Local Municipality growth requires independent thinking
When municipalities attempt to foster growth they tend to move in the same direction. The risk is that they invest taxpayers’ money in projects that provide no return and instead run at a loss. This is the claim from a recent report on regional and local growth policies from the Centre for the Municipal Studies (CKS).
“The municipalities tend to do follow one another’s strategic planning, without adequately analyzing the specific needs and potential for their municipality. Hence the need for more systematic knowledge about what characterizes effective local initiatives for growth, "said Gissur Ó Erlingsson, a CKS researcher and one of three authors of the report: Regional and local growth policies: What can and should public authorities do?
The summary shows that too little knowledge exists for investments that produce results when municipalities attempt to promote growth.
"Municipalities are significantly interested in managing economic and commercial policy, but systematic knowledge of what really produces results is in short supply," says Gissur Ó Erlingsson.
The growth of a municipality may for example take the form of
- a company establishing itself in the community
- more tourists and residents are drawn to it by means of marketing and promotion
- local entrepreneurs initiate new businesses.
"Many communities are investing in flagship projects, but it is not at all certain that this will produce a return, but just might cost taxpayers more money."
The same applies to destination marketing that is used to attract tourists and residents.
The authors of the report concluded that it is important that local municipalities commit time and resources into identifying what suits their local community and will, in turn, promote growth. Another conclusion is to keep in mind the basic task of welfare by securing well-functioning systems for education and health and care.
“Considerable uncertainty exists in terms of the impetus that stimulates growth. Local representatives often seem to be afraid to fail, which is why they prefer to do the same thing as everyone else. However, modern international research shows that a universal recipe for success does not exist. It is therefore important that municipalities analysis their own resources instead of imitating others, "Gissur Ó Erlingsson.
The authors also point out that human trust appears to be important for growth.
“If people trust each other then it is easier to do business. For example, entrepreneurs are more willing to invest when they have confidence in the decision-makers.
Therefore, the effect can be exactly the opposite if politicians or officials abuse their power by, for example, breaking the law regarding public procurement in order to benefit certain local traders.
“It reduces the confidence in the democratic process. Trust is weakened and in turn growth, notes Gissur Ó Erlingsson.
Malin Thor Tureby was keynote speaker at an international conference on oral history.
Cats that meow with a dialect have caused a sensation in the world media. Robert Eklund, a linguist who works with cats at the Department of Culture and Communication, has lost count of the number of times the work has been reported in the media.
On 6 December, a Farewell Mingle was held for departing exchange students who have studied at Linköping University.
"We have a global and critical perspective that attracts today's students," says Stefan Jonsson, professor at REMESO, about the Faculty of Arts and Science’s first international master’s programme at REMESO in Norrköping - Ethnic and Migration Studies.
Achieving perfect health has become a religion in the western world, according to a newly published study. Barbro Wijma, professor emerita and physician with many years of experience meeting patients, views this development with dismay.
Skin colour matters, also in Sweden. But many people don’t accept that racism is a problem here – only in other countries. So claims doctoral student Victoria Kawesa, who writes about black feminism and whiteness in Sweden.
Johanna Sköld from Child Studies at Linköping University co-organised an international workshop where researchers compared various models of compensation for institutional neglect and abuse.
Anna Lindström and Monika Lopez of the Department of Culture and Communication applied earlier this year for funding for an initiative in an issue relating to refugees. The funding was granted, and the “Tomorrow’s Nobel laureates” project was born.
Suad Ali, expert on Sweden’s refugee quota, works tirelessly for refugees worldwide. For her dedication she has been chosen as one of Linköping University’s two Alumni of the Year.
Thomas Lunner’s research has given improved hearing to millions of people with impaired hearing. He has been chosen as one of this year’s Alumni of the Year.
What’s zero to the power of zero? Jonas Bergman Ärlebäck, senior lecturer at LiU’s Department of Mathematics, rushed over to a local primary school to discuss mathematics.
Martin Hultman, who works with environmental history and the history of ideas, is organising the world’s first conference on climate change denial.
Engineering students Sabina Nordén and Sofie Folkesson took a year off university to renovate a school in Guatemala – using PET bottles.
Last updated: Tue Dec 27 09:53:01 CET 2016