Local Interaction Platform
Skåne is a region at the southern tip of Sweden known for its beautiful coastlines, farms, and castles. It is also a dynamic, growing, and culturally rich region home 33 municipalities and over 1.3 million inhabitants. The urban centre of the region is Malmö, located in the southwest corner of the province. In addition, the region is also home to a variety of medium-sized cities including Helsingborg, Lund, Kristianstad, Landskrona, and Trelleborg. The region, furthermore, is a part of greater Copenhagen with its connection to Denmark located just over the sound.
Despite the region’s strong appeal, urban areas in Skåne face a number of challenges for decision-makers to help foster low impact, innovative and the conditions for its inhabitants to thrive both now and in the future. There is a deficit in affordable housing and working spaces in Skåne, in many cases prompting pressures for urban sprawl onto agriculturally rich soils. Due to Skåne being the entry point into the rest of the country from mainland Europe, the region also faces numerous challenges around shaping sustainable, inclusive immigration processes. Furthermore, Skåne's labour market faces significant challenges where nearly 30% of the unemployed do not have a high school education, and half are born outside Europe. Youth unemployment is furthermore a central issue throughout the region.
Partners & platform structure
The Urban Futures Local Interaction Platform in Skåne helps to promote and harness participatory research for sustainable urban development in and beyond the region. The platform has a robust academic presence, consisting of a consortium of three institutions: Malmö University, Lund University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, as well as support and co-operation from the City of Malmö. Additionally, the platform also has support from other municipalities and private sector actors, including the co-operative housing developer, HSB, Helsingborgshem, among others.
The platform supports a variety innovative projects generally under three broad, urban environment themes: urban ecosystem services, migration and urban development, and sustainable neighbourhood development. The individual projects are either region-specific or carried out in collaboration with other Urban Futures platforms around the globe. Each of the theme is made up of an expert panel consisting of, for example, academics, city officials, and representatives from the private sector. The panels are responsible for collecting and systematically analysing the knowledge and experiences generated from each theme, and broadcasting that knowledge, in different ways, to help promote sustainable urban development.