New publication: Combatting long-term unemployment among immigrants
Nordregio researchers, in collaboration with the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Nordic Welfare Centre, published a new report Combatting long-term unemployment among immigrants. The publication aims to identify key policy measures, institutions, civil society actors, and initiatives that have been used to address the situation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, immigrants were more likely to face long-term unemployment than their native-born peers across all Nordic countries. The new publication describes the extent of the challenge posed by long-term unemployment among immigrants in each Nordic country before, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. “The challenge ahead is to improve matching on the labour market. There are many jobs available in the Nordics. Job-seekers need up-skilling and training that meet employers’ needs,” said Nora Sánchez Gassen, Senior Research Fellow at Nordregio. The research highlights local practices that have proved successful in helping long-term unemployed, non-European, often poorly educated immigrants improve their skills and find work – and analyse what these practices have in common and what we can learn from them. “It’s clear that there are common traits in training programmes and initiatives that are successful in getting long-term unemployed back to work. We collected them in a ‘Checklist’ of Nordic learnings to inspire policy-makers and programme designers to make more holistic and effective programmes and avoid pitfalls,” said Åsa Ström Hildestrand, Head of Communications and Project Manager Agenda 2030 at Nordregio. (You will find the Checklist in the final chapter of the publication). The report also elucidates how long-term unemployment and labour market inactivity among immigrants have been discussed and approached at the national level in each Nordic country during and after the pandemic.
The housing of tomorrow: Boverket and Nordregio workshop
The Swedish National Board on Housing, Building, and Planning (Boverket) and Nordregio invited a group of property developers and other housing actors to discuss trends and innovation in housing development and their implications for the future. Boverket presented their project “Housing for the Future”, Nordregio researcher Anna Granath Hansson, landscape architect Annelie Mårtensson, architect Maria Teder, lawyer Assar Lindén, economist Oskar Gramstad and Ida Borg from Stockholm university discussed housing issues in Sweden. “One important input from developers was that novel concepts (or renewed use of older ones) should be applicable not only in new buildings but also in already existing ones, as new construction only accounts for around one percent of the housing stock. There was an interesting discussion on the division between the private, semi-private and public sphere in connection to cooperative and sharing solutions”, said Anna Granath Hansson. Discussions also lead to housing in relation to its neighborhood and how the built environment can contribute to goals like a sharing economy, increased robustness and the green transition. The possible alternative combinations of housing tenure, financing, and management and their relevance in the Swedish context have also been discussed. Experts gave interesting examples of flexible housing from Sweden, Finland, and Germany that might be suited to different residents based on their preferences. Nordregio and Boverket would like to thank all participants for their active contribution to discussions and for many fruitful insights that can be used in projects.
Stavanger invests in green parks to improve people’s health
In Norway, the city of Stavanger is on a mission to improve its citizens’ health and quality of life with new green spaces. The most ambitious plan revolves around a new park on the Stavanger seafront but the workplan also includes the redesign of a public park and schoolyard. The city’s inspiration has come foremost from Alnarp rehabilitation garden, a unique Swedish garden dating back to the 1980s. It was established by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences to improve mental and physical health through holistic design. The city is working with the NORDGREEN project to understand how the methods and frameworks used in Alnarp garden serve the health and well-being of its users, and how this knowledge can be transferred to the projects in Stavanger. “We chose three development projects which let us scale up the ideas from the rehabilitation garden, specifically create comfortable and well-designed environments that use the existing qualities as a starting point and attract investments,” says landscape architect Martina Andersson from the city of Stavanger. Stavanger is also working together with researchers in the NORDGREEN project to stress test and compare an evidence-based framework tool with its design methods. The evidence-based design will help the city to create spaces that serve the needs of both people and nature. “We will further develop the design tool to help cities in their green space planning, based on different frameworks of green space and health analysis. We will also develop a handbook for practitioners on health and green space planning in Nordic cities”, says researcher Anna Bengtsson, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and part of the NORDGREEN project. Three green space projects with many demands Creating green spaces is surprisingly complex. As Andersson summarises, “Thorough research is important because we need good arguments to acquire green areas that…
New article: The economic and social impact of Covid-19
John Moodie and Nora Sánchez Gassen, Senior Research Fellows at Nordregio, published a new article on the economic and social impact of Covid-19. The article published in the ESPON magazine “TerritoriAll” provides an overview of policy responses to the pandemic. As part of the ESPON COVID-19 project, 14 case study regions in Europe were selected to provide an in-depth analysis of the regional- and local-level policy response to the pandemic. The main aim of the case study analysis was to assess whether the crisis presented a window of opportunity for regional and local institutions and actors to promote proactive spatial planning and territorial policies in relation to the just (social), green and smart transitions. Proactive policies were defined as ‘measures that try to make best use of the particular socioeconomic circumstances to further a specific regional policy and planning goal’. According to the researchers, Covid-19 has been a catalyst for the development of innovative social policies across EU regions. “The crisis has accelerated the digitalization of key public services, including new social policies targeted at societies’ most vulnerable groups, such as the delivery of healthcare for the elderly, access to online mental health support, and digital training and education for young people. The continuation and evolution of these new policy measures will be essential to help overcome the socio-economic challenges presented by the cost of living and energy crises currently engulfing Europe,” says Dr. Moodie. Read the article here (page 28).
What will be the future of remote work post-pandemic?
– Evidence suggests that increased remote work is here to stay, but a large-scale shift towards a “remote first” mindset looks unlikely, says Senior Research Fellow Linda Randall from Nordregio. She is the lead author of Nordic Knowledge Overview on remote work published this week. The mindset matters when considering the effects of remote work for different places; influencing the extent to which workers can distance themselves from their workplaces. At the same time, we do see some evidence of spatial changes. The number of daily commuters is still well below pre-pandemic levels and migration patterns suggest increased attractiveness of outer urban municipalities, smaller cities, and rural areas within commuting distance of larger cities. From a planning perspective, a range of interesting questions emerges regarding the social, economic, and environmental sustainability of increased remote work. – Most workers do not have the possibility to work remotely and, even for those who do, the advantages and disadvantages will differ between groups. An increasing tendency to split one’s time between two or more municipalities calls into question existing frameworks around taxation and service provision, Randall continues. While remote work may reduce the need for travel, more knowledge is needed about the indirect impacts before assuming favourable environmental outcomes overall. The Nordic knowledge overview was the first part of the project and now you have a chance to get involved and be part of our study’s next part: How is increased remote work effecting your municipality or region? Let us know here (you can answer in English or any Nordic language): https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/planningandremotework This report is the first outcome of the project Remote work: Effects on Nordic people, places and planning 2021-2024. The project is part of the Nordic Co-operation Programme for Regional Development and Planning.
Social housing – a forbidden issue in Sweden?
”There is no generally accepted definition of what social housing is. However, the smallest common denominators are that it is some form of subsidized housing with lower rents that is, at least partially, allocated to households on lower incomes and not just temporarily, but on long term contracts”, says Senior Research Fellow Anna Granath Hansson in the Swedish speaking radio programme ”Ett eget litet hem” on Sveriges Radio. Anna has just started at Nordregio and her main focus is housing. Social housing exists in the Nordics countries, but the topic is often seen as taboo in the Swedish political discussion. ”In Sweden, we are not used to housing policies that target certain groups. This is something new and often misunderstood. In this program, social housing is compared to social contracts for the most vulnerable. When we look at Nordic and European models, these are often much wider, encompassing also mid-income households.” Listen to the full episode here in Swedish: https://sverigesradio.se/avsnitt/om-hyresratten-social-housing-den-forbjudna-fragan
Nordic City Network seminar for stronger cooperation and project planning
Nordregio hosted a Nordic City Network seminar. The hybrid workshop aimed to strengthen the cooperation between the network’s thirteen-member cities from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and the Faroe Islands. The event also sought to identify common themes of interest as a basis for joint activities and projects. Nordregio has had a cooperation agreement with the Nordic City Network for almost a year. This collaboration aims to promote exchange between research, policy development, and practice towards more sustainable cities. “As the main takeaway from the event, we identified common interests in themes such as counteracting segregation and better understanding the effects of different levels of planning as well as the importance of carrying out Nordic comparisons. Overall, there is plenty of potential for fruitful collaboration with the network while the exact form of how this could take place still needs to be concretised”, – says Mats Stjernberg, Senior Research Fellow at Nordregio who is also Nordregio’s representative in Nordic City Network’s board. During the workshop, representatives from Nordregio presented how the institution conducts research and works with different types of projects. The main presentations focused on long-term planning for inclusive cities, national claims in spatial planning, the implications of segregation in the light of covid-19, as well as on the ongoing NORDGREEN and TGA2 projects and different ways that we collaborate with various stakeholders. –> Read more about Nordic City Network here.
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…
Stronger institutions lead to higher Nordic trust
Strengthening institutions is crucial for mending Nordic trust and for building regional resilience in a post-pandemic world. This is the premise of a new academic article penned by Nordregio researchers. Alberto Giacometti, Mari Wøien Meijer and John Moodie, Nordregio researchers have worked together on a new academic article published in the Cross-Border Review Yearbook published by CESCI. The paper called “Trust: The social capital of border communities in the Nordic Region” looks into how the Covid 19 pandemic threatened the Nordic integration plans and the cooperation at large and how cross-border communities were heavily impacted. The researchers discuss the role of Nordic institutions and cross-border organizations in protecting the rights of citizens in border areas and introduce the concept of “adaptive institutionalization”. That could help establish a clear distribution of responsibilities across different levels of governance and thus help adapt cooperation to situations of potential future crisis. “We highlight the role of ‘trust’ as the ‘glue’ that keeps the Nordic collaboration in place, both among citizens and governance structures, which is pivotal for addressing future crises and global challenges,” says Alberto Giacometti, Nordregio Research Fellow. The 2021 edition of the yearbook is the eighth one and focuses on the riveting experience of life under the premises of a global and borderless pandemic. The “Cross-Border Review 2021” is intended primarily for the academic community, students of geography and political sciences and for all those who are curious about cross-border cooperation.
Towards local indicators for active and healthy ageing
The concept of active and healthy ageing refers to maintaining and developing opportunities for health, social participation and security to enhance well-being and quality of life as people age. Nordregio is currently carrying out two closely related projects dealing with Active and Healthy ageing. Nordic Welfare Centre commissions both initiatives, and Senior Research Fellow Mats Stjernberg will present preliminary findings from the study on indicators for Active and Healthy Ageing and welfare technology for seniors at the Nordic Welfare Forum 2021. The main focus in Nordregio´s study on Active and Healthy Ageing is on indicators that allow Nordic comparisons. The project examines what types of relevant indicators currently exist, how these indicators are used in policymaking and the main needs for improvement. “The concepts of active ageing and healthy ageing have become highly placed on the Nordic policy agenda, at the national, regional and municipal level, which means there is a need for relevant indicators on multiple territorial levels. However, one of the current challenges is that the currently existing indicators are not that well-suited for policymaking purposes at the local level. For instance, there is a need for more subjective indicators focusing on self-assessment to better grasp differences among the diverse senior population,” says Mats Stjernberg, who is managing these two projects at Nordregio. A key finding is that municipalities and regions lack a coherent body of statistical indicators to assess the status of active and healthy ageing within their respective boundaries. This is mainly because most of the indicators are produced by supranational institutions such as the World Health Organization, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or Eurostat. Thus, they are focused on the national level but can also in some cases be broken down to the regional or municipal level. Another key finding is that very few indicators exist in…
New Report: Nordic Cooperation amid pandemic travel restrictions
The Covid-19 pandemic has been a multi-level stress test for the Nordic Region. National pandemic measures have challenged the strong basis of open borders and free movement in Nordic cooperation. Nordregio Researchers Fellows, together with researchers from other institutions, have recently published a report ‘Nordic Cooperation amid pandemic travel restrictions’, drawing attention to the preparedness of the Nordic Region to jointly confront global crises at both national and local levels. The report explores strategies and travel restrictions adopted by four Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, and studies how the Nordic cooperation functioned in a crisis. At the local level, it examines the economic, labour market and social implications for three cross-border regions, Tornedalen (FI-SE border), Öresund (DK-SE border) and Svinesund (NO-SE border). While there is room for improvement in handling a crisis like the pandemic, the publication finds that there are diverging views on the desirability to have all-Nordic approaches to situations affecting national security. Measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus have taken a toll on society at large. However, the severe impacts observed in border areas have exposed the fragility of communities and businesses located along national borders to global crises. “Although it is, unsurprising, and perhaps even expected, that each country was to adopt their own national strategy to the pandemic, rather than a joint one; what is most striking, is the blindness towards the social cost of inward-looking policies,” says Mari Wøien Meijer, Research Fellow at Nordregio. Border restrictions undermine all aspects of life and business in border communities. The disruption of people’s lives in border areas has been challenging, frustrating, and a wake-up call to the realities of those choosing a borderless life. Several themes emerge from the cases in these four Nordic countries, including trust, the impact of the measures and border closures,…
NORDGREEN citizen science approaches at the Norwegian conference
Nordregio Junior Research Fellow Diana N. Huynh is participating in the “Citizen science in Norway” conference, presenting the NORDGREEN project. The presentation focuses on the Public Participation Geographic Information Systems (PPGIS) survey conducted in Stavanger, Norway, one of NORDGREEN’s city partners, and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU). The survey’s purpose is to gather information about people’s green space usage and ideas for the future that will shed light on how these spaces can support the health and well-being of local communities. “It is great to share the ongoing work in the NORDGREEN project knowing that it has relevance in several contexts,” says Diana Huynh. The event is hosted by the Research Council of Norway and is the first to explore opportunities to expand a national network on citizen science. In recent years, citizen science has gained traction in research as a scientific method for collecting data in large quantities and informing decision-making processes. “For instance, the EU has emphasized the role of citizen science in its new Horizon Europe framework, reflecting that this is also a way to enable citizens to use collected data to influence policies and local and regional planning processes,” adds Huynh. Find more about the event here. Explore the Nordgreen project website here.
Nordregio at the “Migrants and the Nordic Labour Market” conference
Nordregio Senior Research Fellow Nora Sánchez Gassen participates at the “Migrants and the Nordic Labour Market: In the Shadow of the Pandemic” conference, presenting the recently published report “Integrating immigrants into the Nordic labour markets. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic”. The report revealed that the Covid-19 pandemic has made social and economic inequalities even more pronounced across the Nordics. In all the countries, foreign-born people have experienced a higher unemployment increase than their native-born peers. “Immigrants with low educational attainments face the strongest challenges in finding employment in the Nordic labour markets. As we move out of the pandemic, our focus should be on supporting this group in obtaining new skills and competencies that are in demand on the labour markets,” says Nora Sánchez Gassen, Senior Research Fellow at Nordregio. The conference, organised by the Nordic Welfare Centre, aims to bring together researchers, policymakers, and practitioners in search of sustainable solutions and promote an exchange of experiences between the Nordic countries. Read more about the conference here. Read the report here.
MAMBA project at the Conference on Mobility in the District
Nordregio Researcher Linda Randall will participate at the Conference on Mobility in the District in Norway, presenting the MAMBA project and its results. The conference will focus on mobility in rural areas. The speakers will discuss how to best ensure mobility for the population in areas where regular bus routes are not sustainable and share good practices from various initiatives and projects. Linda Randall, Senior Research Advisor at Nordregio, will participate in this event with a presentation called “Mobility for All in rural areas”, based on the work of MAMBA project. The focus of this project was to highlight that with decreasing and aging populations in rural areas, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain public transport and other services that depend on mobility. This tendency negatively impacts the quality of life for people living outside urban centres. “Innlandet region in Norway is quite sparsely populated, and they are looking for ideas and inspiration for smart ways to approach the transport challenges they face. Hopefully, some of the MAMBA examples can be interesting for them,” says Linda Randall. MAMBA project aims to meet mobility challenges by promoting sustainable “people-to-service” and “service-to-people” solutions in rural areas. The project’s partners have worked together to improve the integration of existing mobility structures with innovative mobility solutions like citizen buses, mobility as a service and ride-sharing applications. The project aims to maximise the mobility and accessibility of services in rural regions while involving users in the process. Read more about the MAMBA project here.
New Report: COVID-19 increased the employment gap in the Nordic labour markets
A new study by Nordregio shows that the pandemic has increased social and economic inequalities in the Nordics. In all countries, foreign-born employees have lost their jobs to a larger extent than their native-born peers, especially individuals born outside of the EU, with lower levels of education. But some industries have been thriving during the pandemic and now employ more immigrants than before. The report “Integrating immigrants into the Nordic labour markets. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic” reveals a somewhat complex picture when comparing the Nordic countries, and discusses how to move forward. “Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, were already facing challenges in integrating immigrants into their labour markets, especially those with low education. The COVID-19 pandemic enhanced these challenges even further. Action is needed to ensure that those who lost their jobs during the pandemic do not end up in a situation of long-term unemployment,” says Nora Sánchez Gassen, Senior Research Fellow at Nordregio. The authors underline the need to quickly reinstate and accelerate on-site vocational training combined with language courses for recently arrived and other unemployed immigrants, to compensate for the less effective online courses offered during the pandemic. If immigrants can obtain skills and competencies that are required or in high demand on the labour market, their chances to find employment should increase. “We can see that many jobs were lost as a consequence of the pandemic, especially in the hospitality and retail industries. But we have also seen an increase in jobs in certain industries, like for instance utilities services. And it seems that the foreign-born population is a substantial part of that increase,” says Oskar Penje, Cartographer at Nordregio. In the report, researchers stress that the current crisis has also underscored the need for uniform social insurance systems. Statistics from Norway show that immigrants from new EU member countries in Central…
Citizen engagement in policy formulation – New article from Nordregio researchers
Policy impact assessments are not enough to increase citizen awareness and support for EU Regional Policy – argues a new article written by Nordregio researchers. The article “From impact assessments towards proactive citizen engagement in EU cohesion policy” examines the benefits and types of legitimacy citizen engagement can confer upon regional policymaking processes. “Only proactive citizen engagement in policy formulation can increase citizen awareness and support for EU regional policies. Proactive citizen engagement is not only essential for enhancing the quality and legitimacy of regional policies. It can also potentially contribute towards building and strengthening citizens’ EU identities,” says Dr John Moodie, Senior Research Fellow at Nordregio. The article provides EU policymakers with practical recommendations on how to increase citizen involvement within existing EU regional policymaking infrastructures. The recommendations are designed to enhance citizen engagement with the EU project during a period in which the threat posed to the EU by national populism and Euroscepticism continues to loom large. Read the article here.
Rediscovering the assets of rural areas
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the public attitude toward the rural areas has significantly changed. Peripheries became a refuge for maintaining health, wellbeing, strengthening community ties and local economies. This was clearly highlighted by experts from the Nordic and North Atlantic research organisations in the Nordic Talks discussion hosted by Nordregio. The word “peripherality” is often associated with negative meanings, e.g. under-developed, slow, backward and remote. However, as the study “COVID-19 Economic Impacts & Recovery in the Northern Periphery & Arctic” suggests, the pandemic has challenged the way many see rural and peripheral regions and revealed peripheral factors that have been advantages in the crisis. Well-being and resilient places during the crisis “We have seen for the first time in many years that population is coming back to rural areas for a lot of different reasons. Covid-19 has accelerated that because of the huge amount of extra flexibility in terms of work practices – where people might live and work, how they can combine commuting and working from home,” says Liam Glynn, a practicing GP (community doctor) in an Irish village of just over 250 people, and also Professor of General Practice, School of Medicine at Limerick University, Ireland, and lead partner for the CovidWatch-EU-NPA project. Some factors that define peripherality, such as close-knit communities, adaptation to the challenges of remoteness and pluralistic life and work patterns, have helped peripheral communities to respond more effectively to Covid-19. As Liam Glynn pointed out during the discussion, this response had more positive effects on the health and local economies of rural areas than of many urban centres. Peripherality has demonstrated its resilience factor for local economies. Rural communities have noticed, that many are seeking to move to rural or remote areas as good places to live in. “Our research across the Nordic periphery…
New Nordic study on regional policy and instruments for economic recovery
Nordregio researchers analysed regional policy and examined policy instruments to deal with economic shocks and crises across the Nordics. The study contributes knowledge and experience about the Nordic countries’ regional policies and efforts to deal with economic recovery in regions or municipalities. How do countries define regional policy? What responsibilities do actors in the multi-level system have at different levels? How do actors at different levels interact to handle economic shocks or crises? These and many other relevant questions are the focus and receive answers in this study. According to Nordregio Senior Research Fellow Anna Lundgren, what is considered as regional policy, rural policy, and regional development policy differs between the Nordic countries. Regional policy is also complemented with sector policies, such as labour market policy, infrastructure and tax policy, which affect regional development on a large scale. The implementation of regional policy takes place in multi-level governance frameworks adapted to the institutional structure in the individual countries. -The systems to deal with economic shocks or crises in the Nordic countries are place-based and include actors and measures from national, regional and local levels. Well-functioning multi-level governance cooperation and trust among actors are key factors in dealing with economic shocks or crises, says A. Lundgren. The study is based on document studies and semi-structured interviews with representatives from the regional political system at the national and regional levels and with experts in the field. Read the publication here (in Swedish).
Nordregio at the Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality Research
Nordregio Research Fellows Anna Karlsdóttir and Ágúst Bogason will participate in the 29th Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality Research. Called “Shaping mobile futures: Challenges and possibilities in precarious times’ this year’s conference focuses on finding ways out of the vicious circle of irresponsible production and consumption while also moving towards a more sustainable future for tourism. Finding tools and methods needed to manage this tourism in an ever-changing world is another main aim of the event. The Nordregio Research Fellows will facilitate and lead several sessions, Anna Karlsdóttir being in charge of the ‘The importance of slow food and what it means for gastro tourism and slow travels’ session. Ágúst Bogason will present Nordregio’s and CRT’s research on Sustainable Tourism Planning at a session named “Methods measuring sustainability effects of tourism development for benefit of local communities and rural areas”. “Few sectors have been impacted more by the ongoing pandemic than the tourism sector. International travel almost came to a full stop and the entire chain in the tourism sector has been affected. A few rural places have experienced their best seasons yet because of increased domestic travel during the pandemic, while the traditionally more visited destinations and regions have been hard hit. As the world is slowly opening up again, the question remains how tourism will develop in the coming years?” says Ágúst Bogason. According to the researcher, many people feel the longing to travel freely again, and all tourism-related businesses eagerly await the arrival of visitors. But going ‘back to normal’ is not an option from a climate perspective. There are, therefore, many challenges as well as opportunities for the tourism sector of tomorrow. And research on the subject must play a pivotal role for the tourism sector to develop more sustainably. During the conference, Nordregio’s partners at CRT (Centre for Regional…
Challenges turned into advantages: the story of remote communities during COVID-19
The Regional Studies Association highlights that the COVID-19 pandemic challenged the perception that remote rural and island regions are defined in terms of what they lack concerning urban centres. During the pandemic, rural areas were advanced in sustainability issues and effectively responded to challenges, rendering positive health and economic outcomes. Nordregio has contributed to this topic with research on the Covid-19 Economic Impacts in the Northern Periphery and Arctic region project. For this project, Nordregio Researchers Anna Karlsdóttir, Alex Cuadrado, Carlos Tapia, and Oskar Penje focused on the sectoral economic structures of Arctic regions in Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. They also provided evidence gathered from previous projects carried out by Nordregio, such as ReLocal, BRIDGES, ESCAPE, Regional Disparities and the Geography of Service within the Nordic Countries. The report, “Consideration on Regionally Varied Impacts of Covid-19 in NPA regions”, looks at the Covid-19 impact on rural areas, tourism, bio-economy, jobs, young people living in remote rural regions in the Arctic. “Regional policies have not got it right that peripheries are remote – in times of crises, they become secure harbours for wellbeing and community development. Therefore, it is important to redefine peripheries”, says Senior Research Fellow at Nordregio Dr Anna Karlsdóttir. Nordregio was involved in a project with partners from Scotland, Denmark, Ireland, Faroe Islands, Iceland and Canada. They were brought together and supported by the North Atlantic Periphery Programme (EU). Find more reports from the project here. The reports from the Covid-19 response call are available here.