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					                                                             Aalborg (Fjordkatalog) database entry


SUMMARY – Aalborg Fjordkatalog pic 1
The Fjordkatalog is a strategic master plan prepared by Aalborg City Council (Denmark) to steer
the development of two waterfront areas by the city centre, on the north and south banks of the
Lim Fjord, which are owned by the council and several private landowners. These previously
industrial areas are designated to become a multifunctional contemporary urban district.
Preparation of the plan involved comprehensive public debate on the issue of redevelopment of
waterfront areas, in which local citizens and property owners participated. Meetings, planning
panels, guided tours and debate in the local media were used to involve people.

LOCATION – Aalborg Fjordkatalog pic 2

Aalborg and Nørresundby waterfront areas, Aalborg, Denmark

DESCRIPTION OF THE LOCALITY – Aalborg Fjordkatalog pic 3

Aalborg is located in the north of Denmark, on the shores of the Lim Fjord in Jutland. Some key
figures for Aalborg are:
  Population: 163,000 (Denmark total population: 5.4 million)
  74% of the population live in the central urban area, 21% in other built-up areas, and 5% in
     rural districts (5%)
  Land area: 560 sq. km.
  Total number of dwellings: 80.000 (58% rented accommodation; 42% owner occupied)
  Average household size: 2.1
  Workforce: 82.000

Aalborg University (AAU) is an important feature in the city. Founded in 1974, it has a student
population of 13,000.

Aalborg is historically known as a major northern European centre for trade and commerce, at a
crossroads for both land and sea travel routes. It has been a highly industrialized city, and in the
1940s all the waterfront areas on both sides of the Fjord were filled up with industry.

The regional trends in the North Jutland area have marked a dramatic decrease in employment in
productive industries. Knowledge-based enterprises in mobile telephone technology are under
pressure from a weakening global economy to strong competition from other regions around the
world. An important challenge for Aalborg is to strengthen its character as the main city of the
region. This will require:
  international orientation
  high urban standards
  high profile cultural events
  a wide range of education
  knowledge-based business activities
  biomedical and nanotechnology research
  high quality residential areas

The vision and strategy for Aalborg is to redevelop brownfield areas to high architectural
standards. In particular the city aims to have attractive and publicly accessible waterfronts and
maintain green spaces.
                                                             Aalborg (Fjordkatalog) database entry

At municipal level, the local government is the City Council, which is elected directly. The City
Council has the planning powers to approve a master plan for the whole or a part of the
municipality. The City Council also approves ‘local plans’, which in Denmark refer plans for
project implementation covering a small geographic area – say some blocks for housing or the
‘House of Music’. The next administrative level up is the county, which in the case of Aalborg is
North Jutland. This is also directly elected, and it approves plans at a regional level, while city
plans are the remit of city councils. This structure is about to change , with more planning powers
being concentrated in city councils, and regional (county) government remaining in charge of
hospitals and a few other issues. In addition, municipalities are to be merged in 2007. Three
municipalities around Aalborg will join Aalborg, thus forming what will be the 3 largest
municipality in Denmark, with more than 190.000 inhabitants. There are no smaller administrative
units with elected representative bodies within municipalities, and therefore the City Council is the
lowest level of administration with planning powers, a situation that is likely to continue after the
reform. Aalborg has a long tradition as a city led by social-democrats.

Aalborg Fjordkatalog pic 4

Several of the old industrial areas at the waterfront became available for redevelopment. Some
harbour activities had closed down, some moved to other cities or countries and some moved out
of the inner harbour area to the new harbour area east of Aalborg. The city council and the
administration needed a plan with guidelines to make priorities, and visions for future
redevelopment in the region.

Higher level strategies
The high priority of the regeneration of the waterfront areas in Aalborg is part of the strategy for
the County of North Jutland. Aalborg has to live up to the goal of being an attractive city to lead
the development.

Aalborg Fjordkatalog pic 5

Key dates and milestones
In 1997 the city council decided to make a strategic master plan for the waterfront areas in
Aalborg and Nørresundby. Particular focus was placed on reconstruction of the old industrial area
along the waterfront on both sides of the fjord to provide a multifunctional contemporary urban

In 1998 there was an introductory, comprehensive public debate on the issue of redevelopment of
waterfront areas. Local citizens and property owners were involved. Meetings, planning panels,
guided tours and debate in the local media were used to involve people.

In 1999 there was another debate on the proposal for a plan, followed by plan approval by the city

Other local redevelopment/regeneration initiatives
The fjord ‘Catalogue’ (plan) was a follow up on the ‘City Catalogue’ which was approved by the
city council in 1993. This latter was the overall plan for the inner city areas of Aalborg and
Nørresundby. Both plans were prepared with the same approach to citizen involvement.

The key phases in the process were:
                                                             Aalborg (Fjordkatalog) database entry

      survey, identifying: views from the city to the waterfront; landmarks and other
       characteristic issues at the different sites; topography; and architecture and use of the
       different areas
   draft visioning with a comprehensive public debate
   proposal phase and new public debate
   master plan approval.

WHO WAS INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS? - Aalborg Fjordkatalog pic 6

The Municipality of Aalborg and several private landowners along the waterfronts own the land.

The local authority led the process from start to end. The vision has been to get better access to
the waterfronts, make better connections between the city and the water, better connections
along the waterfronts, and to create life and variation in the different areas. The Aalborg and
Nørresundby waterfront areas needed a plan with visions to lead the expectations from citizens,
landowners and investors.

Groups involved
A planning panel was established consisting of key persons representing citizens, interest groups
and associations, professionals and people that had already been taking part in the public
The specific landowners, tenants and developers in the different areas were directly involved in
the planning process.

Strategies to involve stakeholders and constituencies
Campaigns and public debate through the local media were used to involve people. These were
supported with meetings, workshops and guided tours by boat on the Limfjord, looking at the
different areas.

IMPLEMENTED? - Aalborg Fjordkatalog pic 7

Definition of locations and boundaries
The boundaries for the ‘Fjord catalogue’ were defined as all the areas close to the waterfronts on
each side of the Limfjord, in Nørresundby on the north side and in Aalborg on the south side. This
includes harbour front areas in the city and greenfield sites outside the city. Visual connection
with the Limfjord was a key criterion in determining the width of the area. The overall plan defines
regeneration urban areas and recreational park areas. The master plan regulates the future use
and improvement of the different areas. More specific ‘local plans’ for each of the areas are a
subsequent step (many of these local plans have been agreed in the period since the Fjord
Cataloque was approved).

Identifying and involving stakeholders
Some stakeholders were directly involved by ownership or rental use, others were involved in
interest groups or associations, and others were active participants in debates.

Management mechanisms
The process was managed by a Major Project Team, a Project Manager and a Steering
Committee The Major Project Team and the Project Manager were based within the City Council.

WHAT HAPPENED? - Aalborg Fjordkatalog pic 8
                                                             Aalborg (Fjordkatalog) database entry

The process has attracted a lot of public interest and generated a focus on the waterfront areas
and the ongoing redevelopment. It has also generated private landowner interest in the
regeneration projects.

Emerging issues
The Fjord Catalogue is a master plan. In the following planning and implementation processes a
lot of issues emerged in the different areas. For example, the regeneration area ‘Cement Plant in
Lindholm Nørresundby’ is designated in the plan as the western end of the urban harbour front
area. This had a big influence on the ‘local plan’ which was later prepared in partnership between
the landowner and the municipality. Siemens found the site so interesting that they situated their
development department here, and it became a driving force for the regeneration of the area.
This area is now almost complete as a mixed urban area with businesses and housing.

Unresolved issues
An unresolved issue is the preparation of master plans for the areas that were not included in this
plan, among others the central harbour area. In addition, areas where production activities have
closed down unexpectedly, since plan approval, have also become an issue.

KEY THEMES - Aalborg Fjordkatalog pic 9

City and regional strategic objectives
Looking at Aalborg as a city by the waterfront was new. The city had turned its back to the water
throughout the whole industrial era now ending. This strategy is a part of the branding of Aalborg
as the major city in the north region, to attract businesses and highly educated people.

Citizen participation
Preparation of Aalborg’s Fjord Catalogue involved interest groups, groups of key people who took
part of the design process, and citizens through debates, workshops and hearings. New ways of
involving citizens were tried out, including boat trips to look at the areas from the seaside.

Urban design quality
Redevelopment of the harbour front is seen as contributing to urban design quality in Aalborg as
a whole. In the drive to link Aalborg with the water through the Fjord Catalogue, public access to
the harbour front areas has a very high priority in the whole plan.

Economic development
Aalborg’s Fjord Catalogue seeks to connect the hinterland to the waterfront areas, and to do so
along the whole of the waterfront, i.e. in the mixed inner city areas as well as in the housing areas
and also outside the city.

KEY LESSONS - Aalborg Fjordkatalog pic 10

A strategy for the waterfront areas, connected to the whole city, can contribute changing the
image of the city – from a dirty industrial city to a modern knowledge-based city with facilities for
cultural life and leisure.

A strategic plan for the waterfront areas helps to keep the focus on the connections along the
waterfronts and from the city to the waterfront, in the everyday work of planning, granting building
permissions and selling sites.

                                                             Aalborg (Fjordkatalog) database entry

Aalborg City Council:
The                  Fjord            Catalogue                     in                    Danish:


Anne Juel Andersen
Architect, Project Manager
Technical Department
City of Aalborg

Erik Moeller
Project Manager
Technical Department
City of Aalborg

HS – Aalborg Fjordkatalog database text final – 16/11/2004