The Mid Nordic Region

Regional development zones in regional development -research

The topic of this research is regional development zones (RDZ) in regional development in
Finland. One of the zones in the research is the MidNordic Region.

The aim of RDZs is to combine economic growth with balanced regional development
by directing development in a zonal way between the growth centers and in the vicinity
of urban areas. Large road, railroad or waterway forms the main structure of RDZs. The
activities along this structure physically connect the actors within the zone. The interactive
zone trespasses many borders of institutional regional administrative units such as municipalities,
counties and states. RDZs are based on agreement between the administrative organizations
involved in the activities. In practice, parts of several municipalities belong to a
RDZ. Some RDZs are few kilometers wide corridors along the transport and communication
structure. Others are broad, sparsely populated and un-built zones.

In Finland, there are several RDZs of which some are international and others regional or
local. Their resources vary. The smallest RDZ has less than 20 000 inhabitants whereas the
largest has a population exceeding two million. The RDZs are different from administrative
perspective as well though majority are led purely by public authorities. Some are well established
in their activities, others are so far an idea.
In this research, the main focus was on Jäämeren käytävä (Arctic Corridor), Etelä-Karjalan laatukäytävä (Southern Karelia Quality Corridor), Jämsä-Jyväskylä-Äänekoski RDZ, Perämerenkaari (Bothnian Arc), Keskipohjola-vyöhyke (Mid Nordic Region) and Oulu-Kajaani-kehittämisvyöhyke (Oulu-Kajaani RDZ).
The selected cases cover well the Finnish RDZs from local to international, including those recognized by the European Union.
The research regarding the Finnish RDZs is conducted from the viewpoints of geographical
context, economic and social resources and governance.

The research:$file/222007.pdfexternal link, opens in new window

The research was made by the Finnish Ministry of the Interior/Department for Development of Regions in May 2007.