Integrated strategy to generate social, economic and environmental sustainability in south-east Malmö, Sweden

The SÖM ‘South East Malmö’ project is creating a socially, environmentally and financially sustainable environment in a number of depressed city districts of Malmö

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The 80 000 people living in the south-east area of Malmö, Sweden, suffer a very high level of unemployment and many are highly dependent on social benefits. The SÖM ‘South East Malmö’ project undertaken in 2008 set out to bring together public, private and non-profit bodies to work towards a sustainable growth in the area.

The social needs in the SÖM area were clearly identified and the European Social Fund (ESF) and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) were seen as an opportunity to fund some of this work. Through public consultation and sustained dialogue, a strategic focus was kept on the needs in the SÖM area and synergy required in implementing projects, even if the two European funds had different aims and objectives.

Creating a platform to concentrate available resources

Over a period of one year the partners successfully created a platform to concentrate available resources, both human and financial, and help create a socially, environmentally and financially sustainable environment in these city districts while promoting creative, sustainable growth.

As part of the SÖM coordination process, all local actors jointly identified the common interests, problems and opportunities in four districts of the city as a first step towards a structured and integrated regeneration plan for south-east Malmö. This analysis generated 10 projects focusing on issues such as social integration, growth of the local economy and job creation which were launched with ESF and ERDF funding.

Working alongside the city administration in these projects has been Malmö University, the National Employment Agency, the National Insurance Office, the private sector in Malmö and neighbouring areas and the Gothenburg city administration.

Action to increase jobs and access to jobs

Of particular success has been the SÖM Fosie action to increase jobs and access to jobs through integration, training and matchmaking and a new phase was launched with EU funding.

Other actions include:

  • a pre-study of an innovation and education centre;
  • a centre to combat social exclusion and unemployment for young people;
  • an experimental project to break trends of long-term unemployment;
  • a coaching project for unemployed and socially excluded persons;
  • a scheme for training people to gain access to the labour market.

The projects have improved equal opportunities and integration for minority groups and young people and reduced unemployment and social exclusion.

The long-term effect of the project has been to create a strategic partnership for the SÖM area and to develop an action plan for the area and the city as a whole. It has increased the participation of citizens, private actors, property owners and the commercial and industrial world in efforts for future city development.

The experience from SÖM has continued through a new programme in Malmö called ”Områdesprogrammet” area based programme, which has been formally approved by the city council executive board. It now has a holistic integrated approach to five areas facing particular challenges, and builds on the coordinated use of ESF and ERDF funds.

Total and EU funding

The project “SÖM South East Malmö” has a total eligible budget of EUR 190 000 with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 81 105 for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date