Stockholm Chamber of Commerce - This Is How We Close The Gap Between The City And The Countryside

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This Is How We Close The Gap Between The City And The Countryside

In the latest report by the Stockholm Chamber on city and the countryside, it is revealed that those living outside the capital region believe the gap is increasing. At the same time, the results clearly show the belief that Stockholmers are ignorant to the living conditions in other areas.

The report “The Image of Stockholm” was presented before an audience of hundreds of people. One of the guests was Prince Daniel. Fredrik Torehammar, policy expert at the Stockholm Chamber, gave a presentation on the report.

 - Urbanization brings with it many great things, innovation and growth being an example, however, there is a clear contradiction if we do not have a vibrant countryside – and this is what we want to counteract with our proposals, says Fredrik Torehammar, policy expert at the Stockholm Chamber.

In the report, 2,067 residents living outside of Stockholm County has responded to a survey, providing their image of Stockholm, their own town, as well as the relationship between the capital and the country as a whole.

- We see that many people like Stockholm, think that it is beautiful with good abundance and a high pulse. However, there is also skepticism against Stockholm as a symbol for economic, political and media powerhouses. There is a disbelief that must be taken very seriously, says Fredrik Torehammar.

 - There is a clear correlation between those responding on the development of their own towns and being positive towards the relationship between the city and countryside. Therefore it is also logical to look at how to strengthen businesses and the economic development in these smaller areas, says Fredrik Torehammar.

The Stockholm Chamber of Commerce proposes several key actions in order to strengthen the countryside.

  1. Reform the local government financial equalization system.
  2. Decentralize more power to the municipalities.
  3. Improve ways to commute for work between city and countryside.
  4. Strengthen ownership rights across the nation.
  5. Strengthen domestic flights.
  6. Improve the local business environment.
  7. Fundamental public service must be maintained across the country.

The Stockholm Chamber believes that the decentralization of power, coupled with stronger local businesses and a more effective financial equalization system, are key issues in order to iron out the difference between the larger cities and the countryside.

For more information read an interview on the report feature in The Local here

Swedish version