Total schwartz … Trapped betweenconcentration and cohesion Overcoming the dichotomous nature ofstrategic spatial development within the BSRTomas Hanell WARSAW REGIONAL FORUM 2011. Functional regions – towards a new paradigm of territorial and cohesion policyKeynote speech at Second Plenary Session, Warsaw 21.10 2011
Speech outlinePart A:Part B:Part C: the success storya backside of the cointentative coping strategies
Part A: the success storyEconomic performance and integration of the Baltic Sea Region
Part B: a backside of the coinRegional stratificationin the Baltic Sea region
The BSR and the European urban system • The BSR constitutes a part of the European urban system but … • … situated largely outside the “Pentagon” • The BSR characterised by its three principal dichotomies: • North-south • East-West • Urban-rural (or core-periphery)
The Baltic Sea Region– summary of recent regional trends • Structural change of the economy – highly territorialised • Concentration of production • Concentration of knowledge and R&D • Concentration of investments • Concentration of employment • Concentration of population • Concentration of access • Low “spatial resilience” to the current economic crisis
Part C: tentative coping strategiesPotential regional development alternatives for particular types of regions in the BSR
Specific types of BSR regions 1(4) Metropolitan areas • Acting as: main nodes of transport, centres of economic and political decision-making, gateways of FDI, main milieux for R&D, engines of social change, etc. • Creating bottlenecks, lack of labour, high inflation, urban sprawl, etc. • Key challenges: how to gain or remain competitive on the European arena? How to maintain or increase social equity? How to increase contribution of secondary cities?
Productivity of secondary cities in 2007 Source: ESPON SGPTD
Specific types of BSR regions 2(4) Medium-sized towns • Hampered by: mono-industrial economic structures, vulnerable to external shocks, and slow grinding forces of globalisation • Key challenge: diversification of the economy and/or a gradual increase of the knowledge component in their manufacturing industries. Would result in increasing interconnection with the global economy, which poses additional risks.
Specific types of BSR regions 3(4) Core rural areas • Handicapped by lack of opportunities for economic development outside primary production sphere, low levels of education, substandard infrastructure • Possible trajectories: • relative position will continue to decline further; or • some form of urbanisation will occur, either: • in situ urbanisation (e.g. via increased accessibility to urban labour markets); or • endogenous structural change of the local economy
Specific types of BSR regions 4(4) Sparsely populated areas • Hampered by: lack of possibilities for agglomeration economies, few and scattered centres of knowledge hindering networking and cooperation, overdependence on the public sector (particularly in the Nordic area), rapid out-migration, etc. • Growth strategies or strategic choices?
Observations in summary • A precarious balance between “competitiveness” and “cohesion”. • Regional polarisation may hinder long-term development, imminent risk of backfire. • One size does not fit all. • Specific strategies needed for specific regions. • Current focus on administrative units needs to be re-thought → functional areas. • And finally, …