On September 17-21, 2023, we had the pleasure of taking part in a study visit regarding sustainable transport, culture and housing, which took place in Bergen. We were part of the official delegation from the City Hall, headed by the Deputy Mayor for Economic Affairs, Elżbieta Gralec.
On the first day, we visited the Urban Environment Agency, where we learned about the sustainable mobility strategy in the city of Bergen. We learned how residents move around the city without polluting the air. We could see this for ourselves because we explored Bergen on city bikes. We had the opportunity to ride through the longest bicycle tunnel in the world, which is 3 kilometers long - Fyllingsdalstunnelen. At the end of the day we went to the so-called Bergen Public Library. "Libraries in constant development" where we had the opportunity to see how Norwegian youth spend their afternoons creatively. This second largest library in Norway also houses a recording studio, a workshop for residents and a café. In the afternoon, we met with Ingvild from MRM Bergen, whom we met in April during her visit to Poland, and Birgitte, responsible for youth policy in Bergen, to plan further activities and projects.
On the second day, we went to the other side of Bergen, where Ingvild from MRM Bergen, whom we met in April during her visit to Poland, and Birgitte, responsible for youth policy in Bergen, to plan further activities and projects. . There is also an e-sports center in the same facility. Next to this arena there is the "Åsanekulturhus", or cultural center, which includes the Åsane library, the Arna and Åsane community center, a number of cultural halls, as well as a canteen, a pizzeria and a café. The cultural center is co-located with Åsane High School. The last sports complex we had the opportunity to visit is "Åsane Arena". The facility consists of 6 different sports halls and a football stadium. In addition to being the main center of sports activity for residents, the facility is also intended for practicing top-level sports in various sports segments. At the very end of the day we went to the Norwegian Fisheries Museum, founded in 1880. The Fisheries Museum is the oldest museum in Norway devoted to the fishing industry - a very important one in this country.
On the third day, we visited the Housing Services Agency, where we were presented with how the housing policy in Bergen works, including how various social groups are supported, e.g. young people, seniors, people with disabilities, refugees, and migrants. We also watched a film on "How Bergen works to create good living conditions and safe housing for various disadvantaged groups." We exchanged our observations about the housing policy in Starachowice. Then we went to look at apartments for various target groups.
On the last day, we also went to the historic port district of Bryggen. We visited the Hanseatic Museum and Schøtstuene - in Finnegaarden, one of the historic houses of Bryggen, there is a museum whose exhibition is devoted to the Hanseatic League (an association of northern European trading cities) and its influence on the development of Bergen. We could see here, among others: the original merchant hall and the merchant's office.
The Norwegians charmed us with their openness, friendship and hospitality, and Norway itself charmed us with its beautiful landscape and culture. Thank you for welcoming us warmly and for the well-organized plan.
The study visit was carried out as part of the project entitled "Direction for the Future - Starachowice Local Development Program" from the Local Development Program, co-financed by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism for 2014-2021 (85%) and the state budget (15%).
Authors: Youth City Council of Starachowice
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