The new thematic group on attractive, sustainable communities met for the first time in Aarhus, Central Denmark Region on 2-3 March. A record of 32 delegates participated in the meeting, which was combined with a seminar.

The new group is chaired by Cllr Barney Crockett from Aberdeen City Council, with Cllr Birgitta Adolfsson from Västra Götaland Region and Cllr Otto Kjær Larsen from the North Denmark Region as Vice-Chairs. All of them have previous experience from the two previous groups on Economic Development or Culture and Tourism. The adviser of the new group is Mr Geir Sør-Reime from Rogaland County Council who was also the adviser of the Culture and Tourism Group from 1997 onwards.

The seminar, on Thursday 2 March, saw presentations on a number of the subjects that the new group will deal with: climate change adaptations, circular economy and bio economy, regional food initiatives, culture tourism and the European Capital of Culture, as well as discussing issues like smart specialisation strategies and smart regional development, including economic diversification; and issues relating to the inclusion of refugees and migrants.

Following the seminar, there were technical visits to the new museum building of the Moesgaard Museum, and to ARoS, the art museum of Aalborg. Both visits were related to their contributions to Aarhus 2017 European Capital of Culture.

The group visited the new museum building of the Moesgaard Museum

The formal meeting of the group on Friday 3 March discussed the work plan 2017-18 for the North Sea Commission and the group and endorsed the suggestions prepared by the Chairs/Vice-Chairs. These include more focus on smart regional development and economic diversification.

The group also endorsed the suggested name of the group: Smart Regions Group.

Documents and presentations

For documents and presentations from the meeting, click here.

More information

For more information, contact Geir Sør-Reime, Advisor,