Students learning about "smart shrinkage"

A group of UW students is travelling to Latvia and Lithuania to take part in a two week Nordplus course on de-populating smaller regions. The course is a 5 ECST international course where students focus on development of regions around the Baltic Sea.

The students took off this morning with Matthias Kokorsch, Academic Director and Arnar Sigurðsson, instructor of the "rural innovation" course at UW. The course begins tomorrow, 29 April, and is a collaboration between universities in Finland, Sweden, Lithuania and Latvia. The headbases are in Vilnius, Lithuania, and Riga, in Latvia.

The UW participants are master's students in Coastal Communities and Regional Development and will have the chance to engage with experts as well as business and governmental stakeholders in these rural regions, learning about how the areas are developing and adapting.

They will meet and work along other participants, go on interactive excursions and carry out their own empirical research projects, mainly focusing on "smart shrinking", an approach that accepts depopulation and employs it actively to create smaller but better living places.

We look forward to following their adventures over the next two weeks on UW's Instagram (@uwiceland) and Facebook accounts.