Sala de Graus II. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Barcelona Spain
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Link to access the online session.

CREAF Talk with Kjell Overvåg - "Towards more sustainable spatial planning in rural areas: insights from Norway"

Friday, March 17, 2023

TITLE: Towards more sustainable spatial planning in rural areas: insights from Norway

DATE: 17th March 2023.

TIME & FORMAT: form 12 to 1pm CET - In-person and online.

Seminars will combine in-person and online formats (CREAF, Sala Graus II, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain) but in all cases, talks will be always streamed (not recorded), so they can be followed online.

HOW TO CONNECT: direct link to Kjell Overvåg's conference.


There is an increased use of rural land (outfields) for economic and recreational purposes in Norway, and where development of new wind energy projects and building of new second homes are two main drivers. This leads to substantive challenges for sustainability, especially environmental, but also social and economically. And it happens despite national and international goals of restricting land use for new developments. For example, in the period 2008-2019 second homes accounted for 24% of new land use in Norway, and a significant part of this is having negative effects on climate and nature diversity. Based on already accepted land-use plans, this development is expected to continue in the coming decade, if not any significant policy measures are implemented. Land use planning, with the Planning and Building Act, as its basis, is the main instrument for deciding land-use in Norway. Local authorities have the major authority to perform land-use planning, but within the framework of a complex multi-level governance system, where other levels of government, sectors and actors have different authority and interests. A main exception from this general system is planning of energy, including wind, where it is national authorities who has the main authority, creating specific challenges for social and political sustainability. In the seminar it will be discussed what the main challenges are for sustainability concerning rural land use connected to wind energy and second homes. And further it will present ongoing research, and coming changes in policies and planning systems, and discuss how this can improve sustainability in rural land use.


Norwegian University of Science and Technology in 2009. He has been a visiting researcher in Scotland, Wales and Italy, and the winter 2023 he is visiting CREAF in Barcelona. Main research interest is in regional development and planning in rural and mountain areas, including issues related to tourism/second homes, energy, protected areas/national parks and shrinking/ageing regions.