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Europan 14: Productive Cities

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City: Alta
Title: The Soul of the North

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Alta as the flagship of arctic circular economy. In order to contribute to sustainable development of the region, the project proposes turning local waste into resources. The Norwegian government recently proposed strategies to expand the fishing industry in the North. Currently, the industry faces challenges in waste management and its negative impact on marine ecology. This project responds to both existing and future production, collecting sludge and biomass from marine industry and land-based agriculture. The Skiferkaia biogas plant can produce around the equivalent of 5 million litres of fuel in biogas and one million kg hydrogen per year – which can be made available in charging stations around Alta. This will enable sustainable transport in the North, where the population depends on cars and long distances make battery driven cars less reliable. High quality fertilizer is another useful byproduct.

The project aims to establish Alta as a regional knowledge centre on arctic energy and ecology. Testing methods on-site will contribute to research and attract interest from professionals and tourists alike. Cultivation includes arctic roots and berries, hydroponics, aquaponics and IMTA (Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture), a synergetic system where fish, seashells and seaweed improve each other´s growth potential and cleanse seawater.

Skiferkaia will be connected both physically and programmatically to Bossekop and Alta. The city is known for its “youthful” population with an entrepreneurial spirit. Enhancing this unique identity is key to the project. Alta municipality plans a sea- and riverfront nature walk, which the Skiferkaia promenade will connect to at either end. Although Alta is a coastal city, an active connection to the sea is lacking. The promenade will reinvigorate the waterfront and enable various uses of the sea.

Although functions are mixed across the site, three zones – sport, co-creation and living – define main areas and allow related functions to collaborate. Sharing and co-creation facilities allow professionals and residents to use, build or repair what they need. These include hydrogen car sharing, a reuse centre and “library of things”, a digital fabrication lab, robotic and heavy- duty workshops and shared office and studio spaces.

The site will contribute to local culture and tourism by hosting a spectacular sami- and kven market square, exhibition areas, a floating stage and a micro-hotel.