Parallel sessions

A) Urban-rural interactions

Objectives

Urban-rural interactions are directly linked to the people´s everyday life. In the contemporary world our perception of urbanity and rurality has become increasingly blurred. Structural change, continuous urban sprawl and the diversification of life styles are some of the reasons why interactions between urban and rural areas are more and more intertwined. This challenges inevitably territorial policies and spatial planning. We can observe formation of new partnerships across formerly established political and administrative boundaries in order to make cities and regions more sustainable and to increase in particular the quality of life of their inhabitants.

Methodology

This session will take a closer look at current urban-rural interactions at the city-regional level. The focus is on discussing the changing role of different actors working across administrative borders as well as the formation of new modes of governance to respond to the increasing complexity in spatial planning and territorial development within larger city-regions.

Contributors

Moderator: Dr. Lukas Smas, Senior Research Fellow, Nordregio, Sweden
Presenter: Dr. Kjell Nilsson, Deputy Director, University of Copenhagen/ PLUREL project
Presenter: Dr. Rolf Oldejans, Project Manager Municipality of Enschede, Netherlands/ SURF-project
Presenter: Andreas Obersteg, Research Associate, HafenCity University &
Dr. Rolf-Barnim Foth, Head of Metropolitan Affairs, Marketing and Tourism, Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg/ NEW BRIDGES project
Rapporteur: Lauri Hooli, Project Coordinator, Union of the Baltic Cities Commission on Environment

B) Managing quality of life

Objectives

Improving quality of life is one of the main objectives and concerns of individuals, policy-makers and stakeholders. It is a broad concept relating to general levels of wellbeing and happiness in society. It does not solely refer to material resources, but also focuses on enabling people to achieve their goals and satisfy their needs and desires. Thus the concept interconnects many different dimensions of life such as social, physical and cultural aspects. Providing high quality of life is a key element for the long-term success of cities. This session discusses the factors influencing quality of life and explores ways to integrate it into spatial planning and management. It will also take a look at what assets and challenges does urban development face when applying the concept at city-region level?

Methodology

This session will start with presentations providing deeper understanding of the concept of quality of life. Conceptual frameworks are illustrated through concrete experiences on how the concept has been adapted to regional planning across BSR. In the open discus-sion that follows, participants, together with speakers, ponder different aspects of the framework and vision on how to apply the quality of life concept in practice. Concluding remarks by the facilitator close the session.

Contributors

Moderator: Marie Cugny-Seguin, Project Coordinator, European Environment Agency, Denmark
Presenter: Dr. Petri Kahila, Senior Research Fellow, Nordregio
Presenter: Mikko Laaksonen, Project Planner, Regional Council of South-West Finland/ NEW BRIDGES project
Presenter: Jüri Uljas, Researcher, Tallinn University and Estonian Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences
Rapporteur : Maija Rusanen, Communication Coordinator, Union of the Baltic Cities Commission on Environment

C) Stakeholder involvement

Objectives

Involving local stakeholders, politicians and residents has become an important, and in many countries, statutory part of modern planning processes. It is crucial for ensuring lo-cal support and to increase residents’ possibilities to influence upcoming plans that affect the quality of their living environments. However, the process of involving stakeholders is challenging and complex as much depends on the specific local context. Many times, planners trying to initiate such processes are left with more questions than actual answers: Who should be involved and how can they be identified? How should stakeholder opinions be taken into account in the upcoming plans? What are the most applicable involvement methods to be used in this process?

Methodology

This session will discuss the different purposes and ways to arrange participation processes providing some practical case examples of involving stakeholders while introducing the latest methodology, such as the charrette method, in the field.

Contributors

Moderator: Dr. Lisa Hörnström, Senior Research Fellow, Nordregio, Sweden
Presenter: Prof. Göran Cars, Professor, Royale institute of Technology, Stockholm
Presenter: Dr. Rasa Melnikiene, Director, Lithuanian Institute of Agrarian Economics
Presenter: Eva Norman, Administrator, Örebro City planning &
Christin Gimberger, Planning engineer, Örebro Municipality City Planning, Sweden
Rapporteur: Stefanie Lange, Research Fellow, Nordregio