Regional cores are prioritised in the Regional Development Plan of Stockholm (RUFS 2050), to secure polycentric development
Region Stockholm is responsible for the Regional Development Plan for long-term physical planning for Stockholm county. The plan is developed in close collaboration with the 26 municipalities. In 2018, a new Stockholm Regional Development Plan (RUFS2050) was presented. In 2019 the plan was also approved as a Regional Development Strategy. Implementation is followed up on a yearly basis.
There are large variations in social and industrial structures within Stockholm region, with manufacturing industry dominating in some more rural municipalities and knowledge intensive business services (KIBS) dominating the centre of Stockholm and surrounding municipalities. The population of Stockholm region is growing with 30-40 000 inhabitants each year and the central municipalities are facing increased congestion, with transportation bottlenecks and shortages of housing.
To reduce these problems and encourage sustainable growth, an ambition to develop a more polycentric region was introduced in the Stockholm Regional Development Plans 2001. The process was inspired by participation in an EU-project on polycentric regional development. In the latest plan (RUFS2050), the central core of Stockholm city and 8 regional cores have been identified for prioritized actions. The dominating business structure vary between the regional cores, but they are all characterized by high accessibility for public transportation, urban density, some businesses diversification and green areas.

Resources needed

A network of regional cores and a yearly follow-up of the implementation of the Regional Development Plan is coordinated by Regional Stockholm. The concept of regional cores is implemented in physical planning for the whole Stockholm county, affecting actors at local, regional and national level.

Evidence of success

The work with regional cores has evolved over time and is still a central concept to stimulate a polycentric regional development In Stockholm County. It is integrated in physical planning e.g. of public transportation infrastructures. According to the follow-up on the Regional Development Plan, the regional cores have had a stronger growth in population and business development than the rest of the county.

Difficulties encountered

To integrate regional core and polycentric development in has been a long-term process. With a long tradition of a monocentric development, it has taken time to develop more transportation infrastructures between regional cores, since there are many local, regional and national actors involved.

Potential for learning or transfer

There is an explicit ambition to secure that all core areas have a possibility for sustainable development, based on local conditions and strengths. The different cores vary in terms of size, density, population, businesses etc. But all regional cores are easily accessible and should be a complement to the central core of Stockholm as well as to each other. In a long perspective (2050) all the regional cores will hall the regional cores will have an even better accessibility. The regional cores are situated in one or two municipalities, but they often have a close collaboration with surrounding municipalities.
Working with regional cores provides advantages for households and companies with external economies of scale, facilitates public transport and resource efficiency and supports land economizing. A network for regional cores, including national agencies , is led by Stockholm Region. Today, regional cores are central for all physical planning in the county.
Main institution
Region Stockholm
Stockholm, Sweden (Sverige)
Start Date
January 2001
End Date


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