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Sustainability and Sustainable Regions

Nordic-Baltic ESPON/ENECON Workshop about "Sustainability and Sustainable Regions – Multi-faceted Concepts" at Nordregio 15-16 November 2012.

The ESPON project ENECON addresses challenges and opportunities facing territorial development and spatial planning policies and practices, particular to the vast territory of the northern part of Europe. The overall aim of ENECON is to contribute to make clear the significance of the European perspective on territorial development and cohesion in a macro-regional context and perspective.

Sustainability and sustainable growth are concepts that are frequently used at the European research scene of today. In the Territorial Agenda 2020 and Europe 2020 sustainable growth is highlighted together with smart and inclusive growth as desirable development paths. Sustainability and sustainable regions might, however, be interpreted in a lot of ways with many different ingredients. In "sustainability" and "sustainable regions" more dimensions might be included that not automatically is associated with economic growth. Even peripheral and/or shrinking regions might be sustainable if different preconditions are fulfilled.

The aim of this workshop is to interpret, analyze and critically discuss the dimensions of the concepts "sustainability" and "sustainable regions" and the implications for further regional and territorial research. Relevant themes will be introduced from complementary points of view by well-known researchers who are specialists in topics as sustainable urban and rural regions, regional growth vs regional development, regional spatial changes and regional planning shifts, sustainability and regional innovation systems, and sustainability and peripherility. Each introduction will be followed by interesting, critical and creative discussions among the participants in the workshop.

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