On 6 September 2018, PA Secure was invited to participate in two VASAB workshops organised by the Latvian presidency – Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development in Liepaja, Latvia.

The first workshop led by ESPON gathered information from the BSR stakeholders on what indicators are important for monitoring national and macro-regional development trends and the progress of all four EU Macro-Regional Strategies. The second workshop by VASAB focused on how to design and implement resilience strategies for small and medium-size cities to adapt and thrive in response to the challenges of the 21st century. The outcomes of the workshops will be summarised in the form of policy messages at the final conference in May 2019 in Riga.

During the first workshop, representatives from the BSR, including EUSBSR HA Climate, PA Energy, PA Transport, research institutions, ministries, spatial planners, HELCOM, etc., discussed the European and Macro-regional Territorial Monitoring Tool, which is being developed by ESPON, based on the existing tools such as European Territorial Monitoring System (ETMS) and the Baltic Sea Region Territorial Monitoring System (BSR-TeMo). The participants had a chance to contribute to further development and user-friendliness of the tool. PA Secure contributed with a suggestion that societal security indicators should be considered, as very important for evidence-based policymaking.

During the second workshop, on the resilience strategies for small and medium cities in the BSR, a larger group of city administration representatives and researchers joined the discussion. After a round of presentations on research results concerning urban challenges (urban shrinkage, scenario planning, etc.), the participants took part in working group discussions on urban quality, desirable social and business environment, open spaces, and digitalisation.

On behalf of PA Secure, Project Officer Andriy Martynenko informed VASAB management about the upcoming CASCADE project (facilitated by CBSS Secretariat Civil Security team and funded by DG ECHO). The project will create a risk assessment methodology training course for city planners in the BSR with the focus on climate change risks.

The presentations from the second workshop can be found on VASAB’s homepage.