Planning for sustainability in shrinking mountain communities

By Hans Olav Bråtå, Ph.D. Research Professor. Eastern Norway Research Institute, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences. Lillehammer, Norway.

Many rural municipalities have a shrinking population, an increased share of elderly and a decreasing share of young people. This is frequently the case in mountain communities.

Shrinkage causes economic problems and a need to reduce the cost level for municipal services, including reducing staffing and the number of service locations   public services or centralise them within the municipality. This is painful to local communities. Another issue is over-investments, based on wishful politics of a future population growth which turns out to be absent. This often accelerate economic problems. (more…)

The institution of home is expanding into mountain space – in stealth mode

By Tor Arnesen, research Professor at the Eastern Norway Research Institute and at the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences.

When launching the journal Mobilities, the opening editorial statement from Hannam, Shelly and Urry (2006, p. 1) read: “Mobility has become an evocative keyword for the twenty‐first century and a powerful discourse that creates its own effects and contexts.” They see a fundamental ‘mobility turn’ transforming the social sciences, rather than just putting a new topic on the table. (more…)