The impact of demographic change on different groups in society is not homogenous and regions are unequally affected. Most European initiatives addressing demographic change therefore primarily address ageing and there are only a limited number of initiatives focused on challenges linked to access to services of general interest (SGIs), with a specific focus on social innovation in the provision of SGIs, as well as looking at areas at risk of becoming sparsely populated.
ESPON has recently filled this gap and produced new evidence on this topic aimed at informing stakeholders and supporting regional and national actors dealing with service provision.
Among these services essential to the life of a territory is mobility. Mobility in sparsely populated areas is a major issue in terms of access to employment, access to other services, culture, and a fulfilling economic and social life. However, mobility in low density areas has received much less attention from policy makers (national or European) than urban mobility (Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans, smart cities, low emission zones, White Paper on Urban Transport, Intelligent Transport Systems,..). There is a lack of transport solutions and shared mobility options that are nevertheless deployed in many urban areas. Better organisation of mobility at the local level can be achieved to provide alternative solutions to individual cars, embracing all the issues of access to a service of general interest.
In addition, it is also important to discuss the evidence and projects presented in this workshop in the process of designing and implementing future cohesion policy programmes in regions confronted by current or emerging patterns of demographic sparsity. The main objective of this session is to reflect on how to improve the evidence base in order to best support regions most in need.
Alexandre Dubois, researcher, wedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden.
Roch BRANCOUR, Transport Vice President, Pays de la Loire Region in France, France.
Sara Bianchi Bianchi, SSPA Coordinator, SSPA, Spain.
Erik Gløersen, Researcher, Spatial Foresight, France.
Sverker Lindblad, Senior Adviser, , Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation, Sweden.
Elisabeth Oger, Group Chief Customer and Client Officer, Transdev, France.
Franziska Sielker, Assistant Professor Researcher, University of Camdridge, United Kingdom.
Peter Takacs, policy officer, DG Regio, European Commission, Belgium.
Cohesion and Cooperation
Espon Egtc, European Commission, Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation, Southern Sparsely Populated Areas (SSPA) Network, Spatial Foresight, Transdev Group