish Industrial Symbiosis System (FISS) model was developed by Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra and a Finnish state-owned company Motiva to bring together the producers and users of residual resources.
Nordregio News 4 2015
This is a special issue of Nordregio News, offering you an overview of current research areas and projects that we are involved in here at Nordregio. With the new layout and content structure, we wish to make the magazine more readable and easier to navigate. In 2015, we have put substantial resources into research commissioned and funded by the four Nordic working groups under the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Committee of Senior Officials for Regional Policy: Demography and welfare; Sustainable regional development in the Arctic; Green growth – innovation and entrepreneurship; and Sustainable urban regions. We are pleased to say that many regional case studies, Foresight analysis and policy overviews were conducted during the year, in addition to the development and launch of the interactive web-mapping tool, NordMap. The Nordic Demography Programme was finalised and three large-scale EU-funded projects started: REGINA, Baltic SCOPE and Baltic Urban Lab. More information on some of these projects will be found in this issue.
Nordregio News Issue 3 2015: A new wave of reforms sweeping over the Nordic countries?
Municipal reforms are gaining political momentum in the Nordic countries, which all face great social changes. Some countries have already pushed their reforms through; others are still struggling with decisions on the matter. Finland has failed after several years of trying to implement a renewed reform process. Norway is in the midst of such a process, and Greenland is reconsidering the reform it undertook in 2009. In this issue of Nordregio News, we review current initiatives on municipal reforms in the Nordic countries. What exactly is happening now, and why?
Nordregio News 1 2015: Cross-border co-operation
In this issue of Nordregio News, we focus on cross-border co-operation and its impact on regional development in Nordic and European border regions. We have studied how cross-border co-operation is structured and managed, and whether its full potential for sustainable growth has been realized. The added value of cross-border co-operation can be defined and measured in various ways, including improvement of cross-border infrastructure and increasing flows of tourists.
Nordregio News Issue 2 2015: Tensions in Nordic urban planning
Urbanisation is strong in the Nordic countries, with people and capital being concentrated into growing, expanding city regions. These urbanisation processes of concentration and expansion, and explosion and implosion are challenging traditional forms of planning and creating tensions within current planning systems and procedures, along with new forms of urban governance and policies in a number of ways. In the current age of austerity, there is an increased interest and need in finding new solutions and alternatives to provide housing, offices and other services to the new citizens. In addition and in parallel to this, in post-political Europe, there is also an increased emphasis on citizen engagement and public participation because of the perceived gap between politics and people’s everyday lives.
Nordregio News Issue 3 2014: Poverty and Social Exclusion
In this issue of Nordregio News, we explore the issues of poverty and social exclusion in an urban European context, consider how these issues are dealt with in a suburban municipality in the Stockholm Region and learn about a distinct approach to raise awareness among policy-makers.
Nordregio News Issue 2 2014: Monitoring Territorial Dynamics
In this issue of Nordregio News, we take a tour of territorial monitoring – looking at conceptual, practical and applied aspects of producing and using such knowledge.
Nordregio News Issue 4 2013: ESPON – Looking Towards the Third Period
In this issue of Nordregio News we take a look at the past, present and future of the European Observation Network for Territorial Development and Cohesion – ESPON.
Nordregio News Issue 3 2013: Nordic Population Ageing – Challenge and Opportunity?
This issue of Nordregio News maps the demographic situation and challenges in the Nordic countries, especially regarding ageing population. It also examines different methods and policy responses to tackle the situation.