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Urban-Rural Services in the North Sea Region. @ NPP Urban-Rural Partnerships 18-19 August 2010 – Copenhagen, DK Carsten Westerholt. Transnational Cooperation Programmes 2007 - 2013. The NSR Programme Area. Population Approximately 60 million 13 % of EU 25.

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Urban-Rural Services in the North Sea Region

@ NPP Urban-Rural Partnerships

18-19 August 2010 – Copenhagen, DK

Carsten Westerholt


The NSR Programme Area


  • Approximately 60 million
  • 13 % of EU 25
  • Geographical diversityFinnmark (N): 1.5 inh./km² Hamburg (G): 2.293 inh./km²
  • GDP/Capita 75-150 % EU 15 average (2002: 28.516 €)
  • Unemployment

below EU average

  • SMEs

99,6% of enterprise is SME

Land Area

  • 664.000 km²
  • 14 % of EU 25
46 projects approved following 5th call 7 full applications 8 extensions
46 Projects Approved following5th Call 7full applications,8 extensions

Priority 1: 12

Priority 2: 15

Priority 3: 11

3.1 To promote regional accessibility strategies

CARE-North, Cruise Gateway, iTransfer, Green Airports

3.2 To promote the development of multi-modal and transnational transport corridors

StratMoS (+ 2ext.), LO-PINOD, Food Port

3.3 To promote the development of efficient and effective logistics solutions

NS Frits, Dryport, Dryport ext., CNSS, E-Harbours

Priority 4: 8

4.1 Tackling the needs of areas in decline


4.2 Promoting sustainable growth solutions for expanding areas

MP4, CA! (+ext.), SURF, Waterways for Growth, WfG ext.

4.3 Promoting energy efficiency in settlements

ANSWER, Build with Care

1.1 Building the innovation capacity of business


1.2 Building the transnational dimension of clusters and research and innovation networks

e-CLIC, IFP, NSSP, Power Cluster, Smart Cities, POYO (+ext.) ClimaFruit,

1.3 Building society’s and the institutional capacity for innovation

Skint, CCC, North Sea Supply, North Sea Supply ext.

1.4 Promoting the adoption and use of ICT applications


2.1 Sustainable development of the coastal land and sea areas through integrated coastal zone management


2.2 Developing preventive and responsive measures to address acute and chronic marine pollution

Ballast Water, Ballast Water ext.

2.3 Adapting to and reducing risks posed to society and nature by a changing climate

Aquarius, CLIWAT, CPA, DiPol, Mare, SAWA, BioCHAR

2.4 Promoting environmentally responsible energy production practices

enerCOAST, North Sea SEP, C2CI, C2CI ext.

nsr communities
NSR Communities

High dependency on towns with less than 20.000 inhabitants but strong and diverse metroplitan areas and urban sprawl with high GDP/Capita levels.

areas in decline
Areas in Decline


  • Economic and population decline
  • Out-migration of young people
  • Effects of demographic change

Trends are not inevitable:

  • Settlements can be viable and vibrant centres
  • Offering sustainable living conditions and good quality of life
areas in decline1
Areas in Decline

Opportunities for transnational cooperation:

  • New approaches to economic development
  • Solutions based on new technologies
  • New ways of delivering services and amenities
  • Improve and maintain access to and extend high-quality services
  • New concepts for sustainable tourism
expanding areas
Expanding Areas


  • Preservation of cultural heritage
  • Attract global talent
  • Immigration – integration of migrant populations
  • Urban expansion – increasing demand for land
expanding areas1
Expanding Areas

Opportunities for transnational cooperation:

  • Transport solutions to tackle urban sprawl and congestion
  • Strengthen functions of urban and metropolitan networks
  • Integration of migrant populations
  • Strategies for changing land-use and transport patterns
  • Sustainable practices to preserve cultural heritage
north sea rural development project
North Sea Rural Development Project

Through cross-sectoral cooperation NS Rural ensured a vital interaction on urban-rural and inter-rural levels. New services were established to support the everyday life of inhabitants in peripheral areas. As an example the “Smart Home” concept provides technical solutions such as fall detectors or flood sensors with centres responding if the alarm sets in to enable old people suffering from memory loss or physical incapacity to stay in their own home longer than it would otherwise have been possible.Pilot activitiesThrough 15 pilot projects, NS Rural brought together experts and practicioners working with rural development. The pilots were focusing on e.g. improved public and private transport through new means of using ICT-systems, ensuring retention of key-skilled persons in the rural areas by providing better work-conditions or improving cross-sectoral planning between different units dealing with economic development. While the pilots started in single municipalities, as a second step implementation within the project was envisioned throughout the surrounding counties. All the pilots were bound to relate actively and were closely monitored.

business and environment linked through small scale tourism
Business and Environment linked through Small-Scale Tourism

Combining the assets of environment and heritage the BESST project has developed opportunities for small-scale tourism economic activities in rural peripheral areas.

One of the main achievements was that BESST increased local ‘pride in the places’. A new awareness of, and pride in their environmental qualities and heritage, and a growing recognition of and pride in their neighbours, colleagues and businesses was established.This raised the awareness to live in ‘a place with a future as well as a place with a past’ and that the locals were able to create a better future for themselves and their communities. During the implementation a powerful sense of shared values was built up by the public administrations and private businesses. It was based on mutual respect and driven by the principle of caring for, and using, the environment.In many cases the project has exceeded expectations and achieved or inspired unforeseen lasting benefits. A survey on the impacts of the project revealed positive effects on businesses: The marketing, promotion and networking opportunities created by BESST were significant. Furthermore, businesses were encouraged to use ICT more effectively and new collaborations created new business and social links and greater community cohesion.

local goverment in need for e government instruments to realise their economic policies
Local Goverment in need for e-government Instruments to realise their economic policies

Innovative solutionsThe LoG-IN project offered several unique results both in the domain of models, methodologies and e-service pilots. The transnational co-operation led to the transfer and implementation of good practices; and to 20 national and international seminars on e-services. The key project result is demonstrated by a transnational initiative, the Generic Information Infrastructure (GII). The LoG-IN GII, now communicated as, proved the feasibility of a model where 35 local governments from 3 different countries successfully can build and share one common ICT system and use it to build geodata driven online services. The transnational dimension of the GII and its size also resulted in the fact that local authorities now could work with international consortia and major ICT companies which normally do not work for local authorities. For the Generic Information Infrastructure the project received a Special Achievement in GIS Award 2007 (San Diego USA).Pilot projectsAs one example the Avelgem RFID self-service library, which led to a fundamental rethinking of the municipal front-office, set a new standard of service-delivery of local libraries in Flanders. The Province of West-Flanders set up a subsidy programme in 2007 to support the 64 local authorities that want to copy the LoG-IN solution. The pilot received the Belgium National eGovernment Award for Citizen Services 2006 and the Belgian eChampion Award 2006.Extra leverage of investmentsThe project triggered substantial investments in all regions amongst others in broadband infrastructure such as the fibre optic network in Rotenburg (DE) where an initial infrastructure investment combined with a new generation of e-services led to a political decision to make a region-wide infrastructure investment.

broadband access for innovation and regional development
Broadband Access for Innovation and Regional Development

The main aim of the BIRD project was to exchange experience and expertise on broadband implementation to enhance regional (rural) broadband access and usage.

Spatial development

Based on the regional findings and evaluations as well as the meetings of the think tank, BIRD has worked out several recommendations for Broadband development and use on North Sea Region, regional and local level, recommendations for broadband as a tool for regional development and has given recommendations for the new spatial agenda of the Programme. Implementing those recommendations and analyses is a process which was started with BIRD and which is still ongoing on regional as well as international level. As a final result seven regional broadband development concepts have been carried out during the project.

Pilot projects

Additionally 25 best practices and eight case studies were worked out by the partners on the basis of a common methodology. For instance the best practise in Värmland, Sweden has succeeded in increasing knowledge of e-commerce and stimulating as well as promoting e-commerce development in the region. The region invested in a portal ‘Meetingpoint Wermland’, in short, this is a digital toolbox filled with services for sending and receiving electronic invoices, where companies and municipalities can operate e-commerce.Another example was the initiative E-courses for Teacher Training in Groningen, The Netherlands. This best practise was about learning & teaching by use of broadband technology and provide recommendations for instance about how to increase IT-skills of teachers and students.

interreg ivb services
Interreg IVB - Services

Smart Cities aims to create an innovation network between governments and academia in six countries to promote excellence in the domain of e-services (development and take-up) in order to set a new standard for e-service delivery in the whole NSR. The transnational working method (pooling expertise, joint model development) is proposed to equip decision-makers to achieve further innovation in the delivery of e-enabled public services.

Demographic Change: New Opportunities in Shrinking Europe - DC NOISETransnational housing atlas, new housing concepts for elderly,

ICT solutions for service provision for handling and analysing data in relation to monitoring the consequences of demographic change,

A transnational scenario-logbook.

Making Places Profitable - Public and Private open spaces – MP4

Defining, testing and implementing ‘open space’ improvements offers for positive socio-economic benefits embracing private enterprises, communities and government,

Deliver an EU Agenda for place-keeping,

Influence cohesion policies to mainstream place-keeping best practice,

Assess existing place-keeping experiences,

Produce and implement model agreements,

8 urban regeneration projects, covering areas such as construction, green infra-structures, master planning.

Thank you very much!

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