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Europan 15: Productive Cities 2

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City: Rødberg
Title: The Rural Epoch

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In Norway, about 3% of the land is under agricultural cultivation and about 4% of able-bodied population is employed in the agricultural industry which accounts for about 2% of the annual GDP. However, the number of active farms is decreasing and several municipalities are currently without active farms. Where agricultural activities change or cease, the cultural landscape is also affected. Changing climate conditions also impact some areas which become overgrown without agricultural practises, irreplaceable heritage buildings are left to dilapidation, and species loss accelerates.

Citing from the 2030 Agenda – the global roadmap for eradicating extreme poverty through sustainable development for promoting good governance and peaceful societies by the UN in 2015, Norway has committed to one of many sustainable development goals to increase reliable food production at national level by 20% by 2020 to match the expected population and decrease reliance and dependence on imported food, while reducing total emissions from agriculture and other non-industrial sections by 40% by 2030.

Could this seemingly daunting task be the powerful trigger to cultivate Rødberg as the pioneering agricultural centre from a regional to national context? Paving the way to healthy and continuous food production, sustainable management of resources and a well-functioning trade system.

The valley of Numedal is a long valley with sweeping medieval traditions surrounded by rolling mountains and with a meandering river that winds through it. Along the valley lies numerous quiet and peaceful farms with almost untouched nature that maintains its balance with those residing there. The abundance of wildlife animals and plant species coexist harmoniously with the human traits and enduring medieval structures. One can find the most primitive and natural food cultures from the region, yet to be explored and enjoyed.

As the administrative centre of Nore og Uvdal municipality in Buskerud, Rødberg, although not a densely agriculturally cultivated land itself, holds locality significance and ignition potential to the greater agricultural scene in the region.

As a popular second-home destination, it also attracts in and outfluxes of various populations at different times of the year, shaping it to be a versatile node ready to take on aspiring transformations.