VASAB 2010+ - Spatial Development Action Programme: Background documents
A follow-up project to VASAB 2010 (Vision and Strategies around the Baltic Sea 2010 - Towards a Framework for Spatial Development in the Baltic Sea Region)

Prepared by

Holger Platz

PLANCO Consulting GmbH, Essen

Lilienstr. 44, D-45133 Essen

Tel. +49-201-43771-0; Fax +49-201-411468


supported by an international consultant team and based on intensive discussions with the Committee on Spatial Development of the Baltic Sea Region.

For further information on contributors see the back pages.

This report is complementary to the main report ‘VASAB2010Plus – Spatial Development Action Programme’. Both reports can also be found at the VASAB home page:

February 2001


VASAB – Vision and Strategies around the Baltic Sea 2010 - is a co-operation among ministers respon­sible for spatial planning and development, of the countries around the Baltic Sea. Germany and Russia participate also through representatives from the regions which are adjacent to the Baltic Sea Region (Län­der in Germany, Oblasts and Republics in Russia).

In 1994, a report ‘VASAB2010 – Vision and Strategies around the Baltic Sea 2010’ was presented, being the first transnational vision for spatial development world-wide. It was adopted at a Ministerial Conference in Tallinn (Dec-1994) and laid the foundation for joint action of the participating countries and regions.

Partners in the VASAB initiative

An updated action programme has been prepared by the VASAB co-operation, laid down in a new report, VASAB2010 Plus - Spatial Development Action Programme' (January 2001) - in brief: VASAB2010Plus report. This report reflects the experience made during several years of co-operation, changed conditions after a first decade of transition, new knowledge on spatial trends in the Baltic Sea Region, and results of a diversity of transnational co-operation projects on spatial development.

Purpose of the background report: The background report presents main results of corresponding analyses which formed the basis for the Action Programme. In a first part, spatial trends in the Baltic Sea Region are analysed with a view at identifying future challenges for spatial policies. In the report VASAB2010Plus, these challenges are translated into proposals for future transnational spatial development action. In a second part, national documents on spatial policy matters are reviewed, to assess the need to reinforce the transnational dimension in national spatial plans and programmes. In a third part, actions of the VASAB co-operation are evaluated, which were taken after adoption of the VASAB2010 Vision and Strategy report (1994). The purpose of this analysis is to draw conclusions for future ways of action. This analysis includes also projects initiated through the InterregIIC programme, and puts them into the context of spatial policy priorities as identified by the VASAB co-operation.

The Committee on Spatial Development of the Baltic Sea Region, February 2001

Table of content

Abbreviations, acronyms, organisations of pan-Baltic importance


1.         Socio-economic development trends in the nineties

1.1       Transition and transformation 

1.2       Welfare

1.3       Demography

1.4       Changing trade links

1.5       Growing communica­tion intensity

1.6       System changes

2.         Environmental trends

2.1      Environmental regulations

2.2      Environmental Quality

2.3      Nature

3.        Spatial structures and trends

3.1      Settlement system

3.2      Mobility network

3.3      Nature areas

3.4      Cultural landscapes

3.5      Coastal areas

3.6      Islands

4.        Spatial cohesion

4.1      Growing regional disparities

4.2      Regional impacts of structural economic change

4.3      Unfavourable regional spatial structures

4.4      Accessibility improvements and deficits


1.        Settlement system

2.        Infrastructure system

3.        Green System

4.        Planning System

5.        Summary


1.        Dissemination of VASAB concepts

2.        Generation of project ideas and support to applicants

3.        VASAB projects and InterregIIC projects on issues promoted by VASAB

3.1      Cross-border co-operation for regional development

3.2      Urban system

3.3      Spatial development and the transport system

3.4      Regional development in rural areas

3.5      Sustainable development of coastal zones

3.6      Planning tools and methods

3.7      Conclusions

4.        Co-operation for spatial development in the BSR of VASAB with other organisations

ANNEX 1:     Abbreviations, Acronyms, Organisations of pan-Baltic importance

ANNEX 2:     Sources on national spatial planning in BSR countries

ANNEX 3:     Members of CSD-BSR

ANNEX 4:     Consultants involved in preparation of this report