NordForsk Publishes Policy Brief on Urban Research

21.01.2008
Future global challenges are closely linked to the urbanisation process and to the development of the urban regions of the world. The NordForsk Policy Brief Urban development : Nordic strengths and challenges under the heading of a new global agenda gives an overview of the current state of play of Nordic urban research and sets out relevant themes for future Nordic research cooperation in the field. Order the publication here .
Urban development
For the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas. This will in many ways challenge the future of global development in terms of the environment, welfare and social conditions. On the other hand, cities, specifically the larger ones, can be perceived as the engines of the global economy. Their size of labour market and range of industry permit competition and specialisation, which in turn raise efficiency. Specialisation takes place in high value-added firms which have the advantage of both clustering and global access to knowledge and innovation capacity.

At the global level, a process of specialisation is also taking place, resulting in the emergence of a small number of mega-cities which are expected to play an ever more important role as decision and innovation centres, while national capitals lose their power as national decision centres. The driver in this process is the ongoing integration process of the global economy.

Nordic Urban research
Nordic urban research functions as an interpreter of the impact of globalisation processes according to different Nordic regional and local circumstances, and can thus help to pave the way for innovative and proactive Nordic strategies for the future.

Seen from an institutional point of view, four main research fields with an existing and acknowledged high level of Nordic competence can already be identified, namely:
  1. The role of cities in national/regional development and global competition
  2. The social dimension of urban development
  3. The urban environment and the environmental impacts of cities
  4. Urban governance and planning



Read more in the NordForsk Policy Brief 3: Urban development : Nordic Strengths and challenges under the heading of a new global agenda, the publication can be ordered here.
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