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Regional Strategies for Green Growth and Innovation

The overall aim of the project is to provide policy makers with a useful reference on regional challenges and opportunities related to green growth and innovation.

The project had three deliverables. The first working paper illustrates the relatively new and explorative nature of the green growth concept. It includes a literature review on green growth and related concepts, with particular focus on conceptualizing green growth and innovation, focusing on the implications of the geographic, demographic and economic characteristics of regions within Nordic countries for their green growth performance and potential, e.g. urban versus rural experiences. It also presents a quantitative study using available data, intended to identify different regions' potential for and barriers against green growth and to produce visual representations in the form of maps. The paper's second part illustrates in particular that identifying and developing a quantitative approach to mapping green growth performance and potential at the regional level faces many challenges, and it remains a work in progress.

In order to provide a comprehensive overview of the opportunities and challenges of developing regional policy frameworks for green growth and innovation, and to elaborate on concrete initiatives supporting green growth and innovation, two case studies were conducted. These illustrate the utilization of green growth potential in an urban environment and a sparsely populated rural region, and describe the characteristics of economic sectors relevant to green growth and innovation. These qualitative, in-depth case studies resulted in a second working paper.

Finally, the report Integrating Green Growth in Regional Development Strategies synthesizes the main findings of the project as presented in the two working papers, and includes policy implications for post-2013 regional development strategies.