HJÄLP, vi krymper! En studie av anpassningsstrategier för en minskande befolkning i Strömsunds kommun
Sammanfattning: The global phenomenon of demographically shrinking communities presents challenges for planning authorities. A few partial strategies trying to address this can be found throughout Europe, but are there more universally appliable ones? In this study, we aim to find that out by the means of an interview study in the shrinking municipality of Strömsund, where public servants are interviewed in order to understand how the municipality is tackling the challenge and plan for shrinkage. The results emphasize that this is a tricky question to address, especially as a local politician. As of now, there are not as many or as distinct strategies as potentially is needed in neither Strömsund nor for demographically shrinking communities in general, and one of the reasons is that demographic shrinkage is politically easier to manage reactively rather than to actively plan for. The interviewed public servants are all interested in how strategies for smart shrinkage can be applied and a need for more knowledge was apparent. Many strategies were found to be place specific and dependent on the local geography as well as bound by laws and regulations. As a result, in this study we discuss conceivable strategies together with a need for laws based on territorial and geographical preconditions. We conclude that there appears to be a shift underway, where growth may not always be seen as the answer, but rather an equalization between urban and rural where quality of life and sustainable living are seen as increasingly important.
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