Posts Tagged: regional development

Challenges for urban and regional development – Riga and Latvia’s National Development Plan

Riga's historic centre is a World Heritage site

My previous visits to Riga were in the winter. Fading light on gloomy afternoons, sleet and snow chilling the soul, forcing me to seek the refuge of a warm bar or café. Now I am here in vibrant springtime, with a crescent moon in a crimson night sky after a day of warm sun. Suddenly, light green leaves have burst the grip of the long, bare winter. There is a promise of better days ahead: this great European city looks to the future with new confidence. Read more on Challenges for urban and regional development – Riga and Latvia’s National Development Plan…

European practices in making regional strategies

Successful regional development can no longer be achieved through top-down public sector action. The skills and resources of the private and voluntary sectors are needed. This also means that planning for regional development must be done in a more inclusive way, less hierarchical and with co-operative networks and partnerships. However, action at regional scale needs also to be aligned to policy at national and transnational scales but also at local scale. These are messages from a new study that looks at regional development practice in four areas – the Randstad in The Netherlands, England’s West Midlands, Zealand in Denmark and Västerbotten in Sweden. Read more on European practices in making regional strategies…

Investing in regions: Norway’s rural and regional policy

Although Oslo is the largest urban centre in Norway, regional policy supports businesses and communities in less favoured regions

“One of Norwegian society’s strengths lies in the fact that we have economic development spread all over the country. This enables us to get the most out of our natural, cultural and human resources, and is how we have laid the foundation of our prosperity and welfare.” This statement opens an official commentary on Rural and Regional Policy published by the Norwegian Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development.  In contrast, as I write this blog, the UK government is announcing a kind of regional policy in reverse: it will take money out of weaker regional economies by holding down the pay of public sector employees working in such regions. So is the left of centre Norwegian government’s regional policy a dinosaur? Read more on Investing in regions: Norway’s rural and regional policy…

Is polycentric development still a recipe for territorial cohesion?

The idea of polycentric development has been a cornerstone of European spatial planning for over a decade. But what does it mean? What does it imply for practice? How can we measure it? Is it now past its “sell-by date”? Read more on Is polycentric development still a recipe for territorial cohesion?…

ESPON and The EU’s Territorial Agenda

Budapest

What can local and regional authorities do to speed economic recovery? What kind of actions are needed to make the pattern of development more sustainable? How can we make places more inclusive?  The Territorial Agenda of the European Union 2020 (TA), agreed by the Ministers responsible for spatial planning last month, aspires to point the path “Towards an Inclusive, Smart and Sustainable Europe of Diverse Regions”.  Now I am at the ESPON meeting in the Royal Palace at Godollo, Hungary that seeks to explore what knowledge is needed to take the TA forward and to inform the EU’s Cohesion Policy after 2013. Read more on ESPON and The EU’s Territorial Agenda…

Cross-border development:learning from Newry-Dundalk twin city

Across the world, administrative boundaries, and particularly international borders, are blocks to economic development,  management of energy and conservation of natural resources. Rivers flow across frontiers, where flood prevention measures differ. National energy policies and grids constrain efficiency. Small towns split by a border struggle against larger economic hubs.  The culture of officialdom looks inwards. However, across Europe border barriers are being tackled through spatial planning and economic development. Local blinkers are being replaced by new forms of co-operation and policy-making. Read more on Cross-border development:learning from Newry-Dundalk twin city…