Events and materials
3rd Regional Workshop on improved accessibility along the North Sea- Baltic Corridor held in Riga
The focus of the 3rd Regional Workshop was on the Central Baltic part of the NSB CoRe corridor where the ongoing planning of the Rail Baltica railway line plays important role in spatial development. More than 40 stakeholders from the Baltic countries as well as Finland, Germany, Poland, and several international organisations shared their views and ideas on the current state and necessary future improvements in the transport infrastructure and connections of the region.
In the first part of the event experts who have participated in Rail Baltica spatial planning process gave short introduction. Corridor alignment and challenges to plan it in Lithuania were presented by Mantas Kaušylas, Deputy Director of JSC "Rail Baltica statyba" who has participated in the elaboration process of spatial plan for Rail Baltica in Lithuania. In Estonia Rail Baltica was planned on a county level so Kaarel Kose, adviser at Harju County Government shared Estonian perspective and challenges of integrating Rail Baltica in the spatial plans.
After the introduction, all the
participants were divided into 4 groups and discussed different aspects of SWOT
in an improvised World Cafe manner. During
more than hour spent in intense discussions countless issues were marked out. The already existing collaboration between
Baltic States, high demand for fast connections as well as existence of many pan-Baltic
companies was mentioned as the strength of the corridor. Population disparities
in the Baltics were mentioned to potentially affect demand for new transport
connections. More attention has to be paid to the connections with secondary
level networks and last mile solutions, opportunity to create a joint, liveable
transport corridor (Via Baltica + Rail Baltica). Participants expressed wish of
having more functional and cross-border planning thinking rather than narrowly
focusing within administrative borders, with more harmonization of neighbouring
national transport policies. If joint planning will also be missing among
different transport modes and Rail Baltica won`t be integrated with further
connection from Kaunas to Warsaw, it may threaten the success of corridor.
Knowledge gained in three workshops, together with the desk research on spatial planning documents in the corridor area will serve as a basis for a SWOT analysis of NSB CoRe corridor. It will be complemented by interviews with spatial and transport planners to form spatial vision for NSB CoRe corridor. First draft of SWOT analysis will be presented in 8th EUSBSR Annual Forum in Berlin on 13-14 June 2017. The finalised spatial vision of the NSB CoRe corridor will be delivered to the VASAB Ministerial Conference in 2019 and will serve as input to national and regional development planning documents.
The workshop was one of the events in the series of regional workshops organised to collect the views of the stakeholders. Following events are still to be held:
- Meeting in autumn 2017 for German and Polish stakeholders
- Meeting in winter 2017 for Polish and Baltic States stakeholders
- Workshop in
Sweden, March 2018 to discuss the first draft of the joint transnational
spatial vision on regional development, logistics and mobility of NSB CoRe
NSB CoRe project by Sakari Saarinen, Project Manager, NSB CoRe, Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council
Joint transnational spatial vision on regional development, logistics and mobility by Liene Stikane, Spatial Planner, VASAB Secretariat
Rail Baltica spatial planning issues and lessons to learn in Lithuania by Mantas Kaušylas, Deputy Director of JSC "Rail Baltica statyba"
Spatial planning of Rail Baltic in Estonia by Kaarel Kose, adviser at Harju County Governmentliene.firstname.lastname@example.org)
NSB CoRe: North Sea-Baltic Connector of Regions project is financed by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme and will last from 2016 to 2019. NSB CoRe is labelled EUSBSR flagship project.
VASAB (Vision and Strategies around the Baltic Sea) is co-operation of Ministers responsible for spatial planning and development in 11 countries of the Baltic Sea Region. VASAB Secretariat is responsible for the Work Package 4 “Spatial planning for NSB CoRe Network Development”