Description of the project:
The transnational transport corridor "Via Hanseatica" connects the Eastern Baltic Sea Region with Central Europe. It is crucially important for political and economic cohesion of the Baltic Sea Region. However, low-quality transport links, numerous national borders, traditional economic structures and historical separation hamper integrated development.
The project "South Baltic Arc" addresses these problems through transnational spatial planning, transport infrastructure development as well as complementary development measures at the regional level.
Objectives of the "South Baltic Arc"project.
"South Baltic Arc" has two main objectives:
- Strengthening the co-operation of regional stakeholders within and among the participating countries in order to enhance regional development.
- Reducing welfare disparities within the South Baltic Arc Region.
With regard to the EU-enlargement, "South Baltic Arc" demonstrates, which regional development effects enhanced transport infrastructure can generate, and how these effects can be reinforced by complementary regionally based development measures. At the transnational level spatial development strategies are harmonized and adjusted among countries and regions, and proposals for improvements of the transport infrastructure along the "Via Hanseatica" corridor are elaborated.
At the same time concrete regional development measures, dealing with the development of large-scale industrial areas, the future role of Szczecin as the urban centre of the Polish-German border region, stronger sub-regional and local urban centres in rural areas as well as cultural and natural heritage as development factors, are prepared.
Achievements of the project so far:
- Transnational Level: Harmonisation of Strategies, Agreement on Common Methodologies and Priorities
- Transnationally relevant planning documents from all regions have been compiled for harmonising regional development strategies in the South Baltic Arc region. On this basis, synergies and priorities for future transnational and cross-border action in this region could be identified.
The participation of the project partners in the formal consultation processes qualify the revised State Planning Programme of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern/DE and Regional Development Strategy of Voivodship Pomerania/PL as pilots for transnationally adjusted development strategies in the SBA region. The common declaration signed by the heads of the involved regions in Gdansk on 25 June 2004 created the basis for follow-up activities for continuing the SBA approach and partnership after the end of the current INTERREG project.
A common methodology for territorial impact assessment in transport infrastructure planning on programme level has been elaborated for conjointly identifying priority infrastructure measures along the "Via Hanseatica" corridor. In applying it, six priority measures have been defined for the Polish part of the VH corridor, including pre-feasibility assessments. Furthermore, the methodology has been adjusted and applied for Kaliningrad Oblast in order to define priorities for this part of the SBA region, too.
The expert studies have dealt with the role and accessibility of the City of Szczecin as an urban centre in the German-Polish border region, strengthening local and sub-regional urban centres in the impact zone of "Via Hanseatica" as well as cultural and natural heritage as development factors for the SBA region. An exchange of experience concerning the implementation of these measures has been initiated among the project partners. Conclusions for adjustments of existing development strategies as well as priorities for future transnational cooperation have been drawn against this background. Thus, the results from the implemented regional development measures have directly been used as input for strategic planning.