Post-COVID settlement patterns across urban and rural areas in Sweden



16 December 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically affected people's lives across Europe. Policies enacted to protect public health, including reduced business operations, lockdowns, mobility restrictions, and border closures have had major, but uneven, impacts on where people call home. Nordic countries saw the rise of a renewed appreciation for the outdoors, domestic travel, and the blurring of public and private spaces for work and leisure. One important consequence has been the growth of home ownership in rural areas from urban buyers, which has affected the territorial and infrastructural linkages between the two areas.

This ESPON online roundtable will specifically focus on impacts related to social cohesion, spatial planning and territorial development in Sweden:

  • Since the COVID pandemic began, what new types of urban and rural settlement patterns are emerging?
  • How has housing access itself been affected by the pandemic?
  • In what ways will these dynamics have an enduring influence on rural-urban settlement linkages?

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