Levanger (NO)

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Levanger (NO)

Scale L - urban and architectural
Team representative urbanist, landscape architect or architect
Location The Wooden Town, Levanger
Population 10,000 inhabitants
Strategic site 400 ha - Project site 15 ha

Site proposed by Levanger municipality
Actors involved Levanger municipality, Department of Cultural Ceritage, Trøndelag County Council
Owner(s) of the site Levanger municipality and private landowners

Commission after competition Urban development strategy for downtown Levanger and/or preliminary study for the new library building. Commission value 500 000 NOK

More Information

Urban City Strategy

When the entire town centre of Levanger gained protection as a listed cultural heritage site because of its unique wooden architecture and city plan, it was not supposed to curb development. Yet the exodus of retailers and activity from the town centre continues, and the main street is clogged with intense through traffic. The town now puts its faith in Europan. Can the solution for Levanger be found amongst the ideals of the past? The town wishes to use Europan 16 to explore whether the listing can create opportunities for a social, architectural and cultural acceleration into the future.
The original town plan from 1846 was founded on ideals such as equitable access to daylight, air and green spaces. Since then, these values have gradually been lost in a car-based shift which has displaced our perception of these timeless qualities. The town centre is now devoid of both people and services, while access to its natural surroundings remains poor.
To reach the goal of creating a climate-friendly, inclusive and vibrant town, there is a sense of urgency in finding strategies to turn the tide. Levanger municipality asks for a strategy with interventions in the town’s park axis and explorations on the tolerances of the listed environment through solutions for a new library.

Site Definition

Through participation in Europan 16, Levanger municipality is looking to determine how the town’s cultural heritage and unique historical setting can serve as an engine and resource for the future town of Levanger. The aim is to take consistent and strategic measures to preserve the town centre's historical identity while staking out a path forward to create a sustainable and attractive town centre also in the future.

How Must Metabolism and Inclusivity Be Developed and Connected?

The municipality of Levanger is located by the Trondheimsfjord in the central Trøndelag region, 80 km from the city of Trondheim and 50 km from Trondheim Airport. The municipality is home to 20,185 people. Around half of them live in or close to the listed timber-built town of Levanger.
After a great fire in 1846 Levanger got its first and only town plan which took its ideals from European townscapes in the 1800s with their straight thoroughfares, enclosed blocks and prominent, angled corners. The perpendicular park axis, the allmenning (the commons) between the wharves and Sjøgata were key elements. After the last great fire in 1897 the town was rebuilt partly with richly ornamented timber houses. Levanger was originally a meeting place for trade and culture, but after 60 years of car-based development, Levanger bears the marks of the gradual flight of both people and services from the town centre. The current situation is causing problems for the local climate and preventing equitable access to services. High levels of dust, noise and air pollution along with reduced service provision have made it less attractive to live and trade in the protected historical timber-built town. Because of low population densities, Levanger municipality struggles to provide an affordable and effective public transport system causing poor access to services for those less well off and without a car. These social inequalities affect public health and quality of life. The environmental and social challenges are two sides to the same coin: finding a good solution to the traffic problem and ensuring good access to services in the town centre are key elements in creating a town that is more inclusive, diverse and sustainable.
The park axis in central Levanger is at the heart of its grey and green infrastructure. The competition site with the park axis and adjoining blocks allow the participants to explore infill, transformations and newbuilds as well as urban programming and street design. The local authority has decided to investigate the scope for a new library in Levanger, and how it would sit with the urban development strategy is part of the brief.

Questions on the site

Hi, It seems the dxf-map does not have 3d information (only the dwg mesh model does). Can it be updated with a 3d version?

3d info exisits in dwg, ifc, skp and obj format in the complete site folder: E16-CFS-NO-Levanger\3-Project_Site\PS-f_map of the charasteristics elements. 

More 3d information is not available. 

Could you provide us with plans for the existing library building? Do we have to keep the existing building and extend it or it is intended to be demolished and built again?

Plans  of the exisiting library building are uploaded to the Complete Site Folder - 0-New_docs_after_launch. 

We want suggestions for the best solution. Therefore, it is up to the participants to suggest the solution they think is best whether it is conservation or demolition. The building is not located within the protected area and has no cultural-historical value.


Can we use the empty plot next to the library building mentioned in the brief (Rolfsjordgarden), including the protected building to build the new library? What's the use of that building in Rolfsjordgarden now?

Yes. The building is not in use. 

What’s the pheatric level average in the study area? Is it allowed and possible to make any excavations?

The area is flood-prone and the terrain is below the level of 200-year flooding. It is this height that governs the design of new buildings. The terrain is on kote +3m, while the floor on the ground floor and threshold for the basement must be a minimum of kote +3.5 meters to be sure to avoid such flooding.

Excavations are possible but as the area is flood-prone, it requires the basement to be moulded waterproof. This is possible, but increases the cost of the project.


I would like to ask whether we could demolish the library and redesign it and the same goes to the three squares.

See previous response regarding the library. We do not understand what you are asking of the three squares: be precise and resubmit your question. 

What is the most common income of the public? Do you have data about occupation, any relevant industries or crafts? What is the age demographic? We understood that like most smaller towns, Levanger has trouble retaining it's younger population. But what percentage is it from the 10 000 people?


Surrounding the historical park axis are service industries, homes and public functions that will affect and be affected by changes to the historical park.

There are also some 80 businesses operating in the centre of Levanger. 30% are retailers, 26% are in hospitality, and 35% are classed as property, manufacturing, health, arts, sports or media etc. All of them are important stakeholders who must be involved in developing the town. 

Employment in Levanger




Health and social services

4 329



1 116


Retail trade, repair of motor vehicles

1 041








Transport and storage



Public administration, defence and social insurance



Technical services, real estate



Personal service



Business services



Accommodation and catering activities



Agriculture, forestry and fishing



Electricity, water and renovation



Financing and insurance



Information and communication




10 045







0 year



1-5 years



6-12 years



13-15 years



16-19 years



20-44 years



45-66 years



67-79 years



80-89 years



90 years or older



0 year



1-5 years



6-12 years



13-15 years



16-19 years



20-44 years



45-66 years



67-79 years



80-89 years



90 years or older





Our team came across this research project from 2017 for the library topic: https://levanger.kommune.no/PageFiles/383198/2_4.pdf What were the conclusions after it? We are wondering what were the arguments against the different options proposed already in this research?


Three alternative locations for the library were studied. The conclusion was that it is important with a library which is centrally located, close to the town hall, the train station and the historical park axis. The plot where the library is located today provides good accessibility for the inhabitants, contributes to activity in Wooden Town Levanger and allows for co-operation with the town hall.


Can you provide information on the water quality of Levanger Sundet? Are there any restrictions or contamination which limit activities in the water and are there any requirements to maintain access for boats/shipping?

The water quality in Levangersundet has a moderate ecological status. There are no known restrictions that limit activity in the water. The ferry that goes to Ytterøy and the marina in Levangersundet must be taken into account.

Where was the library located prior to moving to the factory building? Would the town be open to explore alternative sites for the library? Are there any zoning/land use/height restrictions for the Project Site (Park and Library) which would limit construction on the site?


Over the past 100 years, the library has been located in various places in the city, including Festiviteten, Kirkegata 11, Håndverkergården, Galleri Fenka and Gjensidigegården.

The current location of the library is considered appropriate in relation to the proximity to the historic park axis, the town hall and the public transport service.

The plot's delimitation appears in the tender documents. It is desirable that assessments are made around heights. The current zoning plan allows for a development with a ridge height of 9.5 m and a cornice height of 6.5 m. The town hall is higher and consists of three floors and an attic floor. Towards the historic park axis, the ridge height is approx. 15 m and the cornice height approx. 12 m. 

The historical park axis is part of the protected cultural environment and must comply with conservation regulations. The railway park limits the area on the opposite side.

Are there any local fire/heritage restrictions in Levanger which need to be considered? i.e. Are the historic separation distances between wooden buildings still imposed? Does the heritage plan set any limitations on materiality for new buildings?

There is a separate regulation for the protected cultural environment:


There are requirements for a fire barrier / firewall between the buildings. Today's fire requirements apply to both rebuilding and new construction. New buildings must be adapted to the historical cultural environment in scale, volume, shape and choice of material.

Could the 1846 town plan be made available? Could any floor plans of the disused historic building, e.g. Rolfsjordgården, be made available?


Yes, the map from 1846 and drawings og Rolfsjordgården follows attached. Link to historical maps:



Link to digital map which shows photos and historical documentation for buildings within the protected area:


Can you provide further information on the active voluntary organisations mentioned, do they have specific focus areas (topics, not locations)? Are there any other public stakeholders or local interest groups which should be considered?


Levanger Vel aims to work for the well-being and progress of the city of Levanger, as well as safeguard the interests of homeowners and residents. They actively contribute throughout the year with decorations, events and development measures to create a home. The City Museum in Levanger manages several historic buildings and preserves historical, antiquarian and other cultural and environmental values ​​in the wooden house town of Levanger. The City Museum is an important communicator of the city's history and cultural environment, among other things through city walks, exhibitions and events.

Levanger new theater is an important actor that has used the historic park as a stage for children's and youth theater. Developing the historic park axis as a cultural scene will help to revitalize the urban space.

These are voluntary organizations. Levanger Fotomuseum with its unique photo-historical collection, exhibitions and events is an important partner in urban development.

Levanger Handelsstand and Næringsforeningen i Levanger are important representatives of the business community. is

BUA Levanger is a partnership between several public actors. The goal is to get residents of all ages into activity, with a special focus on children and young people. The concept is free loan of equipment for summer and winter activities.

Can you provide information on the Hilsegata concept and what extent of Levanger is designated a Hilsegata zone?

The idea for Hilsegata was proposed by a resident in connection with the city's 1000th anniversary. The idea of introducing a duty to greet was to make it more pleasant to travel in Håkon Den Godes gate, which runs from the historic park to the Stadionparken.

Would the town consider investments/interventions relating to public transport infrastructure? Are there locations where vehicular access must be maintained?


The street structure is part of the city plan from 1846. The responsibility for the public transport infrastructure is divided between the municipality and the regional administrative level. As described in the competition program, there are major challenges associated with car traffic and infrastructure. It is important to find good solutions for dealing with the car traffic. There must be access to the public transport hubs - the railway station, the ferry berth and the hospital.

How are the courtyards used currently? Are they private property (i.e. have attached legal rights) or is there an incentive to remove boundaries and create spaces for communal use / infill structures?


The backyards with buildings and private outdoor spaces are part of the cultural environment protection.

The backyards are privately owned, but several are connected to businesses such as museums, galleries and restaurants. There are examples of people opening up between backyards without the boundary or the construction having changed significantly.

Removing boundaries to create space for joint use or the addition of new structures requires agreement and approval from the farm owners and the regional management level.

This site is connected to the following theme

Intensifying Districts

New energy has to be found for these sites through a treatment that respects the existing environment introducing specific elements and actions able to develop a resilient city.
These sites address the scale of a larger neighbourhood that needs to be requalified and intensified, as well as to be enriched with different qualities, such as uses, public space, natural elements, etc.

Specific documents

Questions on the site

Fr. 18 June 2021
Deadline for submitting questions

Fr. 2 July 2021
Deadline for answers

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