"NORDGREEN has facilitated getting in touch with around 1000 people" - update from Vilhelmina
Vilhelmina Municipality covers a vast area of northern Sweden while being sparsely populated. The municipality has adopted a Green Comprehensive Plan with holistic social, ecological and economic aspects. As a destination for outdoor tourism, Vilhelmina municipality needs to balance the expectations from the seasonal population with the needs of the permanent population to support wellbeing for both groups. In particular, the Kittelfjäll area is going through a large development which generates many questions about the balance between physical development and maintenance of the green space. Here is an interview with Peter Manner, city partner:
Nordregio: How did the municipality of Vilhelmina decide to collaborate with NORDGREEN?
Peter Manner: The collaboration started mainly because the area of Kittelfjäll has gone through a phase of quite fast expansion when it comes to summer houses or holiday houses. There was a stream of big investments in the area, and there was a stringent need to contact both the visitors and the local population when it comes to the planning process. And since Vilhelmina supports Kittelfjäll with quite a lot of money every year as a holiday destination, this meant that we would also be part of NORDGREEN.
Nordregio: How does that translate in practical terms?
Peter Manner: We needed practical instruments to keep in contact in a structured way with the locals and guests or house owners about the future planning in the Kittelfjäll area, mainly for technical developments.
Nordregio: How has NORDGREEN helped in practical ways?
Peter Manner: The project has facilitated getting in touch with around 1000 people whose opinion and input for further development was asked.
Nordregio: How did you apply the results of the survey?
Peter Manner: We haven’t fully started to work with the results from the municipality’s side, but Kittelfjäll has implemented a few changes locally. To continue implementing the results, we would need to dialogue with the technical department and politicians because they decide what should be done when it comes to the larger planning goals. And I believe the department of Fritidskontoret should also get involved because they are the ones who run the ski tracks, swimming pools and other sports facilities. Right now, they are making plans regarding future investments. Besides that, the regional government planning some hiking and walking trails in the mountain could also discuss and apply the findings.
Nordregio: What are some of your plans related to NORDGREEN and the municipality?
Peter Manner: We plan to arrange a workshop at the beginning of May, together with the stakeholders I mentioned earlier and try to analyse and implement the results in the municipal planning process.