15 / 06 / 2018

NSB CoRe – Kvarken region in a wider European and global context

The project NSB CoRe puts the development of the Kvarken region in a wider European and global context

The project NSB CoRe puts the development of the Kvarken region in a wider European and global context

The three-year project NSB CoRe, North Sea Baltic Connector of Regions, has been operating since the spring 2016, with the aim of improving traffic and land use within the North Sea Baltic corridor, included in the transeuropean TEN-T transport network, in a way which will bring forth the best possible benefits in traffic investments. The ambition is to transform the chain of individual cities along the transport corridor into one functional entity. Kvarken Council is one of the project partners.

Mr Peter Källberg presented the tourism projects Spotlight High-Low Coast and Destination Kvarken at the Kvarken Council’s annual general meeting on 21 May, 2018. Ms Isabella Forsgren presented the transport project NSB CoRe (Photo: Kvarken Council)

Isabella Forsgren, infrastructure strategist at INAB in Umeå, Sweden, presented the work being done in and for the Kvarken region within this so-called flagship project, at Kvarken Council’s annual general meeting in May.
– The development work focused on the North Sea Baltic corridor from Germany through the Baltic states to Helsinki in Finland has been going on for several years. The Kvarken Council was invited to join the project already when it was being planned as the project wanted to include the regions which are directly connected to the corridor. The Kvarken Council is especially suited as a partner because it represents several organisations and therefore, an impressively large geographical area, and further, involves one project partner instead of ten.
– Since NSB CoRe aims to improve the sustainable accessibility of the Eastern Baltic Sea Region to freight and passenger traffic, which is connected to development work carried out in the Kvarken region, the involvement of the Kvarken Council was an excellent choice.

A flagship project draws up EU strategies to further develop the Eastern Baltic Sea Region. The Kvarken Council has contributed with developing strategies and showing how we can help extend the freight corridor on both sides of the Kvarken Strait.

– We have in a pilot study, or more precisely in a meta-analysis carried out by the consultants MDI Ltd in Helsinki, examined the transport corridor in both directions with Vaasa as the starting point – to the west towards Sweden and to the east and south towards Seinäjoki and Tampere, in order to identify the most weighty arguments to advance the development of this transport route.

Thanks to the project and the study, the Kvarken region has been able to gather materials which demonstrate the region’s potential and importance, for instance, how the Kvarken region fits in the TEN-T network, how the region contributes to the Baltic Sea strategy and to the extension of both ScanMed and NorthSeaBaltic corridors, but also how the Kvarken region is a natural extension of the growth corridor which today spans from Helsinki to Tampere.

– In addition, NSB CoRe has made it possible to establish alliances and partnerships with other regions and cities, both in Finland and elsewhere in Europe. In the long run, it will improve the Kvarken region’s visibility and give broader shoulders at the European level.

Ms Forsgren concluded her presentation with an interesting map, compiled by the Nordregio research institute, which will be included in the project’s final report. The map describes population growth up to the year 2030.The regions marked with red will stand for 80% of the population growth in respective countries up to 2030. The map clearly demostrates why Vaasa and Umeå should be included as a natural part of the Finnish growth corridor.

Map: Population forecast 2030
Population growth up to 2030 (Nordregio, http://www.nordregio.org/maps/population-forecast-2030/)

The project North Sea Baltic Connector of Regions (NSB CoRe) is financed through the EU Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme.

Kvarken Council is one of the project partners. Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council is the lead partner. The project has 16 partners from Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Germany as well as 40 associated organisations consisting of cities, regions, ministries as well as transport and logistics companies.
The project will end in the spring 2019.