The REGINA Local Smart Specialisation Strategy Framework
The REGINA Local Smart Specialisation framework is a locally focused adaptation of the EU-promoted Regional Smart Specialisation Strategy-concept.
The REGINA Local Smart Specialisation (LS3) framework is inspired by the six-step cycle of the European Smart Specialisation Strategy. It offers local communities facing unique development challenges posed by large-scale industrial developments a framework for developing their own local development strategy.
“Planning and development tools for small-scale communities with large-scales industries”
The six-step framework emphasizes place-based policy through its focus on providing a strong evidence base, utilizing participatory planning and dealing with practical challenges faced by local communities. At the heart of the LS3 framework are three planning tools developed within the project: the Demographic Foresight Model (DFM), the Social Impact Management Plan (SIMP) and the Local Benefit Analysis Toolbox (LBAT).
The six phases of the LS3 planning process:
Step 1 Current situation: gathers evidence to establish baseline conditions for future development. This is based on an overview of the current demographic patterns, existing land use and social development plans as well as detailed assessment of the business and entrepreneurial development patterns. This step is about gathering existing knowledge to ensure that the local development strategy is rooted in an accurate and realistic evidence base of the current socio-economic and planning conditions that exist in the community.
Step 2 Future challenges and opportunities: involves identifying core development challenges and opportunities, and to describe the aspirations of the community through a community vision. A local stakeholder group and an open workshop is used to make this a participatory activity. A detailed work plan and reporting template for identifying and documenting the challenges, opportunities and vision through stakeholder involvement is available in the guidelines for step 1 and step 2.
Step 3 Foresight Analysis: develops knowledge on local demographic and labour market impacts of large-scale industrial development. For calculating demographic and labour market projections, the Demographic Foresight Model – DMF offers a spreadsheet model designed to enable planners and development staff in small municipalities to make projections based on the likely effects of “employment shocks” such as large scale investments in natural resource-based industries. The spreadsheet is accompanied by a user manual, which provides step-by-step guidance; where to find the necessary data, how to check and calibrate the projections, and how to set up an employment shock scenario. Find out more about the Demographic Foresight Model.
Step 4 Planning and Monitoring: focuses on understanding community social impacts of large-scale projects. Through the Social Impact Management Planning tool – SIMP, collaborative planning is used to deliberate social impacts, create political support and establish a framework for monitoring impacts as projects develop. The tool focuses on involving diverse local stakeholders to identify and monitor social impacts both at the project level and also in connection with local and regional land use planning. Read more about the Social Impact Management Planning tool.
Step 5 Local benefit retention: is all about using a key industry as a stepping-stone to local competencies and entrepreneurship in industrial supply-chains and complementary sectors. The ambition is to ensure that economic activities caused by industrial projects are harnessed within the community, rather than relying on good and services produced outside of the region. Planning and policy options can be explored using the Local Benefit Analysis Toolbox – LBAT.
Step 6 Policy options: the development of an implementation plan is vital to the successful implementation of the overall strategy. It gathers the results of the previous steps in order to ensure the local political approval of policy and actions aimed at enhancing local benefits from new industrial developments and socioeconomic changes. Detailed guidelines to carry-out this step are available here.