Skip to main content
main-content

Über dieses Buch

This book is written primarily for a Scandinavian and European audience interested in regional policy and planning. Attention is placed on the transformation process in the Swedish economy and its implications for regional balances of socio-economic conditions and changes in spatial structures. Conditions in the United States, especially North Carolina, are used as a reference. The book is based on work originating within the framework of an international forum for exchange of ideas and co-operation between researchers, planners and practitioners, The Consortium for the Study of Perceived Planning Issues in Marginal Areas -PIMA. The group was established in 1989 and is interested in various aspects of marginal areas defined either in locational or developmental terms. Members of the core group represent universities in the United States, Sweden and Ireland. During recent years a subgroup within PIMA has focused attention on studies of areas located between urban centres and rural peripheries. These areas have been labelled Intermediate Socio-econornic Regions - ISER. Joint work between Sweden and North Carolina of a comparative nature has been conducted by the authors of this book and Professor Ole Gade and some of his students at Appalachian State University, North Carolina. This work has been published in proceedings from PIMA meetings (Planning Issues in Marginal Areas, Boone: Ole Gade, Vincent P. Miller Jr. and Lawrence M. Sommers, eds. 1991; Planning and Development of Marginal Areas, Galway: Micheal O'Cinneide and Seamus Grimes, eds.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

1. Dissolution of the Socio-Economic Conformity

Abstract
In Scandinavian countries, processes of economic integration, political super-nationalism and the globalization of investment, are shaking the traditional foundations of strongly centralised national governments and guided regional and urban-rural development. Scandinavians are finding that the increasing costs of maintaining regional equities in quality of life conditions are threatening their ability to compete effectively in unrestricted world markets. Their response is an increasing tendency towards accepting the standards of private enterprise, free market competition and relatively unfettered capitalistic development. This, they realise, must come in part through a reduction in welfare and regional transfer payments, and with a concomitant decentralisation of governmental authority. What this brings with it is an increasing privatisation of their economies accompanied by an emergence of individual and corporate dominance in the localisation of economic activity. The result is a potential for a new economic structure that, unencumbered by regional development directives, may have unpredictable land use implications.
Lars Olof Persson, Ulf Wiberg

2. Processes Reshaping the Spatial Structure

Abstract
The purpose of this chapter is to explain and synthesize the on-going processes that work towards a restructuring of the prevailing spatial structure. The basic thesis is that the result of the interplay between these processes leads to the emergence of intermediate regions, with specific characteristics distinct from both the central and the more peripheral regions. Most future-oriented regional studies seem to focus on either core or peripheral regions. Therefore, it is a challenging task for us to argue that in many developed countries, regions between highly urbanized regions at the one hand side and peripheral regions at the other, are facing a new situation in the 1990s. This is due to a number of factors; general economic development, localisation shifts of private enterprise, new household preferences, new technology and the impact of public policy. These factors induce changes in the function of such regions, partly as a consequence of new actors making demands on the territory. Functions are described in terms of goods and services production, residential and recreational assets.
Lars Olof Persson, Ulf Wiberg

3. Patterns of Sectoral and Spatial Change

Abstract
Current economic processes include the globalization of trade and production networks. This is a trend just as important in North America as in Europe. Economic actors in large as well as in many small corporate firms operate in geographically widespread markets, looking for optimal locations according to production costs and marketing. This, however, does not necessarily mean a concentration of their activities. Just as likely is a pattern of deconcentration. Information on conditions in different sites is readily accessible through both formal and informal channels. The process of relocation of economic activities is facilitated by the rapid structural transformation from goods-handling to service branches. The importance of resource-based production is replaced by production of goods and services with a substantial knowledge content (Figure 3.1 and 3.2).
Lars Olof Persson, Ulf Wiberg

4. Spatial Dimensions of the Emerging Knowledge Society in Sweden

Abstract
Over the last few decades an educated labour force (with qualifications at the post-secondary level) has become of considerable and increasing importance for the development of economic life and more diversified social structures in all advanced economies of the world. The share of more highly educated people in a local labour market not only indicates the qualitative level of existing economic activities, it is also indicative of general preconditions for the establishment or relocation of institutions and enterprises demanding well educated people.
Lars Olof Persson, Ulf Wiberg

5. Regions and Contexts

Abstract
Current changes in Sweden seem to converge into a situation reminiscent of the US; less public intervention in planning, liberalisation of markets and increasing individual mobility. Thus we will present a comparative analysis of the two countries, starting from the following general observations.
Lars Olof Persson, Ulf Wiberg

6. Policy and Planning Perspectives

Abstract
The characteristics of the Swedish socio-economic continuum is, to a considerable extent, influenced by planning and policy-making. In this chapter we describe long-term and current changes in macro-economic, political and planning conditions. As a result of the emergence of more individual rather than collectivistic values, private rather than public initiatives and increasing periodic mobility for many individuals, a social change is taking place in many regions, rural as well as urban and central as well as peripheral. The important administrative and planning region of the municipality as well as the functional region of the local labour market change their signification. The functions of different regions are becoming more mixed at the same time as each region is trying to develop a profile in order to meet increasing international competition.
Lars Olof Persson, Ulf Wiberg

7. Sweden Facing a New Micro- and Macroregional Fragmentation

Abstract
Paradoxically, contemporary Sweden is characterized by both uniformity and fragmentation. Historically, the territory which is now mentioned as Sweden, consisted of relatively independent regions, the ‘landscapes’. In early medieval times, i e until the 15th century, each of the 24 ‘landscapes’ had its own legislation. Today and for several hundred years, the ‘landscape’ has no administrative meaning although the concept is still alive and widely used in common language as a symbol of the macroregional identity. As an ‘image’ or trade mark, the concept is also sometimes used in regional marketing, e g within the tourist industry. Each of these regions had a more or less distinctive culture. Economic integration was sometimes restricted by trade barriers, but generally practised both among regions and with foreign countries.
Lars Olof Persson, Ulf Wiberg

Backmatter

Weitere Informationen