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Urban-rural relations
Urban - rural

The urban-rural divide presents one of the major challenges for the cohesion of the Baltic Sea Region. This divide becomes more and more detrimental for the rural areas in effect of the population ageing and outward migration. The VASAB Long Term Perspective for the Baltic Sea Region (LTP) envisages that in 2030 the Region should feature a well-balanced setup of metropolitan centres, which act as the global and the BSR gateways, and small and medium-sized cities and towns, which secure a high-quality of life for their residents in both urban and rural areas.

Urban-rural relations

Accessibility links within the Baltic Sea Region are still missing because of the former East-West divide. The situation should be improved to positively influence spatial development of the Eastern part of the Region and territorial cohesion of the Region. There is a particular need for fast road and rail connections between the Region and Central and Western Europe, above all - by Rail Baltica and Via Baltica. There is also a need of improving connectivity in the Northern parts of the Region and connections to the South and East. Rapid implementation of the Motorways of the Baltic Sea is necessary in order to make full use of the potentials of an integrated and sustainable transport network.

Urban-rural relations
Maritime spatial planning

Activities at the sea (shipping, fisheries) have been taking place for centuries. However, new sea uses, such as renewable energy development, aquaculture, extraction of mineral and energy resources (hydrocarbons, renewables, aggregates) and ports development have brought competition for marine space in addition to environmental concerns. Management of human activities at the sea has become more complex, requiring better coordination and planning. Maritime spatial planning (MSP) helps various users to balance sectoral interests that compete for marine space, and contribute to achieving sustainable use of marine areas to the benefit of economic and social development as well as the marine environment. MSP has to be aligned with terrestrial planning to ensure well-functioning land-sea interactions (LSI).

Urban-rural relations
Territorial monitoring

VASAB Long-Term Perspective for the Territorial Development of the Baltic Sea Region (LTP) outlines that ‘A progress towards achieving the territorial cohesion perspective of the Baltic Sea Region in 2030 should be monitored and evaluated on a regular basis. This is a clear role of VASAB to act as an observatory of trends and processes related to the territorial cohesion in the Region and to provide evidence, either providing a right development of the taken initiatives and actions, or flagging the necessary changes.