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Europan 15: Productive Cities 2

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City: Rødberg
Title: Energizing Rødberg

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The municipality of Rødberg is located in the valley of Numedal. Rødberg is a small industrial town nestled amongst vibrant nature whose hydropower plant is a centerpiece of the town’s identity. The plant, Nore I, has transformed Rødberg from an agricultural to an industrial town, however agriculture still plays a significant role in the town’s economy. The power plant was a catalyst in the construction of Numedalsbanen. In fact the construction of Nore I influenced the city to start to improve its transportation. The small village together with the hydropower grew, due to industrialization and new transportation connections. Much time has passed since the inauguration of Nore I and since Numedalsbanen was operational. Rødberg, like many other rural towns in Scandinavia, is facing a large migration of people to the big cities in search of different opportunities.

Nevertheless, Rødberg has become a second home city, a place where thousands of visitors spend their holidays. This new resurrection of Rødberg is hectic but highly seasonal, especially during summers and holidays. Rødberg is one of the last large stops before people continue onwards to their destination. Many people tend to frequent the Kiwi during their travels but seldom stay long in the city center.

At first glance, Rødberg is a place surrounded by beautiful nature that offers plenty of opportunities for tourism. However, the town itself lacks a certain attraction to make tourists stay for an ample amount of time and a lack of activities and opportunities for work to encourage residents to stay. The fast growth during its urbanization has affected the town’s urban landscape. The town has lost its small-town nature charm and has become a single surface covered by asphalt. There is a lack of public spaces and reveals a place that is in stark contrast to the surrounding nature.

This project’s vision aims to mold Rødberg into a more connected city, for its people, and with its past whilst looking towards the future to offer its citizens a purpose to stay and grow together within the city. Rescuing the Rødberg identity hopes to bring back the local lifestyle that is focused on local resources and introducing new technologies that can lead to a more sustainable lifestyle. The vision is to make Rødberg a place where it is possible to live, work and enjoy nature at the same time. A more attractive city not only could help to keep the tourists but also increase its population — a town to stay not to pass by.