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Regional Governance - Engine for Sustainable Development?

International Summer Academy

25 August 2002  -  28 August 2002
The summer academy "Regional Governance" is part of the IÖW-Project "Governance and Sustanability", which is integrated in the new programm "Social-ecological development" (SÖF) of the German Federal Ministry of Education und Research.

Summer Academy Venue:
Ökostation "Bauen und Technik"
Bundesallee 222
D-42103 Wuppertal
Tel/Fax: +49 (0)202-563 2310

Conference Fee:
The conference fee of € 350,- includes food and accommodation

Dr. Guido Nischwitz, IÖW
Dr. Reimar Molitor, Regionale 2006 GmbH

Participants: The summer academy ist limited up to 25 participants. It’s adressed to decision makers, practitioners and experts from different authorities, administrations, consultancies and applied resarch in Europe.

Language: English and German will be the working language during the summer academy.

Accomodation: Rooms are booked at the Hotel Mercure Hotel. The hotel is within walking distance from the main train station and the academy venue.

Travel: Wuppertal is easily reachable from all parts of Germany and Europe. The international airports in Cologne and Düsseldorf can be reached by train in 40 to 60 minutes. Detailed information will be given to all participants.


Dynamic changes in economy, environment and society modify the conditions, competences and capacities for steering sustainable spatial development. Combined with the model of sustainable development, these changes occur in a political multi-level system. Regulations are modified and arranged in new ways. Therefore, the knowledge of the actual conditions on the local and regional levels is crucial.

In the context of these development processes, new forms of regulation appear that are increasingly linked with the notion of ‘Governance’ in the socio-political debate. The white paper “Good Governance” of the European Commission (2001) describes Governance as a “reform of the commission, as an attempt of deregulation and retirement of public institutions in favour of the private actors, as an opening of governmental institutions against civil society, as an attempt of elaboration modern political experiences (concerning different issues and spatial layers)”.

The summer academy “Regional Governance” examines the central challenges for states, enterprises and civil society that are needed for new forms of development initiatives at the regional level.

  • Which institutional conditions and instruments does regional governance need?
  • Which specific regional characteristics do influence the governance styles?
  • Who is involved in the “making” of governance and how is local and regional governance organised?
  • Who is responsible to think strategic for the regions and in which constellation?
  • How to link enterprises into the process of governance for a sustainable development?
  • Which advantages can be gained from Regional Governance and where are the limits to fields of regulation?
  • How does regional governance turn up concerning the trend to regional development in the context of globalisation?
  • How are the sustainability principles embedded in the process of regional governance?

The aim of this summer academy is to discuss „Governance“ in the scope of its different spatial dimensions (mainly the regional level) and for social-ecological research concerning international prospects. Therefore, links between these different levels should be defined and could be useful for a possible strategy to promote Regional Governance. The overall priority is an outlining of chances and limits of “Regional Governance” for a sustainable development. Apart from this, the different spatial levels and their links and new topics such as aims and contents, actors and communication, creation of networks, forms of organisation and instruments will be discussed. The thematic focus will be on accessing to new institutional and instrumental approaches in spatial planning and regional economic policy.

The international summer academy is designed as an international exchange between applied research and practice. Experts from science, practice, consulting and administration in Europe, who are particularly responsible for regional development issues and governance-styles, will be invited.

First Day

Ten Regions = One Region?
The first day of the summer academy will address how many different regions are within one region: beside the administrative borders, a region has many ,regions’ lying within itself or is itself part of a bigger one. What disturbs at a first glance becomes a valid question in terms of Regional Governance. The term ,region’ is - in regard to sustainable development - no longer exclusively defined by the administrative means of spatial planning but goes as far as e.g. a thematic network , an economic cluster initiative or a special area of preservation etc. Usually these ,regions’ have very little to do with each other, especially in the more urbanized areas, where the number of different networks of actors belonging to a ,region’ is high. The workshop session will try to address the chances of linking different ‘regions’ or regional networks in order to achieve sustainable regional development and how Regional Governance can contribute to this.

Second Day

Enterprises as a driving force for a sustainable regional development
Various studies have shown that enterprises are a ,neglected’ group of actors when it comes to sustainable regional development. Beside programmes that started and supported campaigns within enterprises - like eco-efficency campaigns - very little effort has been undertaken to integrate enterprises in the process of a sustainable regional development. Especially the Agenda-21-Activities on the local level have in many cases called for more involvement. This workshop session will highlight the ambition of entrepeneurs to think and act (more) regional and try to identify possible ways of a consistent involvement of enterprises in regional development processes. The session will end with a visit to enterprises in the area of Wuppertal which are participating in the current development process of the region called ,Regionale 2006’.

Third Day

Regional Governance - challenges und needs
This session aims at setting a framing agenda on what Regional Governance has to deliver in the near future in order to make a contribution to a sustainable development of the regions. As the summer academy will have participants from all over Europe this session is understood as a gathering of national views on the challenges and needs ahead. It will end with a special focus on the period from 2006 onwards and what ,shape’ regional development will have in a bigger Europe.

Sunday, August 25th 2002
Arrival / Warm up

Warm up: "Regional Governance and Sustainable Development - one headline, how many approaches?"


Monday, August 26th 2002
Ten Regions = One Region

Prof. M. Narodoslawsky / N.N.

Parallel work groups
"Layering in different national contexts"

Lunch break

Presentation and discussion of work group results

Reception at the city hall of Wuppertal
Dr. H. Kremendahl, mayor of the city of Wuppertal

Tuesday, August 27th 2002
Enterprises as a driving force for a sustainable regional development

Dr. R. Molitor, G. Sweeney

Parallel work groups
"Enterprises as actors for sustainable regional development"

Short presentation and discussion of work group results

Lunch break

Field trip to 3 regional enterprises
Regionale 2006 / Regional Offices Wuppertal, Solingen, Remscheid

Evening Events

Wednesday, August 28th 2002
Regional Governance - challenges and needs

Dr. T. Moss / Prof. D. Fürst

Parallel work groups
"What are the necessities for Sustainable Regional Governance?"

Lunch break

Short presentation and discussion af work group results

Panel and general discussion
Dr. T. Moss, Prof. H. Majer, Prof. M. Narodoslawsky, G. Sweeney, N.N.

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