SusSET 1st Major Conference 8th September in Strömstad, on the theme:Small town development and growth
Moderator: Lave Thorell, Senior Regional Development Officer
Welcome to Strömstad!!
è Mr Erland Lundqvist, Chairman Municipal Executive Committee, Strömstad Municipality
bid 90 fellow paticipants from 11 small, beautiful and still vigorous - european towns welcome to the Town and Municipality of Strömstad and the first major project assambly. We are all partners in this Interreg-project, to promote small town sustaianable development in Europe as well as nationally and regionally. Strömstad is.
The SusSET project: Aims and expected outcomes
è Dr. Nick Brown, Project Leader, Aberdeenshire Council
The maine objective of this IR-project is to raise the profile and agenda of small towns in Europe. Increased knowledge will be the product. Experimental/innovative actions to enhance and broaden the bench-learning process within and amongst the small partner-towns will be the line of action to accomplish this.
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Visions, strategies and actions for creative development in the Swedish SusSET-towns; Strömstad, Kungälv and Åmål.
è Mr Miguel Odhner, Chairman Municipal Executive Board, Kungälv Municipality
Kungälv has a vision that is the framework for all activities and works that are being done in the Municipality. The main target is to create conditions for "the good life".
The vision contains values such as balanced growth and small-scale etc, and on the basis of these various activities will be developed.
One important way to reach the goal is to use the dialogue as a method. This means for example dialogues with the citizens, with and between the politicians, administrators and the business world etc, on how to develop Kungälv.
è Håkan Jarnryd, Tourism and Marketing Manager, Åmål Municipality
è Jörgen Axelsson, Tourism Manager, Strömstad Municipality
Strömstad, a small, beautiful town at the Swedish West Coast close to the Norwegian border is centre in one of very few growing small regions in Sweden. The local economy is right now boosting due to favourable terms of trade. In 2004 boarder trade had a turnover of 4 billion SEK in Strömstad. Strömstad town is also centre in one of Sweden's most popular summer-holiday areas but with a season that lasts for only 6 weeks. Differences in terms of trade tend to level out over time and a competitive and sustainable tourism-industry has to have seasons all year round. There is a great challenge to the local community of how to foster future sustainable growth!!
Creativity and growth in Swedish small towns
è Professor Börje Johansson Jönköping International Business School, JIBS
Regions grow where people want to live!! In places where households want to live - the supply of labour will increase which will attract companies to locate in the region. Jobs moving to people have a stronger correlation than the opposite!! Small towns/municipalities have to pay great attention to their attractivity to people and business.
è Kent Johansson, Member of the Regional Executive Board, Region Västra Götaland
Region Västra Götaland, one of two regional governments in Sweden. ..
Vision Västra Götaland, the Regional Growth Programme and the Regional infrastructure Development Plan constitute the regional policy framework for sustainable development in Västra Götaland...
Swedish Municipalities and Regions are independent players on a common arena for growth, but have different roles to play; different spheres of responsibilities. That is why common visions about future - our common image of who we are and what we want to be - are groundings for co-acting as well as jointly developed strategies and programmes.
The municipal and regional right to levy income tax, which is a profound part of the local and regional selfgovernance-system, enables local and regional government to carry out those strategic measures and innovations which fall within the public mission of growth and development
'What is the best form of strategy for small expanding towns?'
A round -table-dialogue on Swedish experiences of this key-project-question:
è Miguel Odhner: Improved accessibility locally, regionally, globally - physically and mentally - is quite strategic for a small town in a large region. Close dialogs and partnership is strategic to how different issues are supported and realised.
è Kurt Svensson, Chairman Municipal Executive Board, Åmål Municipality: Most important for a small town in a small local labour region on the periphery between two large regions is to focus on investments and development of all kind of infrastructure for transport and communication and public transport-systems. We struggle to improve accessibility to our large neighbour-regions like Oslo, Gothenburg and Karlstad.
è Erland Lundqvist: It is 'people' that is the great resource for development. All people in Strömstad is responsible for what's happening
è Kent Johansson: Co-operation and competition
è Börje Johansson: Small towns as well as small regions ie small local markets should give high priority to all kinds of measures to increase accessibility to other 'large markets', large towns etc. Small towns should also analyse and continuously develop attractivity to people and companies.
Parallel sessions in the Key-Topic workgroups
Theme 1: Tourism and Town Identity; Sense of belonging, Lead town: Åmål
Theme 2: Developing Whole Town Strategy, Lead town: Pyrgos
Theme 3: Long Term Planning, Lead town: Stonehaven
Theme 4: Engagement/Dialogue/Youth, Lead town: Ellon
Theme 5: Planning/Conservation/Heritage. Lead town: Leba
Theme 6: Partnership and Town Management. Lead town: Strömstad
Theme 7: Marketing and Promotion. Lead town: Lebork
Conclusions and agreed next steps for the SusSET- project and the Key-Topic/ Theme-workgroups.
è Dr. Nick Brown, Project Leader
Cluster and clusternetworking was used by Kent&Börje ..
All seven thematic-groups have now had the first meeting. All groups have now taken the initial steps towards an activity-plan, which will be settled in Poland in November. Meanwhile all theme-groups will produce some notes from the discussions today and make a proposal for an activity-plan to be sent out at least a week before the conference in Poland
Closure and final words
è Erland Lundqvist
SusSET 1st Major Conference in Strömstad, 8th September2005