Land bought in Norway’s first “free city”

Free cityIllustration.Free city

Kenneth Tolås dreams of a life without government control. Today he lives in a mobile home, but has secured one and a half plots of land in what will be the country’s first private city.


“I have only one life here on earth. For me, freedom and flexibility are important and hopefully there are some possibilities up there,” says Kenneth Tolås.

The 32-year-old sits in his mobile home, which is parked centrally in Kristiansand. In a few years, he may replace it with housing in Tjelland, in Marnardal municipality in Vest-Agder. That is what he refers to when he says, “up there”.

He has paid around 50,000 kroner for the right to one and a half plots of land in what will be the country’s first private city, Liberstad. The idea is to develop a free-standing, privately run city in Marnardal in Agder. Here, all property must be private as well as all services being performed privately.

According to the founders, 108 people from 28 countries have bought plots. Among these are 44 buyers from Norway, and a few from the UK, Sweden, Denmark and Brazil.

According to the contract, the starting price for the first buyers was 35,000 kroner for a single plot. The price has now been increased to 75,000 kroner.

Kenneth Tolås is the leader of West Agder’s Liberalist party. The basic idea of ​​liberalism is that all people are born free and that they therefore have inviolable, fundamental rights.

“I have great respect for people who use their own lives and their own money to try something new. Everyone does not have to live entirely ‘A4′. I am positive that people want to make different choices,” says Tolås.

He is sitting behind the computer in the car. He follows the development via Liberstad’s own page on Facebook. Occasionally, he also receives emails about how it is going. The founders are in the process of clearing the property, digging and blasting away in the area they have planned to be the centre.

“I hope it will be a good place to live. I want to live in a place with low prices and good service. With private companies, prices are low and service is good,” Tolås believes.

Ambitions for a private fire brigade and emergency medical service

A mason from Mandal and a computer engineer from Vennesla have conceived the idea of having ​​their own private town. John Holmesland and Sondre Bjellås dream of creating a community, which will base itself on Tjelland Farm which they bought in the summer of 2017. The property is 1500 square metres in total and consists mainly of forest.

Just before Christmas last year, they obtained a license to buy the farm. They therefore have formal permission to take over. They are now working on drawing up an area plan for the land.

They have big ideas. The first stage is to develop the areas designated as the center area and the camping and concert area. It will accommodate 4000 guests. The plan is also to develop two separate residential districts, and it’s own outdoor recreational area with canoe rental. In the long run, they want to have their own fire department, their own emergency medical service and their own security guards. The latter will ensure peace and order in that both residents and visitors follow Liberstad’s rules.

Mayor: – The project seems like a pipe-dream
Mayor of Marnardal municipality, Helge Sandåker, has been following the project for two years. He feels that it has evolved more in the direction of fantasy, rather than realism. The Mayor, who is the representative for 2200 people, has the impression that most of the citizens of the municipality are skeptical of Liberstad.

“I do not understand how they will make it work. Part of the idea is that no one will make decisions for others. If you are to establish something, there must be an overall management on one level or another,” says Sandåker.


© NRK / #Norway Today