What is DART's background?

Demographic change constitutes a challenge for many European regions. Low fertility rates and migration are leading to a declining population in many regions. By 2030 every third person in the EU will be 60 or older. This situation has created obstacles in ensuring the provision of adequate public services, while at the same time shrinking regional demands and the need for a sufficiently large qualified workforce are endangering the economic basis of the regions in question.

There are many strategies and reports underlining the impending challenges in connection with declining and ageing regions in Europe. The "vulnerability index report" identifies the influence of demographic trends as one of the biggest challenges facing Europe. Meeting the demographic challenge through the consolidation of human capital and maintaining of public services are key factors in regional policies as being outlined in the EU initiative “Regions for economic change” and the "Lisbon Strategy" and its successor "Europe 2020”.

There are already several examples showing how the economy, education, health care and social services can be boosted in shrinking regions. Accordingly DART outlines these experiences, underpins them with adapted standards and indicators and works out innovative and integrated solutions that maintain the quality of life and social inclusion for all generations in declining and ageing areas.


URBACT Report: Shrinking Cities

The DART project contributed to the report "From crises to choice: Re-imagining the future of shrinking cities.", that was published by URBACT, in May 2013. more

DART Indicator Study

The study on indicators and standards compared for the first time the demographic change with selected data from the DART partner regions on a NUTS 3 level.Within the pilot action of the project a regional observation monitor...more

Tarja Cronberg

Member of European Parliament (since 2011)

In Finland the declining and ageing society is usually seen as a serious problem with negative consequences. Therefore a strong change in attitudes is needed. When facing challenges, the North Karelia has already several times assumed the role of forerunner. Once again we need to review new structures, models and tools, as well as find innovative solutions aiming to improve tomorrow's prerequisite for living and working in our region. The main concern of the DART project is highly topical and any outcomes of fruitful European collaboration are warmly welcomed.