How to develop innovative and attractive regions
through joint regional strategic planning?
Institutt for geografi, Universitetet i Bergen
Pärnu 2. March 2010
Definitions and implications
• Strategic planning: Long term (12 years perspective but
with reassessment each 4th year) action plan for regional
development, inspired by planning as done in private firms.
• Joint planning: Planning cooperation between the
municipalities in the region, also including participation of
different stakeholders (local industries and groups of
• AIM: to create innovative and attractive regions implies:
Long term sustainable development.
– Successful balancing of economic, social and environmental goals
– Development that meets the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own
I think most can agree to these general aims, but what can it mean in
Sustainable development may seem to lead to
conflicts in planning between economic, social and
environmental interests. BUT, is this true?
An urban area which manage to combine
economic, social and environmental sustainability
is attractive for inhabitants, industries and visitors
• This means:
– An urban conurbation well connected and linked: settlement supplied
by a network of collective transport.
– Housing neighbourhoods with close access to a variety of service
– Housing areas with a good mix of different forms of housing ( In urban
and village cores a mix of different forms of housing like single family,
apartment blocks, private ownership and apartments for hire. Aim to
avoid ghettos for poor and ’gated communities’ for rich in order to
maintain a long term social security)
– Neighbourhood schools and kindergardens, avoid private schools and
social segregation at schools.
– A REAL urban core in the conurbation in contrast to shopping centras
at the ringroads. Attraction of the historic centre.
– Close access to public recreation areas, beaches, forest,
playgrounds, bicycle and pedestrian paths.
– Effective transport facilities (harbour, railroad) and linked industrial
Localisation of different functions in the conurbation
is important (H=housing,
W=industries, S=service suppliers, shops
The Norwegian NAMIT project (Horten) 2 possible
development plans; both based on 50% population growth
Discussion of different settlement scenarios (LINDÅS)
• Scenario 1: Freedom to settle
anywhere with road connection
• Scenario 2: Centralised and
focused on main transport
• Scenario 3: Decentralised
Sustainable urban development or
• Sustainable urban • Urban sprawl is unplanned,
development must not uncontrolled and
impose negative effects on uncoordinated development
urban, natural and social with single-purpose land
environment while being use, where the use of land is
implemented in the most functionally not related to
efficient way, i.e. consuming the surrounding land use,
the least possible volume of and which is expressed in
resources low density, strip-shaped,
scattered or isolated
distribution of settlement
Edgar Kant (1902-78) at Tartu University, later Lund. Sweden
analysed the Estonian settlement structure and became a key
person in development of regional /urban planning ideas!!
Here one of his maps from 1950 of pre WW2 Estonia
The Estonian questions today:
• Post-communist countries: Rapid privatisation
– including restitution – without due
consideration of social and organisational
• Suburban development of private housing
without public control and planning?
Problems with ’URBAN SPRAWL’?
• Legacies of the past: Housing estates of poor
quality built 1960s-80s and older housing in
bad conditions. Will they gradually be slums?
Pärnu area has some clear transport axises, towards
Tahkuranna(Riga), to Sindi (Paide), to Tallinn og to
• In much larger format this is
the case in towns like
Helsinki, Oslo and Bergen.
• This SHOULD/ COULD be
used as the backbones of a
regional plan as shown by
the Copenhagen ’Fingerplan’
• This also provides the
frames for a hierarchy of
service centres in the nodes
of the spider web. The old
urban core as the prime
center with the special
services for the whole urban
Or: accept a postmodern urban development
as in Chicago?
Source: Jauhiaien 2003
What about Pärnu Region?
• AUDRU: Papsaare is nice,
but is LOCATION good?
• Meeremetsa inhabitants
seem to have got some
social organisation, but
what about ’protected’
• Why was not new housing
added to Audru village or
next to Pärnu.
• Is the Audru Master Plan
SAUGA: much growth, but well planned?
• Typical different development in
east and west
• Very poor agriculture in most of
area since resitution
• Ok apartment houses by Tallinn
Road, but poor crossing to
shopping across the road.
• Typical ’urban sprawl’ in east
• ’Colony gardens’ made
permanent living places.
• Do Sauga have good control of
visions for the future in their
PÄRNU city impressions
• Very attractive beach and hotel area and attractive parts of
the old town. Challenge: to strengthen this part as core of
town and prime centre of the region.
• Limited new housing development (?) and challenge to
upgrade Soviet style blocks of flats. Is new housing possible
as densification within the town?
• Pärnu has got new shopping malls for the whole region; but
how attractive are they and how is their relations to Rüütli
and the milieu of the old core?
• How good is the location of industrial areas particularly in
relation to transport (roads, railroad, harbour)?
• Pärnu is the core of the conurbation: What are the special
obligations of this core?
• What about a modern and effective harbour?
Paikuse; better control?
• Policy of municipality to buy land from
restitutees and resell to developers give
municipal control of land use.
• But seems to have favoured upper class new
residents, workers in factories commute in.
• SINDI: need protection of cultural heritage
housing. And upgrading of societ blocks.
Urban sprawl in control due to small area.
• TAKHURANNA: In waiting; maybe wise policy,
attractive coast, Riga mainroad to be free of
new direct access roads
This are some challenges as I see them (and you may
disagree!): BUT HOW TO DEVELOP A REGIONAL PLAN?
• Who should take part in the planning process?
• START: Where do we stand? Strengths and
weaknesses at present- needs
• PROGRESS: Where shall we go? Threats and
opportunities lead on to Visions for the region. What is
needed to reach the vision? (Strategic planning)-
• What knowledge do we need to make a better process
• What is needed to understand processes, process
leadership and cooperation/participation better?
• Plan: to link knowledge to action, how do we do that?
Who should take part in different stages of the
• Strategic planning in principle implies a broad participation
between the local governments, private industries and the
general local public. At least an open planning process is
• The broad participation is particularly needed in the initial,
factfinding process also to map needs and visions.
• Bergen and also Hordaland counties have produced
strategic plans. Partners included politicians, local planners,
representatives of local industries, labour unions,
• Main aim: promote Bergen as the ’locomotive’ for economic
development in Western Norway. (similar for Pärnu?).
• Following Amdam’s ’dugnad method’ the process should
start with a ’brainstorming meeting’ with broad participation
Plan the planning process
Networking etc (visit to Norway)
Mobilisation – who, why,
How … Plenary brainstorming?
Set up main priorities ….
Action plan: contract work
The ’dugnad method’ starts with an open brainstorming
meeting with maximum participation. We can try this out today.
1. Who should be invited
in the broad
2. Give diagnoses of
weaknesses of Pärnu
3. Main vision for future
4. What areas and
actions to give
5. Presentation of group
The two phases in a brainstorm: open and close
Open brainstorm: 5-15 minutes:
Open to present as many ideas as possible, no discussion,
Write down all ideas presented
Give them mark + (relevant) or – (outside the theme)
Discuss the ideas presented – importance
Develop the most important ideas more
Group them according to themes
Set the 5 most important in priority.
Present your conclusions on strengths and
weaknesses, threats and opportunities, aims and
visions for the Pärnu region.
Such a brainstorm where you invite in representatives of
industries, organisations etc could be a first phase in the
• But this needs to be folllowed up with further phases;
the ’dugnad method’ prescribes the following:
– Strategic phase; the planners work to elaborate
aims/strategies/actions on the basis of the first
brainstorming. Suggest alternatives and action plans.Open
discussions with you as partners.
– Decision phase: Planning document presented and sent for
hearings (new brainstorm meeting with broad participation).
Formal decisions made in the municipalities.
– Evaluation phase of planning process and results of actions
THE MAIN POINT IS PARTNERSHIP BY WHICH
IMPORTANT STAKEHOLDERS GET ’OWNERSHIP’ TO
THE PLAN. Else you may not achieve anything!
What is partnership?
• Partnership is a way of organising actors that have
stakeholding /interests in a specific case, theme or
area, that makes it possible for the partners in
cooperation to develop the area according to
principles they agree on and which give higher total
benefits than what each of them could reach alone.
By participation they get ’ownership’ in the plan and
obligation to follow it up.
• From ”government” (Central top-down
decisionmaking) to ”governance”, translated as
”multiple-actor- and multilevel decisionmaking’.
• Partnerships can be formal and unformal. Between
the 6 municipalities that form the Pärnu region you do
not have formal legal mutual obligations (?); so you
need to develop partnership trust and ’ownership’!
Partnership forms in planning. In Pärnu region you have a
horisontal partnership between municipalities to form a regional
County Horisontal partnerships
Planning processes and partnership
PROCESSES FOR COOPERATION
Mobilisation for ”ALL INTERESTS”TO DEVELOP
Cooperation and Common visions and aims, common
”Nonbinding” intentions. Trust
Regional ORGANISATION OF INTERESTED
strategi IN COMMON ACTIONS
Agreements on organisation,
Partnership program financing. Action program (deal)
PROGRAM AND PROJECT –
GOVERNED BY PARTNERS
Carrying out agreed programs and projects
Concrete program- and project deals
EVALUATION AND LEARNING?
• Are worked out in networks of private and
• Concerns problems that are ’owned’ by the
• And that the actors are able to develop unic
synergies- common visions and actions
How beneficiary the strategies are can only be
evaluated in posterity.
The gardener as political ideal - create
conditions, fertilize, seeding, taking care ..
Strategic and comunicative
planning – summing up
• Broad participation and active argumentation to
create wide consensus around strategies and
• Focus on the main challenges – but also on
small problems that people locally are
concerned with (like pedestrian crossing of
Tallinn Road at Sauga)
• Immidiate actions as well as long term focus
• Partnership and cooperation in planning and
• Learning process: of what was good and bad