Ørsta is facing a historical possibility to rethink its urban centre when the municipal plan from the 80’s is being reassessed. The old plan suggested routing E39 along the coast of Ørsta, seizing valuable land and paralyzing development in the centre of the town for over 20 years. Now the municipality of Ørsta and the county of Møre and Romsdal have joined forces in the quest of rediscovering and revitalizing the centre of Ørsta and strengthening its position in the region of Søre Sunnmøre.
Ørsta lies at the end of Ørstafjorden surrounded by the beautiful Sunnmøre Alps. Though encompassed in beauty, the level of activity in the centre of Ørsta is low and concentrated around the shopping malls. Shops are closing down and a lack of maintenance is beginning to show on the built environment. In the void after the planned regional road from the 80’s lies a possibility to rediscover the waterfront as well as revitalizing urban life in the centre of Ørsta through developing the open lots.
New regional road connections, Eiksundsambandet and Kvivsvegen, has allowed for a greater synergy between the populated areas in the polycentric region of Søre Sunnmøre. The roads have decreased both distance and time spent travelling, making everyday life easier for its inhabitants and changing the dynamic of the region. Being in the hinterlands of the more prosperous maritime clusters of Ulsteinvik and Fosnavåg, Ørsta, needs to reassess its strengths and weaknesses and define a new strategy for its role in the region.
Ørsta municipality and Møre and Romsdal county have joined forces in order to speed up the process of rewriting the story of Ørsta using Europan 13 as a tool for rediscovering the urban centre. The two parties asked the competitors to make a vision including a physical plan, programming and strategy for realization.
How can Ørsta strengthen its position as an urban centre in the region? As the municipality recently opened up to develop the waterfront adjacent to the town centre, a potential for a new, more urban future at Ørsta has emerged. Now the municipality asks for ideas for how to re-invent its urban centre and better connect the central areas and programs in Ørsta.
A central task is to present a credible strategy for how to improve urban life and make attractive urban spaces that connects the site to the public functions within the study area. Furthermore a strategy for how to integrate Vikegata with the waterfront development and shopping mall in the south of the site has to be presented. Today mobility is mainly car-based. How can one encourage less car use in Ørsta?
A central premise for success in Ørsta will be to collaborate with local stakeholders that can contribute to the developing and activating of the urban center. Ørsta is both in need of a plan and a process that can transform its relationship to the urban centre.
- Ørsta, Møre og Romsdal, Norway
- Project site
- 13,5 ha
- Site proposed by
- Ørsta municipality (in collaboration with Møre and Romsdal county)
- Winner (12,000 euros), Runner-up (6,000 euros) and Special Mention (no reward)
The main concept of the project is to establish clear connections and identities in Ørsta.
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