Societal challenges within Stockholm region

Stockholm is growing rapidly and this is presenting numerous challenges in a variety of areas.
The growing population in the region is following a general trend in regions all around the world. In recent years half of Sweden’s population increase has taken place in Stockholm County and this trend is likely to continue.

The region has expressed an ambition to promote continued population growth as well as growth in industry and other areas. In order to remain an attractive region, a number of challenges must be dealt with. Ensuring that Stockholm remains attractive, innovative and can compete with other regions is a key issue for the entire country.

The rapid growth also increases the need to develop existing and create new enterprises and organisations that work in a dynamic and innovative way to support the type of development the city and the region needs.

A few of the challenges Openlab is working on are:

  • The ageing population

The ageing population is one of the biggest social and economic challenges for our societies. All of the EU nations and most policy areas are affected. By 2025 more than 20 per cent of the EU’s population will be older than 65. In particular, the number of people over 80 is growing rapidly. The elderly have special medical needs and the systems must therefore be adapted to provide adequate care while remaining financially sustainable.

  • Healthcare and medical services

Demand for healthcare and medical services is constantly changing due to factors such as altered disease landscapes, new treatment methods and preventative care norms, as well as the expectations of patients and the population.

  • Sustainable urban development

Stockholm offers knowledge resources, opportunities, challenges and vibrancy – qualities that many people and businesses are seeking. At the same time the city offers green and blue value; green spaces and water are important aspects of the region’s brand.

One of the single most significant challenges is how to make the transport system more accessible while minimising the climate impact of the traffic sector.

A growing city requires more housing. An efficient supply of housing is crucial for the region’s long-term development and for a supply of talent for business and industry.

In conclusion, Stockholm has strong research and development environments, but there are signs of a risk that the region’s position will weaken. Investment in research and innovation infrastructure must be increased to focus on testing, demonstrating and verifying concepts.