Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2016 - Page 52

Southwest Synergy Turku, Uusikaupunki, Rauma and Pori are pushing regional growth – together Southwest Finland is brimming with synergies – and the leading cities in the region are working hard to capitalise on the opportunities presented by collaboration. The coastal towns of Turku, Uusikaupunki, Rauma and Pori came together already in 2005, as the mayors of the communities started having regular talks. In 2010, an agreement was reached on the forms of cooperation and LOURA – Intercity Collaboration of South-West Coast of Finland – was born. P ipa Turvanen is presently charged with coordinating the LOURA co-operation efforts. She comments that the region has a long tradition of working together, but recently, the goals and the activities have become more ambitious. “The idea is that the cities identify and select their collective strong areas, and work together to develop them onwards.” West is the Best? Since the entire region is big on marine industries, this is obviously one key area of cooperation, but also such sectors as energy, water-related know-how and tour50 Nordicum ism & travel offer plenty of opportunities. The Southwest coast and archipelago, for instance, are truly world-class nature destinations. “Coastal cities are a rising trend also internationally. From an investor’s viewpoint, it makes sense to explore the potential of the entire region instead of a single city. Together we can be bigger than any of us on our own,” she sums up. Joining Forces Aino-Maija Luukkonen, Mayor of Pori, says that the Southwest alliance is a strategical tool to help deal with the challenges of the future. As urbanisation results in the creation of growth corridors and growth zones, all dynamic communities – and those wanting to stay that way – must tap into these collaborative networks. “Our cities are stronger together, if you look at issues such as regional competitiveness, visibility and promoting one’s interests,” she says, adding that the Southwest cities are not that interested in administrative or municipal limits here, but, instead, want to nurture activities that are beneficial (at least in the long run) for the entire region. According to Luukkonen, Pori has been active on many fronts lately, as € 1.3