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Expert’s Conference on the updated VASAB Vision

Expert’s Conference on the updated VASAB Vision

1 June 2023

Rathaus Wismar, Am Markt 1, Germany

Expert’s Conference on the updated VASAB Vision

About event

Vibrant, Resilient, Well-connected –

The Baltic Sea Region in 2040

Expert’s Conference on the updated VASAB Vision


1 June 2023, Wismar, Germany, 11:00 -16:15 CEST

Venue: Rathaus Wismar (Town hall Wismar), Am Markt 1, D-23966 Wismar


  • How do we imagine the desired development of the Baltic Sea Region over the next two decades?
  • What will urban networks and rural settlements look like, how will they be connected physically and digitally?
  • How can we secure our energy supply in the face of climate change and political instability?
  • What will make our most precious commons, the livelihoods of millions in this region, its waters, lands and cultures more vibrant, resilient and well-connected?


The VASAB Vision 2040 will guide us in answering these questions. We invite you to JOIN US for this conference to celebrate the completion of the VASAB Vision 2040 and to discuss its themes.

Experts in the field of spatial planning and regional development will come together to discuss what the VASAB Vision means for the Baltic Sea Region and how each of us can contribute to making it a reality.



Looking back at more than three decades of macro-regional cooperation in spatial planning within the Baltic Sea Region, a first common vision was drafted and agreed by the Ministers for Spatial Planning and Development in 1994 in Tallinn. This vision was further developed into the VASAB Long-Term Perspective for the Territorial Development of the Baltic Sea Region (LTP), adopted in Vilnius in 2009.

Now, a new VASAB Vision for 2040 has been developed under the slogan “Bridging the old with the new” in a participatory process involving public, academic and civil society actors. The new vision aims to respond to the major challenges facing the Baltic Sea Region today.



The Expert’s Conference will take place back-to-back with the adoption of the Vision 2040 by the Ministers responsible for spatial planning and development in the VASAB countries of the Baltic Sea Region on 2 June 2023.

It will complement the Ministerial Conference by providing different practical and research perspectives and by highlighting what is needed for its implementation. Participants will learn more about projects and initiatives, and will have the opportunity to discuss, network and reflect on future initiatives for a vibrant, resilient and well-connected Baltic Sea Region.

The Conference is organised jointly by the VASAB Secretariat and the Federal Ministry for Housing, Urban Development and Building of Germany (Chair of the VASAB CSPD/BSR in 2022/23).

NB! Conference will be hosted as a physical event in Wismar, Germany. A remote attendance option will not be provided.


We are looking forward to welcoming you in the Hanseatic City of Wismar in June!


Programme is here!

Practical information is here!

Programme (all times CEST)

01 June 2023
10:30 - 11:00

Registration and coffee

11:00 - 11:10

Welcome address

Vera Moosmayer, Deputy Director General for Urban Development and Spatial Planning,
Federal Ministry for Housing, Urban Development and Building, Germany

11:10 - 11:20

Introduction & Who’s in the room?

Moderator Hauke Siemen, REM Consult GmbH

11:20 - 11:35

The VASAB Vision 2040

Kai Böhme, Spatial Foresight and Luciane Aguiar Borges, Nordregio

11:35 - 12:20

Reflections on the VASAB Vision 2040 from spatial planning research & practice

Prof. Jacek Zaucha, University of Gdańsk, Poland
Prof. Jörg Knieling, HafenCity University Hamburg, Germany
Paulina Szewczyk, City of Gdynia, UBC Planning Cities Commission
Mats Brandt, Ostrobothnia Region, Finland

12:20 - 13:20

Lunch break

13:20 - 14:55

Making the VASAB Vision 2040 a reality – newly approved projects, reflections and discussion how to get involved

Part 1: Pearls and Patches
Part 2: Strings and Systems

Facilitated by:
- Hauke Siemen, REM Consult GmbH
- Patrycja Artymowska, Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy, Poland
- Tālis Linkaits, Former Minister of Transport, Latvia

14:55 - 15:15

Coffee break

15:15 - 15:55

The VASAB vision 2040 and the EUSBSR – How to ensure interaction and synergies?

Panel discussion with:

Dimitry Frank-Kamenetsky, HELCOM / PA Spatial Planning
Liene Dreimane, PA Energy
Tarmo Ots, PA Transport
Tom Schumacher, Baltic Sea Strategy Point

Moderated by Liene Gaujeniete and Elina Veidemane, VASAB Secretariat/PA Spatial Planning

15:55 - 16:05

Wrap-up: Expectations to the VASAB Ministerial Conference

Prof. Dr. Rainer Danielzyk, Academy for Territorial Development in the Leibniz Association (ARL), rapporteur to the Ministerial Conference

16:05 - 16:15

Passing the baton from Germany to Finland – VASAB Chairmanship priorities 2022/2023 and 2023/2024

Daniel Meltzian, Federal Ministry for Housing, Urban Development and Building, Germany
Anna-Leena Seppälä, Ministry of the Environment, Finland

17:00 - 19:00

Guided tour through Wismar for conference participants and get-together afterwards






Practical information


Presentation by Kai Böhme and Luciane Aguiar Borges


Presentation by Andrea Cederquist


Presentation by Jörg Knieling


Presentation by Claudia Meier


Presentation by David Cabana


Presentation by Dàmir Belltheus Avdic


Presentation by Kristiāna Dolge


Presentation by Martins Grels