New tools for policy makers and planners in remote regions

If you live in a small town where business is based on natural resources, sudden changes in the local economy – like a mine opening or closing – can have a major impact on the social structure. The REGINA project has developed a set of tools to prepare for such situations that will be launched at a conference in September.

The flagship conference for the EU sponsored REGINA project, managed by Nordregio – an international research centre on regional development and planning established by the Nordic Council of Ministers, will take place in Rovaniemi in Finland, on September 11-12, 2018.

The conference is entitled “Preparing for large-scale investments in small communities – a hands-on approach to local smart specialization” – and you can read more or sign up at It builds on the concept of local smart specialization, but adapts this to the context of remote and sparsely populated regions.

Online handbook and new toolbox

The conference will mark the launch of an online handbook outlining the results of the REGINA project. This includes a series of workshops on some of the core tools developed: A Demographic Foresight Model, a Social Impact Management Plan and a Local Befit Analysis Toolbox.

The tools are devised to help local planners and decision makers in communities where the economy is very dependent on resource based industries to deal with changes in socioeconomic structures, say if a big mine opens or an aquaculture plant is developed.

Local businesses and citizens in general also stand to gain from the work done in the project, that has included five municipalities in the Northern and Arctic region covered by the activities of the EU Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme sponsoring REGINA.

Speakers include Katri Kulmuni, Member of the Parliament of Finland, chair of the Finnish Delegation to the Conference of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region and Jens Sjörvik, project leader at the Swedish agency of economic and regional growth.

Kristiina Jokelainen, from the Regional Council of Lapland will open the conference and Janne Uusivirta from the East & North Finland EU Office is moderator.