Discussion paper: Nordic overview of national support initiatives in urban planning

The Nordic countries share many cross-sectoral targets at the national level to meet ambitious environmental, social, sustainable, and innovative development goals and standards. These require actions to be taken in city-regions and urban areas. Nevertheless, central governments in the Nordic countries oftentimes have limited power to influence local-level priorities when it comes to spatial planning – regulating land-use and adopting a range of policy areas that have an impact on sustainable urban development.

This discussion paper considers the ways in which the Nordic planning systems have evolved to incorporate measures for green and sustainable urban development over time. It provides an overview of relevant national planning support initiatives that have been selected based on information from members of the Nordic Thematic Group for Green and Inclusive Urban Development (2021-2024) and further research.

The publication also reflects on the research questions:

  • how are the issues, objectives and goals related to sustainable urban development emphasised in national support initiatives in the Nordic countries?
  • how are the national support initiatives complementing and colliding with municipal and regional spatial planning?
  • what are the key comparative aspects across the national support initiatives from which all the Nordic countries can learn and draw inspiration?

Read and download the discussion paper here.