The green megaregion in Northern Europe

The green megaregion in Northern Europe

The STRING megaregion is a global top 20 hotspot for innovation and implementation of green technologies. However, even the largest cities within the Northern European geography remain relatively small when considered individually on a global scale, and we are losing ground to other hotspots with the same characteristics.

The divide between our local and regional green growth centres, and the lack of scale of our individual economies limits our ability to compete globally, attract foreign investments and reach our export potential. However, when connected through transport and economic linkages to each other and to our surrounding territories, our individual growth centres can reach a critical mass and achieve economies of scale that are typical of megaregions like the San Francisco Bay area or its likes. Megaregions can help deliver agglomeration benefits and greater visibility while avoiding the negative externalities that may come with megacities, such as increased housing costs, congestion and pollution. ​

According to the OECD, we have the potential to become a leading European megaregion and a global powerhouse for the green transition, if we think beyond our local, regional and national borders. This is why the local and regional authorities in STRING work together to accelerate the green transition and reap the benefits of an interconnected megaregion through three main objectives below, defined in collaboration with the OECD.


1. Deploy sustainable transport infrastructure across borders

Integrated, up-to-date and sustainable transport networks, not least across borders, are key drivers of economic growth, job creation and ensuring a good quality of life for all citizens. The STRING region is uniquely positioned as a nexus between the Scandinavian countries and Northern Germany and continental Europe. The transport infrastructure in the region should therefore form a corridor that enables both internal and external mobility and supports development of a more prosperous, liveable and sustainable society.

2. Position STRING as a globally acknowledged green hub

With our expertise in developing, producing and exporting green technologies and our head start towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, STRING members work to position the megaregion as a globally acknowledged green hub by strengthening our international visibility to attract skilled workers and investments and further develop our green industries.

3. Build a cohesive and inclusive megaregion

As cities become economically and physically more interdependent with their surroundings through transport infrastructure, new challenges that might be best solved at the megaregion scale arise. These include the efficient provision of infrastructure and services, enabling economic development and creating inclusive and resilient regions, protecting natural resources across multiple administrative boundaries, and moving goods. STRING members work to establish local and regional ownership for STRING and a shared sense of identity in the megaregion, to enable problem-solving at a megaregional level.