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Group 4: Nordic Small Town LAB – How to involve citizens in developing attractive and sustainable towns

Projects in Fljótsdalshérað, Mosfellsbær, Pori, Steinkjer, Verdal and Levanger.

What is the aim of the project 

Developing permanent or temporary meeting places where the municipality, inhabitants, business life and organisations can create together an arena for experimenting knowledge development and collaborative design.

Why are the participating towns doing this?

The six participating towns identified common challenges in three main interlinked topics: liveable town centers, sustainable transport and the role of nature and cultural heritage in urban development. The work with these crosscutting issues requires broad collaboration with different stakeholder groups.

How is it done?

The participation and cooperation between authorities and citizens will increase through the adaptation of Small Town LAB method. We inspire new thinking and experimentation with activities, services and features for new forms of town use, meeting places, visits and experiences. As a result, we hope to bring people back to the town center, try to make people walk, cycle or use public transport more. Besides, we look for solutions to preserve natural and cultural heritage as a resource in urban development.

Who do you cooperate with?

Different municipal sectors, decision-makers, inhabitants, third sector organizations, entrepreneurs, schools and academic research.

What is the expected outcome?

By using Small Town LAB methods and exchange of good practices permanent or temporary meeting, we create places for interaction of stakeholders.

What is the transfer value to other towns?

Small Town LAB Give and Share Library, which is a collection of experiences, knowledge and ideas. Our intention is to make this material accessible for other towns after our project has ended.

Activities in spring 2019

The partner towns proceed with their Town LAB experiments at their own pace depending on the local project environment. Fljótsdalshérað and Mosfellsbær, despite having different approaches to the implementation, have finished all architectural plans of the premises of the Small TownLAB and construction will be finished in next weeks, with a formal opening following soon after. Levanger and Steinkjer are working intensively parallel with several relevant topics connected to the task of revitalizing the town center by engaging a broad range of stakeholder groups to create new events and activities. Both Verdal and Pori decided to apply Small Town LAB for animating a public square and its environment near to the town center and due to the complexity of changing the land-use of these areas the final selection of suitable collaborative techniques will be stretched until the end of spring.

How and where is it communicated?

Participating towns decide about the local communication channels. We recommend using local newspapers and the municipality website. As for the realization of the Give and Share Library, a website presenting the Small Town LAB cases combined with GIS interactive mapping is under consideration.

Contact persons

Fljótsdalshérað: Freyr Ævarsson, [email protected]

Mosfellsbær: Tómas G. Gíslason, [email protected]

Pori: Daniel Nagy, [email protected]

Steinkjer: Stine Strand, [email protected]

Verdal: Petter Voll, [email protected]

Levanger: Tove Norgaard, [email protected]

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