Exploratory project: The impact of sustainability on regional development - an empirical pilot study

The MiSt Programme

Regional development policy rests on three concepts: sustainable development, regional growth and social cohesion. These three concepts are essentially based in three different discourses on development. The ambition to achieve these three objectives at the same time means that the policy makers have to successfully manage conflicts between them. The present Swedish regional growth agreements (RTA) and the new generation of regional growth programmes (RTP) are shaped and implemented by regional partnerships. The composition of these is of importance e.g. in deciding the balance between the regional development paradigms and the possibility of forming effective sustainability discourse coalitions.  Sustainability at the programme level needs to be implemented at the project level especially in allocation of structural fund and other forms of support. The pilot study aims at surveying a sample of programmes of the RTA and work on the RTP and examine how environment has been integrated and sustainability expressed. The impact of the programme level on allocation of resources to projects and the methods of assessment will be studied. This will led to proposals for further  empirical study of sustainability and the development of methods for assessment and consistency between programme level and implementation and for interactive work in some region(s) concerning sustainability assessment.

Project leader: Professor Jan-Evert Nilsson, ResearchCenterfor Urban Management and Regional Development. BTH. Other researchers involved: Professor Lars Emmelin

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