5G applications in public services: What to envision for Nordic-Baltic cross-border collaboration?
As part of the 5G Techritory Forum in Riga on 29-30 November, the Nordic Council of Ministers for Digitalisation and Nordregio arranged a session dedicated to Nordic-Baltic collaboration on the 5G rollout. Nordregio researchers Ana de Jesus and Oskar Penje were there to present the 5G Nordic-Baltic Monitoring tool project and to gather the project reference group. The 5G Techritory Forum gathered over 2000 participants online and physically to meet leaders and policymakers to discuss the 5G ecosystem trends and co-create the industry’s future. The session “5G applications in public services: What to envision for Nordic-Baltic cross-border collaboration” was hosted by Stefan Eriksson, head of the Nordic Council of Minister’s office in Riga. Project manager Oskar Penje talked about the 5G ecosystem and trends in the Nordic-Baltic countries. This was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Heidi Himmanen (Chief Adviser, Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom), including Annika Svensson (Project Manager, Luleå University of Technology), Markku Niemi (Business Tampere), and Elīna Lidere (Latvijas Mobilais Telefons). Different perspectives were shared as Annika Svensson gave her views on 5G innovations in sparsely populated areas, Markku Niemi discussed 5G as a cornerstone for smart cities, and Elīna Lidere added to the debate on creating connected and data-driven cities using 5G technology. Some of the overarching questions addressed were: What can 5G offer to public services in the Nordic-Baltic countries? What are the benefits for society? What are the success factors in building partnerships and collaborations in 5G? What are the main barriers and limitations to further collaboration? The session is available here. Also, don’t miss the interview with Annika Svensson and Heidi Himmanen. There is a need to showcase more of what is being developed 5G has real benefits for society and solves real problems. It can empower more efficient and…
Exploring the bioeconomy status quo in the Baltics
The BioBaltic project has published a storymap series that overviews the bioeconomy development in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Both – Nordic and Baltic countries are rich in biological and renewable resources and have a long tradition of utilizing them for generating social and economic benefits through the traditional sectors, such as forestry, agriculture, and fisheries, as well as in manufacturing and related sectors such as tourism. As we transition into a green economy, there is a huge potential for innovation to develop new goods and services from biological resources while creating value locally. In the past year, the project partners across the Baltics have investigated the state of the art of bioeconomy and developed their visions for further bioeconomy development. Their learnings have been summarised in the following storymaps. Press on the picture to access the storymaps: About the project The BioBaltic project provides a platform for generating awareness of different bioeconomy models through peer-to-peer learning and building networks across Baltic and Nordic countries. This collaboration will enable knowledge generation and exchange on different aspects of the bioeconomy transition, including financing aspects, industrial partnerships and symbiosis or the opportunities of digitalisation. Project partners from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are running so-called “Mobile Learning Hubs” and the overall project is coordinated by Nordregio. Funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers, the project runs from October 2021 until September 2023.
Nordregio co-moderates a panel discussion on the topic ´The role of regions in the Green Transition´
“The transition towards a green economy cannot be achieved with either policy or technological innovations alone. Actions are needed at multiple scales to transform the interlinked social and technical systems. However, rather than aiming for a single grand solution or ‘holy grail’, different regions may find solutions appropriate to the locally available resources, knowledge, and networks,” says Alberto Giacometti, Research Fellow at Nordregio. Giacometti, Nordregio researcher, together with Virginija Kargytė, Vytautas Magnus University in Lithuania, will facilitate a discussion on this topic on 5th of May at 10:00 EET at the 3rd International Scientific Conference “Sustainable Bioeconomy Development 2022: Theory and Practice”. As part of the BioBaltic project, this session is meant to provide inspiration on how different regions and municipalities have mobilised change towards a green economy as well as to generate exchange across the Nordics and Baltics. Read more about the session and register here: https://sbd.vdu.lt/panel-discussion/
SHERPA project working towards sustainable multi-actor platforms
Sustainable Hub to Engage into Rural Policies with Actors (SHERPA) arranged a workshop to kick-start the second phase of SHERPA MAPs by introducing new Facilitators and Monitors to the SHERPA tools. The session aimed at ensuring that both experienced and new Facilitators and Monitors have the same information and feel prepared to facilitate and monitor multi-actor platforms (MAPs) – rural interfaces that provide a forum for co-learning and co-creation of knowledge with European, national and regional actors. “Our societies are facing extremely complex problems that are connected to global and interlinked processes, such as climate change, poverty and inequalities. These problems cannot be solved by scientists or politicians alone. It demands different fields of expertise – including citizens and experience-based knowledge – to interact and collaborate for new ideas and innovations “, says Elin Slätmo, Senior Research Fellow at Nordregio. According to the researcher, if the multi-actor group is open to combining different types of knowledge and experiences, research shows that applying this method to rural areas can help deal with issues of lack of trust between local actors and central governments. Furthermore, it can help create common visions for sustainable regional development with a commitment to implementing and strengthening rural areas’ resilience and economic competitiveness. “There are, however, no recipes for success – adaptation and constant learning and development is crucial for processes, outputs and outcomes to be sustainable “, adds Slätmo. SHERPA is a four-year project with 17 partners, funded by European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and coordinated by Ecorys in Brussels. The project aims to formulate recommendations to redefine European development policies and research agenda for rural areas. There will be established 40 MAPs for actors from science, society and policy to interact. Nordregio’s role is to develop the theoretical framework for the science-society-policy interface in…
BioBaltic: Nordic-Baltic Cooperation on circular bioeconomy
On the 11th of November, Nordregio together with Baltic partners started a two-year cooperation journey on circular bioeconomy by kicking off the BioBaltic project. Both – Nordic and Baltic countries are rich in biological and renewable resources and have a long tradition in utilizing them for generating social and economic benefits through the traditional sectors, such as forestry, agriculture, and fisheries, as well as in manufacturing and related sectors such as tourism. As we transition into a green economy, there is a huge potential for innovation to develop new goods and services from biological resources while creating value locally. The BioBaltic project provides a platform for researchers, public authorities, businesses and cluster organisations for generating awareness of different bio-economy models through peer-to-peer learning and building networks across Baltic and Nordic countries. The project activities will be carried out by Mobile Learning Hubs (MLH) in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. MLHs are participatory mobile learning units that collect and disseminate practical and scientific knowledge, in collaboration with local actors. These combine at least one research partner, a business partner and/or local authority in addition to the Nordic Council of Ministers’ offices in each country. Nordregio is leading the project and communications activities, including the production of country-based storymaps. Funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers, the project runs until September 2023.
Nordregio at Rural Research Day 2021
Research has shown that rural areas own enormous development potential when it comes to value creation and employment in green conversion. Public-private partnerships, industrial communities, and sustainability as common goals are among the tools that ensure green success. This topic is the focus of a presentation given by Dr. Karen Refsgaard, Research Director and Deputy Director at Nordregio at the Rural Research Day 2021. Rural Research Day is part of a larger plan to bring together researchers and practitioners from areas that are important to rural development, with the hope of promoting knowledge-based rural development. Proximity, sustainable development in rural areas, and the connection between country and city are among the main themes of this year’s conference hosted by “Landdistrikternes Fællesråd” in Denmark. During the conference, Dr. K. Refsgaard will give a presentation about the green transition in Nordic rural areas and will discuss best practices and paths to success. The Nordregio Research Director will also describe some of the challenges that can hinder the process of a fair green transition. “What is the green transition without rural areas? The bioresources and their related human and institutional resources are very much located in rural and coastal areas in the Nordic countries. Green investments from pension funds are ready to invest in long-term sustainability. Digitalization demands new skills and new businesses for development in rural areas”, says Dr. K. Refsgaard. According to the Nordregio Research Director, the Covid-19 has put in a boost for new working habits and new ways of living in rural areas. She highlights that there is a need for rural areas in order to improve the green transition. In the conference, examples from BeUBio project (Young people leading the way to a sustainable economy) will be highlighted during the presentation. Find more about the project and read…
Youth leadership practices in the circular economy shared with CBSS
Sustainable management and use of Earth’s natural resources have been at the core of public debates aiming for a fast post-pandemic recovery. In the Baltic Sea region, a lot of focus is drawn on resource-intensive sectors such as textiles, food, constructions, plastics and the support to sustainable future proofing companies. The Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) is organizing a seminar to promote knowledge and good practices in the region and to take further steps on circular economy and sustainability. The event “Sustainable and green transformations of the resource-intensive industry sectors in the Baltic Sea Region”, taking place on 26 May, gathers representatives from EU organizations, national ministries, academia and business clusters to discuss how different stakeholders could support the green transition. Nordregio’s Research Fellow Alberto Giacommeti is invited to share perspectives on what opportunities and challenges young leaders face while transitioning towards the circular economy in the Baltic Sea Region: “Stories from young leaders across the Baltic Sea Region reveal a generational readiness for moving towards the circular economy, and also that they are capable of leading this transition. While they are rapidly conquering new grounds, young people remain challenged by mental barriers and access to finance. Supporting young leaders will ensure not only increased sustainability but also innovation and competitiveness.” Find out more about the young bioeconomy entrepreneurs on BeUBio platform and more about the event on CBSS website:
Is territorial governance needed in smart specialisation and maritime planning?
What is the role of territorial governance in supporting smart specialisation? Is maritime spatial planning moving towards policymaking that is inspired by territorial governance approaches? Nordregio’s researchers have published two articles on these topics within the fields of EU regional and EU marine policy. – The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the vital role of local actors and knowledge in helping build regional resilience and deliver effective policies for citizens. Territorial governance and smart specialization can help bring policymaking closer to citizens and rebuild trust in politics. This is particularly important in peripheral and isolated regions where citizens feel like they have been left behind by the forces of globalization and the knowledge-based economy, says Senior Research Fellow John Moodie. Territorial Governance and Smart Specialisation: Empowering the Sub-National Level in EU Regional Policy The concept of territorial governance has received little attention within political science and EU Studies despite being advocated as a central element of European Regional Policy. This article examines the key dimensions of territorial governance, arguing that it is both distinct and complementary to multi-level governance, as it focuses on the mobilisation of regional actor groups and the integration of endogenous knowledge in policymaking. – For example at Nordregio, the local actor groups contribute to our work with their knowledge. They work to improve local life and thus are key players in territorial governance. We work with Local Action Groups members in our Thematic groups, Swedish fishermen in maritime spatial planning workshops and with an activist in a Copenhagen neighbourhood working on URBACT to name a few, explains Senior Research Fellow, Michael Kull. The article further explores whether there is merit in understanding smart specialisation as a territorial governance-based model by using examples of S3 process implementation in four Nordic regions. The article finds that smart specialisation can be considered a territorial governance approach, as it promotes bottom-up EU policymaking driven by regional and local knowledge. Moreover, by empowering the subnational level, a territorial governance lens may help to bring EU Regional policymaking closer to citizens,…
Nordregio is hiring: Head of GIS Department
Nordregio is inviting applications for a senior position as Head of GIS Department. Working at Nordregio means an opportunity to become part of a truly international research environment with a focus on sustainable regional development in the Nordic region and beyond. It offers significant career development potential in terms of enhancing your competences through applied and policy relevant research, achieving an international network of contacts, as well as getting extensive experience in team and project management. You will also get rich opportunities to collaborate with regional and municipal stakeholders in the Nordic countries. Nordregio is currently seeking a new Head of GIS Department with: Expertise in GIS, geo-data, quantitative analysis, and applied research in the field of regional development. Experience in leading a team and managing projects as well as a successful track record in grant applications. Knowledge in geographies and socio-economic trends in the Nordic Region and beyond. A drive for working in teams and in an international applied research environment. Eagerness to present and disseminate results to different stakeholder groups, both orally and in written format. Competences and qualifications As Head of GIS Department, you both lead and manage the GIS-team by planning and organising tasks and activities, communicate with each team member and contribute to their development. You are also a project manager with responsibilities to attract, initiate and lead externally funded research and innovation projects. The geographic scope of your field of interest includes a European and international perspective and expert knowledge in at least one of the Nordic countries. We appreciate abilities in external networking and in communication with stakeholders. Internally we appreciate analytical and creative skills, complemented by abilities to both cooperate and work on your own. For this position, you have at least 6 years of relevant work experience and an extensive network…
- 2021 February
- Baltic Sea Region
- Nordic Region
- Arctic issues
- Gender equality
- Green transition
- Labour market
- Maritime spatial planning
- Regional innovation
- Rural development
- Sustainable development
- Urban planning
Webbseminarium – Återhämtning efter covid-19 på Åland: Kapital och Kompetensförsörjning
Den 9 september bjöd Ålands landskapsregering in till lärandeseminarium som anordnas i samband med utvärderingarna av Landsbygdsutvecklingsprogrammet (LBU) och Strukturfondsprogrammet. Seminariet med namnet ”Återhämtning efter Covid-19 på Åland: Kapital och kompetensförsörjning” behandlade de ekonomiska och sociala konsekvenserna av Covid-19, hur Åland ska återhämta sig med tanke på kapital och kompetensförsörjning samt vad LBU-programmet och strukturfondsprogrammet 2014-2020 och kommande EU program 2021-2027 kan tillföra? Seminariet hade 65 deltagare och modererades av Elin Slätmo och Jukka Teräs, seniora forskare på Nordregio, och författare av utvärderingarna tillsammans med ÅSUB. Diskussionen inleddes med att Sölve Högman och Susanne Strand, byråchefer på Landskapsregeringen gav sina perspektiv på hur LBU- och strukturfondsprogrammet kan stötta återhämtningen på Åland. Enligt Sölve Högman finns det mycket att lära av jordbrukssektorn eftersom resiliens och återhämtning är en del av vardagen för lantbrukarna som varje år påverkas av väder och klimat. Inom LBU-programmet finns därför stöd inbyggda, även om dessa kan behöva omformas för att bli mer långsiktiga. Susanne Strand, ansvarig för strukturfondsprogrammen, menar att Åland, som alla andra stater och områden med EU-program, i nuläget funderar på kommande programperiod och undersöker vad det finns för behov i regionerna. Huvudtalare för seminariet var Peter Wiklöf från Ålandsbanken. Peter Wiklöf förklarade att Åland vanligtvis brukar klara sig bättre genom kriser än fastlandet Finland eller Sverige men att krisen åsamkad av Covid-19 varit annorlunda. Den åländska arbetsmarknaden, med generellt låg arbetslöshet, har fått uppleva permitteringar, framförallt på grund av minskad turism och minskad efterfrågan på varor. Dessa perspektiv bekräftades senare med statistik från Jouko Kinnunen från Ålands statistik- och utredningsbyrå, ÅSUB, som presenterade siffror på hur Ålands ekonomi och arbetsmarknad påverkats av Covid-19. Några slutsatser är att det är turism- och transportsektorn som har drabbats hårdast och att det framförallt är unga på väg in på arbetsmarknaden som påverkas mest. Både Jouko Kinnunen…
BONUS BASMATI: maritime planning for the future – new issue of Nordregio Magazine
In the latest issue of Nordregio Magazine, we invite you to join on a Baltic journey of developing tools for maritime space planning. Successful planning of maritime space requires accurate data, a diverse group of stakeholders and access to the best available knowledge. The BONUS BASMATI project has contributed to all three areas within a relatively new field of maritime spatial planning based on ecosystem services thinking. Assessing ecosystem services Neither ocean currents nor fish know any borders. Therefore a good maritime spatial planning needs close cooperation between neighbouring countries – says Henning Sten Hansen, BONUS BASMATI project coordinator. Planning new aquaculture farms or offshore wind sites require accurate data on ecosystem services. The project developed a modelling tool to test various planning scenarios in the Baltic Sea region. Handbook for planners Maritime spatial planning involves a highly diverse group of stakeholders, from fishers and aquaculture, energy and shipping companies to ecologists and those who use the coast and ocean for leisure and recreation. Not to forget the people who live nearby the sea and all the countries that share access to the same sea basin. The BONUS BASMATI project has developed a handbook that helps to organise this complex process involving all relevant stakeholders. Harmonizing data with the Baltic Explorer Countries in the Baltic Sea region gather various data on the marine space. Combining these data could significantly improve cooperation for better maritime spatial planning. The BONUS BASMATI project has developed a tool called Baltic Explorer which helps to harmonize various marine data in real-time. Find out more about the project here: https://bonusbasmati.eu/
Results from Pan Baltic Scope: towards coherent maritime spatial plans
The final chords of the Baltic maritime symphony have been played in Gothenburg on 10-12 December. The Pan Baltic Scope project partners from 12 planning authorities and organizations presented their outcome of the activities, collaboration and the progress of the national maritime spatial plans. The 2014 European Union Directive on MSP emphasizes the need for coherent maritime spatial planning and aligned plans between independent states. To achieve this, the Pan Baltic Scope project brought together eight MSP planning authorities and three regional organisations in the Baltic Sea Region as part of the consortium. The project team was led by the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management (SwaM), the lead partner in the predecessor Baltic SCOPE project. Yet again, the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) has been a trailblazer in the promotion and development of pioneering collaborative MSP activities. Nordregio was in charge of two activities: Drawing out the major lessons learned from the project activities and providing recommendations on how to bring better maritime spatial plans in the Baltic Sea Region. The final report includes factsheets that summarize tasks, achievements, enablers and challenges of different activities of the project. Developing of the land-sea interaction concept and exploring the potential of its application in MSP practices in the Baltic Sea region. The final report showcases stories, insights and lessons from countries at different stages of the MSP process, and to present challenges and enablers for effective LSI in a range of cross-border contexts, particularly encompassing the Gulf of Bothnia, Riga Bay and Germany. Publications The reports Nordregio was in charge of as well as all other reports will be available in print and as electronic versions. Lessons Learned in Cross-border Maritime Spatial Planning Experiences Lessons, stories and ideas on how to integrate Land-Sea Interactions into MSP Project Recommendations Scoping report Reactions…
Realizing Agenda 2030 – the local way
Nordregio gathered almost 100 engaged participants for an event on Agenda 2030 at the local level on Monday October 28 in Stockholm. The outcome will feed into the process to formulate a new vision for Nordic Co-operation as such as well as into a concrete set of policy recommendations on how best to implement the SDGs at the regional and municipal level. The event was held under the auspices of the Generation 2030 programme opened by Paula Lehtomäki, Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, who presented a new vision for Nordic co-operation adopted by the Prime Ministers in August, with the aim to become the world’s most sustainable region. This was followed by an overview of the report Agenda 2030 at the Local Level by Nordregio Senior Research fellow Elin Slätmo and a talk on A territorial approach to sustainable development by Stefano Marta from the OECD. The rest of the day was spent in groups discussing core aspects of SDG implementation, which was all summed up in a final plenary session. The output from that will be used in a policy brief feeding into the Nordic vision formulation process, so the event in many ways functioned as a hearing of local actors The policy brief will also be put forward to the Nordic Council of Ministers Expert Group for Sustainable Development, that acts as an Advisory Body to the Ministers for Nordic Cooperation and as Steering Group for the Generation 2030 programme, the Nordic programme for the 2030 Agenda. The Nordic Expert Group for Sustainable Development will use the Policy Brief to decide on potential further activities to support Nordic municipalities and regions in their work with the 2030 Agenda.
Nordic cooperation – an important milestone for integration and knowledge exchange
Senior Research Fellow Anna Karlsdóttir published an article on labour market integration in the Nordic countries and the extensive collaboration between the Nordic countries in the latest issue of Baltic RIM Economies. Nordregio and Nordic Welfare Centre, both institutions under the Nordic Council of Ministers, have for the last couple of years cooperated on integration projects in the Nordic countries. The clearing central on integration is the hub in this and Nordregio has contributed with research. The Baltic RIM Economies focuses on development of the Baltic Sea Region and is published by The Pan-European Institute. Download the BRE Magazine here
Social Empowerment in rural areas
On 27-28 November, the final conference of the SEMPRE project “Make empowerment happen! Changing mindsets for better social services” will take place in Riga. For three years, the partners of the SEMPRE project have been working with different empowerment approaches in rural areas. The overall aim of the project is to identify ways in which social service providers can empower the users of their services – who often belong to marginalised groups – to take part in service innovation processes. Empowerment addresses three dimensions: the individual, organisational and societal one. All three dimensions are covered by the SEMPRE project and reflected in the project results which will be presented at the final conference. Nordregio’s Research Fellow Anna Berlina and Cartographer/GIS Analyst Gustaf Norlén will present a new “Empowerment Handbook” and a set of preliminary policy recommendations at the conference. Empowerment Handbook Nordregio’s role in the project has been to develop an “Empowerment Handbook” based on the collection of good practice examples from project partners and assist the partnership in the compilation and dissemination of recommendations targeted at social service providers and policymakers. This “Empowerment Handbook” is already available on the SEMPRE project’s website and will hopefully be used widely.
ICES Annual Science Conference 2018
On 24-27 September, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) holds its Annual Science Conference (ASC) in Hamburg. Andrea Morf, Senior Research Fellow at Nordregio and co-chair of the Working Group on Marine Planning and Coastal Management (WGMPCZM) leads an interactive conference session, which focuses on assessing and analysing marine and coastal spatial planning and management, together with colleagues from the Marine Spatial Planning research network. The session C “Assessing and analysing marine spatial planning – knowledge – indicators – visions“ aims to open up perspectives on marine spatial planning (MSP) and integrated coastal management. Participants discuss how coastal and marine planning are conceived (visions), what knowledge is drawn on (inclusiveness), and how progress and success in planning could be measured and assessed (indicators and evaluation). Key focus is on natural and social sciences indicators and on existing approaches and achievements as well as remaining gaps. The session also invites reflections on marine planning at a meta-level, considering its nature and where and how it needs to be broadened for a more sustainable governance of the seas. Presently, there are numerous on-going and recently concluded MSP projects and initiatives in the Baltic Sea and beyond, where interesting results and lessons learned can be shared across marine basins. Notably, Nordregio has participated in Baltic MSP development through the project Baltic Scope and is currently participating in its follow-up Pan Baltic SCOPE. Pan Baltic SCOPE work by Nordregio in the Land-Sea Interaction Work Package is present through an oral presentation of Sarah Mahadeo, Helena Calado and Andrea Morf on a framework to analyse Land Sea Interactions in MSP. Sarah is a former MSP ERASMUS+ Intern at Nordregio and has recently successfully defended her Master Thesis with a refined version of the framework. Also BONUS BASMATI researchers are present discussing…
Results from Baltic Urban Lab: guides and tools for planning brownfields
On 6 – 7 September, the final Baltic Urban Lab (BUL) event gathered urban planners, researchers and entrepreneurs in Riga to discuss the best practices of regenerating brownfields that emerged during the project. Regeneration of brownfields is a means in the EU to decrease land take, which should be zero by 2050 according to EU policy. During the project, common challenges for the brownfield development were identified, such as contaminated land, fragmented land ownership, a lack of common vision and legal and financial factors. About the project BUL project has been focusing on finding new ways for cooperation and participation between the public, private and “people” sectors. The partner cities – Riga, Tallinn, Turku and Norrköping have made an impressive work in developing new methods, tools and process structures based on Nordregio studies and other material. New initiatives In Tallinn, a local model for how to organize planning in early phases will be implemented in the city’s future work, as well as a new smart phone application that permit residents and visitors in Tallinn to view and comment on ongoing planning. In Norrköping, the new visualization tool Earth Autopsy permits visitors to view underground contaminations and will be used also in other planning projects. In Riga, a successful collaboration with students having a prominent role in forming the vision of the development of one of the city’s brownfields, has resulted in a memorandum with the university about future participation in the planning of the city’s urban development. On the project level, one of the outputs is the guide Towards integrated and partnership-based planning of brownfield areas, accessible in Swedish, Finnish, Estonian, Latvian and English. More information and publications on: https://www.balticurbanlab.eu/materials https://nordregio.org/research/baltic-urban-lab-integrated-planning-and-partnership-model-for-brownfield-development/
Greening our cities – new issue of Nordregio Magazine
As more and more people move to urban areas, the development of greener cities becomes increasingly vital to build a more climate friendly society. In this issue of Nordregio Magazine, you can read about two of the projects we are involved in to help shape a sustainable future. Buildings account for 40 per cent of the European energy consumption and around 36 per cent of CO2-emissions. Speeding up energy retrofitting of existing buildings is vital to achieving European targets for CO2-reductions. The EU funded project Social Green is looking at ways to speed up the greening of the social housing sector in a number of ways, ranging from improving access to funding to initiating renovation projects. The project has revealed a competency gap with regards to obtaining EU-funding and works to empower potential applicants to make better use of available resources. Another key area in terms of greening our cities is the development of brownfields – old industrial sites within cities – into attractive areas for living and recreational activities. Baltic Urban Lab has looked at ways to develop these often attractively located sites in a sustainable manner, replacing industrial activity with lively and dynamic neighbourhoods and urban spaces. Read more about these two projects in the new issue of Nordregio Magazine, including information about related publications and upcoming events.
First steps taken in European “mobility of services” project
Sparsely populated areas often struggle with ensuring access to public services, including basic things like supply of healthcare to the elderly or even local transportation. The EU funded MAMBA project aims to improve “people to service” and “service to people” mobility and accessibility in rural areas of the Baltic Sea region. New website to be launched soon. The 2nd trans-national MAMBA partner meeting took place on the 22 and 23 of March, in Joensuu, North Karelia. The EU funded MAMBA project started in September 2017 and will run until August 2020. The MAMBA consortium will evaluate existing, sustainable ways of managing and financing rural mobility that could be transferred to other regions. Good practice examples will be presented to public authorities, transport and service providers, and civil society through a public database and a rural mobility compendium. This objective will be achieved among other things with the help of a series of activities, including implementation of pilot projects and the establishment of mobility centers as well as organizing transnational rural Mobility Seminars. Status of the project With the 1st reporting period of the project coming to an end, it was time to present some first results from the ‘analytical’ work package led by Nordregio. In this work package, we are producing maps on the accessibility and socioeconomic trends in the partner regions, and developing knowledge concerning legal, economic and sociocultural framework conditions for innovative rural mobility solutions. This knowledge will be used by the project partners when developing their pilots in the forthcoming months The next MAMBA meeting will take place in Latvia, in September 2018 and partners will analyze and discuss the results and advancement of the project. More information will soon be available on www.mambaproject.eu
Social Empowerment in the making
The 7th transnational meeting of the SEMPRE project took place in the middle of March, in the city of Vaasa, Finland. The project, that will come to an end in the beginning of 2019, is currently in its 3rd phase and starting to render results. The main scope of the SEMPRE project is to promote the involvement of end users in the process of co-creation of a social service in rural areas of the Baltic Sea Region, based on the empowerment idea. The meeting in Vaasa offered new insights into the methods and tools employed by the partners of the project in their work with end users and how these have empowered them to create and develop micro projects together, many of them proving to be success stories. One fruitful example, as it were, of the project’s efforts is a micro initiative started by Companion Norrbotten, that helped immigrant women establish a cooperative and open a tailor shop. The textile fruit bags produced by them are now sold in COOP Luleå. The SEMPRE project currently counts over 30 end user-driven micro projects developed with the help of the partners involved. Nordregio’s main role in the project is the development of an “Empowerment Handbook”, drawing from the project partners’ experiences throughout the whole 3-stage process of service development and innovation. Furthermore, Nordregio will also develop a series of policy recommendations directed at the decision-makers at the local, national and EU levels. The Handbook is currently under development and the 7th SEMPRE meeting, in Vaasa, has offered valuable input from the partners. Co-creation and empowerment The main scope of the SEMPRE project is to promote the involvement of end users in the process of co-creation of a social service in rural areas of the Baltic Sea Region, based on the empowerment idea.…