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					How to develop innovative and attractive regions
   through joint regional strategic planning?

                   Arild Holt-Jensen
    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
       real terms?
  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
           Urban Sprawl
• 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
                                    (Carruthers, 2003)
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
                      Audru (Lihula)
• In much larger format this is
  the case in towns like
  Copenhagen, Stockholm,
  Helsinki, Oslo and Bergen.
  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
  municipal planning?
                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

• 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)-
  content, process?
• 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
                   planning process?
• 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,
  environmental interests.
• 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

     Education, motivation,
     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.
To discuss:
1.   Who should be invited
     in the broad
2.   Give diagnoses of
     ’now-situation’ with
     strengths and
     weaknesses of Pärnu
3.   Main vision for future
     (Opportunities and
     Threats as
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)

 ’Closing brainstorm’:
 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
                       planning process

• 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 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
                           level plan
                        Vertical partnership
                        between levels

                     Nation state

                County               Horisontal partnerships


 Planning processes and partnership
                       PROCESSES FOR COOPERATION
 Mobilisation for      ”ALL INTERESTS”TO DEVELOP
 Cooperation and       Common visions and aims, common
 action                strategies
                       ”Nonbinding” intentions. Trust
    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

        Successful strategies
• Are worked out in networks of private and
  public actors
• Concerns problems that are ’owned’ by the
  actors involved
• 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
  solution work.
• Learning process: of what was good and bad

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