Regional economic and living environments are of special importance to quality of life and sustainable affluence. Regional strategies can be applied as a counterpoint, as well as complementary to global strategies.
Which roles can regional and local political systems play in the global governance system in order to effectively encourage sustainable development? (Key words: Subsidiarity, federalism/regionalisation, autonomy of municipalities)
Which spatially/regionally differentiated indicators – apart from the GDP – are appropriate for a more suitable monitoring and benchmarking of affluence and quality of life?
What is happening already now at regional and/or local levels? Examples of innovative strategies (a) to safeguard an economic competitiveness oriented according to sustainability and/or (b) to increase the crisis-resilience of regions in the existing global context (“resilient regions”)?
Regional aspects – regional network as an economic driving force
Even ten years ago it seemed as if the biotec enterprise of Mrs Little would have to transfer the headquarters of the company to the next bigger town. Skilled workers were hard to find because for many of them the small town was not attractive enough.
As other companies were confronted with the same problem, the region around the small town of the Little family started with a regional network in order to link existing enterprises and to make the region attractive for new enterprises nine years ago. Investments in apartments, short-distance supply, child care, cultural programmes and education followed. In the meantime 13 new biotec enterprises have settled down in the region which have created together 350 jobs.
The foundation of a technical college for biotechnology five years ago contributed decisively to the success. The first graduates, predominantly from the region, already have jobs; most of them have remained in the region. The salary level in a small town is lower than usual in this branch of industry, however, a topical study by a regional management agency has shown: For most employees the quality of life in the region counts more.