NORSA was formally established at a meeting in Umeå, Sweden, in September 2008.
NORSA is a non-political, voluntary, self-governing organisation with non-profit objectives andshares the aims and objects of the Regional Studies Association, which are:
(a) to promote education in the field of regional studies (those studies which relate to the economic, physical and sociological problems of development in major areas) by the exchange of ideas and information.
(b) to stimulate and aid studies and research into regional planning, development and functions and to disseminate the results of such research.
a) promote knowledge about regional and local development and governance;
b) initiate and support studies and research on development and functioning of regional and local structures;
c) act for the promotion of regional sciences among all subjects participating in social, political and economic life;
d) establish international cooperation in theoretical and practical approaches to regional development; and,
e) cooperate with various institutions, organisations and associations with similar goals and objectives.
NORSA carries out its objectives through the following means:
a) conducting events such as seminars, conferences, courses, discussions etc.
b) participation of its members in seminars and conferences held locally, nationally and internationally;
c) promotion of its activities to the mass media and through its own publications and web presence;
d) cooperating with authorities, institutions and organisations interested in activities run by NORSA.
NORSA’s ambition is to organise biannual Nordic conferences. The working language at the conferences will be English, since we hope to attract participants also from other parts of Europe and the world with an interest of regional issues in the Nordic context.
The idea of a Nordic Division of RSA was conceived by the four Nordic country reps in 2005, and a first conference of what was then called the Nordic Network of RSA was held in Balestrand, Norway in 2006. At this conference there was agreed to organise a second conference in Umeå 2008. Christine Hudson at Umeå University became the organising chair of this conference, while the Nordic country representatives (Markku Sotarauta, Finland, Henrik Halkier, Denmark, Peter de Souza, Sweden and Oddbjørn Bukve, Norway) took the role as a temporary board with Peter de Souza as chair. The board later supplemented itself with Margareta Dahlström from Nordregio. These were also elected to the first ordinary board of NORSA during the Umeå meeting. By electing country reps to the board of NORSA, we hope to develop NORSA in close co-operation with the RSA.