Over the past few decades, the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) has been growing, both in terms of population and economy. The region has also become more integrated thanks to increased cooperation.

But how will the Baltic Sea Region look like in 2050? The ESPON project “BT2050” has been exploring a variety of territorial development challenges and trends that might shape the further development of the region and published its results today.

Forecasting the future of territorial development

During the project, three scenarios have been developed for the Baltic Sea Region.

1) A Baseline Scenario offers a perspective about how the Baltic Sea Region will look like in 2050 if trends of the recent past (e.g. steady economic growth, the inflow of immigrants) and current policy practices (e.g. EU political integration) continue to be in effect in the following three decades.

2) The scenario ‘Well-being in a circular economy: a RE-mind of a good life’ envisions the Baltic Sea Region as a place with an active citizen involvement in the transition from the existing linear economic model in favour of a circular economy that focuses on a better quality of life. 

3) The scenario ‘Growing into green-tech giants: the ecological footprint clear-up’ pictures the Baltic Sea Region as a giant in green technology and innovation. A reduced ecological footprint increased eco-production, and a ‘guilt-free’ consumerism are some of the characteristics of this scenario.

These scenarios aim to support VASAB members to design and implement evidence-based policies for the future of the Baltic Sea Region.