Department of Geography

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Ny bok

Urban Sustainability and Governance; New Challenges in Nordic- Baltic Housing Policies

Under ledelse av professor Arild Holt-Jensen, er boken skrevet av en gruppe ledende nordiske og baltiske planleggingsforskere.

Main content

Urban Sustainability and Governance; New Challenges in Nordic- Baltic Housing Policies.

Arild Holt- Jensen & Eric Pollock (eds). 

Among the other contributors are:

Hedvig Vestergaard (DK), Göran Cars and Lina Martinson (SE), Katrin Paadam, Garri Raagmaa and Anna Julegina (EE), Eli Støa and Evelyn Dyb (NO), Sandra Treija (LAT), Natalija Lepkova (LIT).
375 pp . Published in March 2009. ISBN 978-1-60456-886-8

Under the leadership of professor Arild Holt-Jensen, Department of Geography, Bergen the book was written by a team of leading Nordic and Baltic housing researchers. The empirical examples are from the Baltic transition economies and the Nordic welfare states. For a number of reasons it is, however, of interest to readers far outside this region. Firstly, the global challenges of sustainable development and planning, presented in the theoretical section, are clarified and given a deeper practical meaning through the empirical chapters. The contrasts between the post-socialist Baltic and the social-democrat Nordic countries give striking illustrations of issues at stake. Secondly, the general challenges facing post-socialist states are more than anything else demonstrated in the housing development and policies evolving since 1991, as these integrate social, economic and environmental issues. Thirdly, the book illustrates how ‘path dependencies’ and former legacies influence present developments, which, contrary to common beliefs, differ much both between the five Nordic and even between the three Baltic countries. We believe this book will provide academics across Europe and elsewhere a basic understanding of the Nordic-Baltic region, its historic legacies and present discussions on welfare, urban development and housing policies. We also hope it will inspire a general debate on local responses to the challenges of global sustainability.
The focus of chapter 1 is the ‘urban challenge’ how ‘path dependencies’, national legacies and global economic processes influence planning and housing policies. Focus on the planning efforts in the housing field will be social and environmental guidelines for new developments and improvements in already existing housing estates; with special concern for the large scale housing estates. The catchword phrase is: urban and housing sustainability (chapter 2) and building social capital and stronger feeling of ‘ownership’ through governance rather than government of housing neighbourhoods (Chapter 3). Of special interest is national context and planning traditions, the historic legacies of the Soviet Union in the Baltic countries creates a different environment for planning practices than in the Nordic countries (Chapter 4). The second part of the book (chapter 5-12) contains introductions on the Nordic and Baltic countries respectively and chapters on housing policies of each country, including case studies. In addition there are spesific theme ‘boxes’ on homelessness in the region, on housing and urban sprawl, on ghettos and enclaves, on segregation versus social mix. The book also contains as appendix ‘The countries in brief’ with basic data and a photo section for each of the seven countries,  and a substantial glossary/index.
This book project was developed by a network involving University of Bergen (Norway, Coordinator), Tallinn University of Technology (Estonia), Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (Lithuania), Riga Technical University (Latvia), Tartu University (Estonia), Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden), Statens Byggforskningsinstitut (Denmark), Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, (Finland) and NTNU (The Norwegian University of Science and Technology). The work takes its inspiration from international research projects within the field of urban planning and housing which the partners have been involved in. A main inspiration comes from the NEHOM (Neighbourhood Housing Models - EVK4-CT-2000-0027) project, financed as RTD-project by the European Union 2000- 2004, which was based on 29 case studies in 8 European countries. Equally important was a EU-project on ‘Neighbourhood Governance’, completed in 2004, in which case studies were carried out in ten different European countries.