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OECD Territorial Reviews: The Megaregion of Western Scandinavia

image of OECD Territorial Reviews: The Megaregion of Western Scandinavia

In an increasingly globalised world, cities and regions sometimes join forces with their neighbours to form "megaregions" and tap economies of scale. This report discusses how eight cities and counties in Norway and Sweden - along the coast joining up Oslo, Gothenburg and Malmö - have decided to work closer together as the megaregion of “Western Scandinavia”. With a total population of about 5 million inhabitants, this cross-border territory shows good potential to draw on its growing economic and cultural interlinkages, as well as its long history of institutional collaboration, to build a stronger, more sustainable and more inclusive megaregion. The report encourages local authorities to identify a common vision for their shared future development and to take concrete action towards implementing it. It also calls for national governments to tackle the challenges of cross-border transport planning to facilitate greener mobility and more inclusive labour markets.

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Assessment and recommendations

Across the world, urbanisation continues to shape territories in different ways. While the urban population is projected to rise from below 1 billion in 1950 to an estimated 9 billion by 2100, urban settlement patterns vary widely across countries. Cities range from small and medium-sized municipalities in Europe to megalopolises far over 10 million in Asia, for example. Stronger competition to increase market shares, attract high-skilled workers and move up the global value chain places a premium on agglomeration benefits, which allow for reaping economies of scale and are facilitated by spatial proximity and knowledge spillovers. Agglomeration benefits tend to increase with city size if other conditions are met, including accessibility to employment, a skilled workforce, research and innovation, and effective governance arrangements to improve public policy delivery across sometimes centuries-old administrative boundaries.

English

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