Finalists, Attractive City Awards 2019

Bergen Fjords Bryggen Attractive City AwardsThe UNESCO Bryggen (quay) in Bergen. Photo by Rita de Lange. Fjord Travel Norway

Voss, Moss and Bergen nominated to Attractive City Awards 2019

Voss, Moss and Bergen are left in the race for the Norwegian Attractive City Awards 2019. This year’s three finalists are characterized by having gone through major changes and are role models for good and forward-looking development.

“This year’s finalists are working purposefully to develop attractive urban areas with good urban spaces and meeting places, in spite of very different sizes. An attractive city is a place to live, with close proximity to people and functions. The finalists use cultural and recreation services to facilitate increased well-being and belonging, as well as a clear focus on the city centre and central urban areas,” head of the jury, Alexandria Algard, states.

The jury will visit the finalists at the beginning of May before deciding the winner. Minister of Local Government and Modernisation, Monica Mæland (Conservatives), will award the Attractive City Awards in June.

“I look forward to awarding the prize to this year’s most attractive city. Last year Kristiansand won in strong competition with Askim and Svolvær. There are three other exciting finalists this year, who, each in their own way, are role models for good urban development,” Mæland explains.

The jury’s description of the three finalists is as follows:

Voss (Vossevangen)

Voss Gondola

Gondola at Voss. Illustration: HLM Arkitektur AS /

Vossevangen has in recent years undergone a major change, partly made possible by the fact that the E16 is now bypassing the town centre. Voss municipality has taken a clear grip on the development of it through broad collaboration. The municipality has acquired the necessary expertise for, among other things, participation and adequate processes. It has focused on the development of the town centre through several housing projects, Vossabadet (Swimming pool complex), a new library and cultural centre and a new high school. At the same time, safeguarding and upgrading the specificity and cultural heritage of the place. Vossevangen is a good example of concentrated and forward-looking development.

The train station is the starting point for hub development with a new cable car. It thus becomes the crossroads between daily life and tourism. Permanent and interim urban measures help increase the attractiveness of both residents and visitors, and superbly refine the inherent qualities of the town.


Refsnes Gods in Moss on Jeløya.

Refsnes Manor in Moss (Jeløya). Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / Scanpix

Moss is a city in a visible transition. The municipality has worked hard to realise a new double track rail-line with a station in the city. The work on better traffic solutions in the city centre is also a high priority. The city’s traditional wood processing industry no longer characterises the city centre. Central areas are further being developed, allowing for increased contact with the Oslo fjord. An active profiling effort and targeted business policy appear to have contributed to renewed growth.

Moss was early active with the transformation of historical areas (Møllebyen, the Mill City), where conservation and new architecture have boosted attractiveness. Culture is used strategically in urban development this, in combination with the re-use of historic buildings, seems to have provided good results regarding the preliminary transformation of the city.

The transformation of Moss into an attractive “pedestrian city” is a long-term work, but successful efforts in, among other things, rehabilitated urban areas, playgrounds and activity areas (ice rink, bathing beaches etc.) in the city centre have invoked enthusiasm and optimism, for residents and visitors alike.


Bryggen in Bergen

Bryggen in Bergen. Photo: Gorm Kallestad / Scanpix

Bergen is a forward-looking urban development municipality with the capacity to carry out a number of important steps in recent years; city tram and hub interchange, urban renewal, a dedicated urban architect and a new strategy for architecture. In addition, Bergen makes ambitious plans to manage urban growth in a sustainable manner.

Bergen has taken an active approach to upgrade, strengthen connections and urban spaces in city-centred neighbourhoods previously characterised by industry. This applies specifically to the districts Møllendal, Solheimsviken and Indre Laksevåg, where they have worked holistically with measures to improve both living conditions and public health. This is achieved in dialogue with both residents and popular organisations. The municipality appears to be listening to initiatives from its citizens. It is clear regarding inclusion, facilitation and participation in innovative development projects that contribute to the city becoming an even better place for everyone.

© Regjeringen / #Norway Today
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