The Seinäjoki Region Development Association, Liiveri activates development work across municipal boundaries

In early 2020, MDI carried out an evaluation of Liiveri, a local development association operating in the Seinäjoki, Ilmajoki and Jalasjärvi regions, with the aim of identifying and positioning Liiveri in the field of local, rural and regional development while highlighting its role and added value compared to other actors and development tools. The added value was assessed using the framework developed by the European Evaluation Helpdesk for Rural Development (2017) on the application of the Leader approach. This application sees the Leader approach as generating three types of results: increased social capital, better governance and better results and impact.

The evaluation revealed that Liiveri is a nationally recognised and respected Leader group that has succeeded in activating companies as project applicants, villagers as active members of their villages and uniting the municipalities in its area of ​​operation. The added value of Liiveri lies especially in the promotion of regional and local development. In the Seinäjoki region, Liiveri is the only player that develops business and organisational activities in a multidisciplinary manner across an area including several municipalities. Liiveri’s resources are seen as locality, accessibility, activation work and an active, positive development approach. All of which are viewed as necessary in the support of association actors in the project environment.

In practice, the social capital generated by Liiveri is reflected both in the network assets of the group’s own operations and in the active networking of actors and the increase of competence. Liiveri’s strength is the active development of its own operating methods in terms of project management, communications and the group’s own operations. It was also discovered that Liiveri has the ability to act agilely and quickly bolstering the community of developers in its home region. Liiveri facilitates interesting avenues of influence, engages people in these networks and maintains productive alumni activities.

Information for municipalities and new national policy instruments for steering climate change mitigation and circular economy in municipalities

National goals in respect of preventing climate change and boosting the circular economy require strengthening. This entails the creation of viable solutions and indeed the adoption of a new approach in the municipalities. Based on the National Urban Strategy, a preliminary study has been produced which considered a number of potential policy instruments for climate and circular economy work. For the municipal level, the publication provides information on what kinds of instruments already exist, while for the state level, it suggests a number of new ideas for prospective policy instruments.

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PhD thesis defence: Urbanisation lacks vision

Ilppo Soininvaara (M.Sc.), MDI’s specialist in urban development and politics, researched for his PhD thesis the policy of urbanisation in Finland. The PhD thesis illustrates the development of urbanisation, the related political debate and various strategic interests. Soininvaara defended his thesis on May 25, 2022 at 12 noon at the faculty of science of the University of Helsinki. The thesis’ subject is “The politics of urbanisation – From a global imperative to national struggles”.

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