emPOWERED LANDSCAPES Patrycja Perkiewicz
emPOWERED LANDSCAPES Scenarios: The impacts of empowered changes in Ă…rdal region. January 2013
PART I: INTRODUCTION Norway is characterized by spectacular, very often dramatic landscapes. The scenery which very often is resource rich: minerals, biomaterial, metals, and energy sources. Norway with a population of just over 5 million people has a massive amount of open spaces. The average density is 15.5 inhabitants per square km. Norwegians are settled in various sizes settlements scattered all along the country. Some areas are still expanding and there are cities which offer more attractive economies and opportunities. As a counter point, little villages and settlements have become more vulnerable and dependant on industries or a specific trade that fuels the local economy. The narrow focus of these settlements often specialize in specific types of industry. This focus leaves these communities, in times of crisis, in a very fragile situation. Villages therefore experience the effects of the’ shrinking cities’ phenomenon. Shrinking cities refer to cities with a declining demography and/or a declining economy due to a range of causes (Tietjen and Laursen 2008). This creates a surplus of built structures which makes the city become more fragmented and fall into ruin. People migrate to bigger sized towns or cities and it is a complex problem. As a counter point and side effect of expanding cities, they require more energy in order to handle growth. As we are in the era of global warming and increasingly unstable climatic patterns it is crucial to look for new solutions, in order to create stability and secure their futures. The need to minimize the amount of greenhouse gases forces are to look for new types of energy. Norway has a huge hydroelectric power potential. Because of this potential, untouched landscapes as well as the structure of small settlements are in danger of a radical change. New structures and infrastructures are to be introduces around the country. Hydropower politics often meet criticism from local communities, which do not approve transformation of the Norwegian monumental landscapes and their traditions. In order to envision a future where both of the conflicted sides comes to an agreement, this diploma project will seek to envision and analyze a series of scenarios in Årdal that predict or reveal the potential impacts of changes in the region. These scenarios will vary in scope and “realism” and will be assessed on the basis of their likeliness to happen. Regardless, it is imperative to envision potential futures in order to better prepare for the changes to come.
Research Overview This research explores possible futures in the Årdal region. In the same time, it seeks to envision potential outcomes and scenarios that could take place in the future. These scenarios could include important topics such as: expansion of hydropower production; expansion of industries; shrinking cities and climate change, etc. There is not much of the research into future scenarios in the region. My goal is to reveal the potential of the region through the use of scenarios within the municipality of Årdal. In order to better understand the regions untapped potential, as well as give it an idea of possible ventures for further research into topics such as “the prevention of shrinking city syndrome or the implications of an increase in hydropower and power management.” This approach and research could bring potential benefits to the community of Årdal as well as similar villages located around Norway. I seek to understand the potential scenarios through two key parts in this research project. The first part will account for the current situation. This part provides grounding and a platform to provide study and the ability to comprehend the issues at hand. The second part will focus on the future. How scenarios come to pass. What is their potential impact on the future and what are its ramifications? The research will to this end question: How do small settlements, the landscape and the industry adapt to the future? How will the direction they take during their transformation phase impact future choices? I want to explore the relationship between the industry, the settlement and the landscape. I wish to research possible transformation of each of these elements in order to create set of scenarios. The variety of possible futures can reveal potentials and what impacts that arrive from these inevitable changes. Research objectives: What is the current potential in the Årdal region? How can we maximize the potential of the industry; landscape; hydropower expansion; the ‘shrinking city’ How does the scenario come to pass and what does it mean for the region. E.g. What would happen if the landscape was take over the area currently inhabited by the local community? What consequences would an expansion of the power grid within the region cause? In order to answer the primary questions, problem statements has been further subdivided into more detailed inquiries. • What is the background for the scenarios? • In light of the current scenario what is the most probable future? • Is it possible for the scenario to change? • What sort of changes need to take place in order for scenario to come to pass? • What are the impacts and implications of the scenario?
Framework The research project has a theoretical basis, and the intended goal is to be able to inform and envision future scenarios. My focus will be limited to the question of how an eventual change to the system can be seen to impact the future of the region. I feel it is important first to map and analyze the current situation in order to contour the relationship that exists between the current discourse and the one of a “possible future”. This approach chooses to study and identify series of possible scenarios. Scenarios will exploit and assert on their likeness to happen in the future. As a piece of research, document and its relevance could be seen as the identification of potential scenarios and events that could inform the public of the region’s potentials. In the same time it will offer a synopsis of possible futures. As well as give a reflection and a social view on the identity and future of small Norwegian settlements. The potential findings could benefit society as a whole and could impact local dynamics in the region.
The methodology will use a theoretical approach to answer the research questions outlined above. The qualitative method allows for a more flexible and iterative approach that is more open adjust and be able to refine the research ideas and concepts as the inquiry proceeds. This approach is used to be able to assess steps along the way, as the discourse is striped layer by layer to the root of the problem. The methods used to answer the questions can then be summarized in two key points.
Initial assessment of the region and identification of scenarios Assessment of relevant information. Sources: site visit, magazines, journals, reports, interviews, books, pre-diploma research. This part will include a site analysis. The theoretical developments of scenario management Looking at the current system and future scenarios I would like to investigate how it could inform society. How the proposed scenarios could be used in revealing possible futures for the Årdal region. In order to envision potential futures a mix media approach will be chosen. Graphical imagery, model making and textual information are used based on the appropriateness of its visual-communication dealing with a specific scenario. As I continue my work, the next step will be to choose a specific scenario and develop it into a full scale design project.
Table of Contents
PART I: INTRODUCTION Research Overview Framework VOLUME I: PRE DIPLOMA RESEARCH Norway as the Battery of Europe 8-9 Sognefjord on the Map 10-11 Sognefjord Origins 12-14 Årdal on the Map 15-17 Årdal’s Landscape Characteristics 18-25 Powered Natural Forces 26-31 Remains of a Viking Village in Ytre Moa 32-33 Transition from the farming to the Industrial village 34-35 Unfinished Canal 36-37 The Årdalstangen (Hi)Story 38-41 At the end of Årdalsvatn 42-47 Årdal’s Hydro Power System 43-49 A Landscape Shaped by Natural Events 50-51 A landscape Regulated by the Need of Power 52-53 Clean Energy allowing for Clean Aluminium Production 54-55 The Shrinking City Phenomena and the Potential Årdal Touristic Routes 56-57 BIBLIOGRAPHY SCHEDULE
The Battery of Europe
orway is the worldâ€™s largest hydropower producer per Capitan is the sixth largest hydropower producer in the world. Approximately 120 TWh has been produced during the current year and it stands for 99% of all power production in Norway). Norway as a country is full of natural resources and has a geography which allows for several hydropower stations to be established. Norwegian hydropower projects have a reservoir often located high in a mountain area, with melting water from glaciers or rainfall. The melting water travels through tunnels into plants located underground with an outlet connected with a fjord, or into a river system. 8
Power Grid Expansion
n the same time water reservoirs will play an important role in the mitigation of floods and droughts, as well as the generation of renewable energy. It is estimated that 50% of Europe reservoir capacity is located in Norway. As hydroelectric power can be much cheaper than electricity generated from fossil fuel or nuclear energy the hunger increases for more grows every day. This added pressure brings new transmission capacity needs. A new grid is required and with it new infrastructure.
2030 Next Generation Main Grid
here is a great potential to build new hydropower plants across globe. Climate changes will increase the amount of challenges their economies. It is important to transform global infrastructure in order to minimize the emission of greenhouse gases. To achieve it fossil fuels will have to replace with hydropower energy production. With increasing climatic changes and increasingly unstable weather patterns the importance of security is paramount. Hydropower with a large storage capacity will
become much more important than before. As an energy source hydropower is one of the cleanest in regards to the emission of green house gasses or other types of climatic disturbances. With a rising significance to the production of energy, hydropower has the potential to become a stable solution.
2011 Main Grid
Sources: www.statnett.no P.Perkiewicz
The Sognefjord on the Map
Sognefjord cutting throught the mainland in 1668
Sognefjord streching between mountains in 1720
Villages along the Fjord in 1761
Fjord,Hills and Villages in 1832
ognefjord is the worldâ€™s second longest fjord and Norwayâ€™s longest and deepest fjord. Located between Caledonian mountain range it stretches inwards 205km in to the land and with a maximum depth of 1308m at its deepest point.
he fjord origins can be traced back to the melting of the gigantic glaciers during ice ages. Sognefjorden is a natural laboratory of origin studies, the variety of rocks and layering, designates the area as a geological interesting location.
From the top of the Mountain to the bottom of the Fjord
t extends into six main arms, reaching towards the Jotunheimen mountain range in central Norway. The Sognefjord is characterized with dramatic scenery,as well as being a host to small towns and villages along its shore. The fjord has been used for trafficking industrial materials from the local industrial cities
of HĂ¸yanger and Ă…rdal. Around 30 000 people live along the Sognefjord in little villages in the valleys. The Sognefjord is filled with various cruise ships. Each season cruise ships carrying between 1500 and 4000 tourists during the season.
Norwegian Alps origins
ecause of its landscape characteristics Sognefjord became an important source of water based energy production. Some of the local communities along the fjord take important part in the generation and export of hydroelectric power to major Norwegian cities including Oslo. The economical situation of the affected municipalities has improved over the last decades due to big amount of potential sites that could be used for building new hydroelectricity stations and water dams.
ydroelectric plants are seen by locals as a blessing and curse at the same time. Constantly the growing pressure for finding new renewable energy sources brings lots of new jobs into the local communities, stabilizing their economic situation. The resistance comes from a belief that hydroelectricity production ruins the natural beauty nature of the fjord, by placing heavy structures and installations across the so far untouched monumental landscape. This is further supported by locals whom believe that hydro power is a threat to animal life and ecosystem.
Sources: A. Nesje â€˜Erosion of Sognefjord, Norwayâ€™ P.Perkiewicz
An interpretation of the Farnes in 1713
‘Flat’ Årdal from 1970
An interpretation of the characteristics of Årdal in 1743
Årdal’s Mountain Arms in 1873
Sources: Source: Årdal : verket og bygda 1947-1997, Årdal kommune
General plan for Årdalstangen 1987-2000
Årdal Municipality’s General Plan
General plan for Øvre Årdal 1987-2000
Sources: Source: greateraardal, Årdal kommune
he name Årdal is taken from the Old Norse : ARDALR which means RIVER; DALR means VALLEY. Giving it the name “the River Valley”
Mountains,Water and Sky
From the bottom of the Valley
Øvre Årdal infratsructure development 1941
Øvre Årdal 1941
The 1000 meter Mountain view
1000meter Mountain 1918
1000m Mountain Road
View over Ă˜vre Ă…rdal
Sources: Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane, www.sogelaget.com
At the edge of Sognefjorden
rdal lies at the bottom of Utladalen and Jotunheimen National Park. Its location is characterised by a very dramatic and powerful landscape. Located in the traditional part of the fjord it is surrounded by high mountains and waterfalls. Manmade structures are well hidden between monumental and powerful mountains.
Sources: Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane, www.sogelaget.com,
Nature(made) versus man(made) a sense of scale
Man made vs Årdal’s Landscape
he dramatic landscape is very characteristic for the area. Two villages Øvre Årdal and Årdalstangen is separated by Årdal Lake. Most of local water systems have been modified due to hydroelectric power production.
Sources: Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane, P.Perkiewicz
Årdals Lake 1918
Power Landscape 24
evertheless local waterfall systems are not on a priority list of the hydroelectric company. Ă…rdalâ€™s hillsides are riddled with stone and debris due to regular landslides. Masses of stone brought with the melting water and avalanches during the winter and spring season.
In-Between V-Valleys 25
Powered Natural Forces 26
Consequences of the Landslide 2004
Consequences of rockslides in Utla Valley
andslides and snow avalanches are a rather common occurrence in the slopes around Øvre Årdal and Årdalstangen. Due to the characteristics of the Årdal’s landscape the area is under constant threat of landslide and avalanche events. The municipality has been recording the events in order to investigate the phenomena. In 1983 a landslides caused great damage to small boats and docks at Årdalstangen. A tsunami wave was triggered by a large rock slide on the south side of the bay. No one was hurt by the resultant tsunami or falling rocks.
Constantly transforming Landscape Remains of rockslides in close distance towards Årdalstangen
Landscape on the Move 28
Touched by Tsunami 1983
Årdalstangen from the top of Middagshaugen (1122 m)
Middagshaugen after rockslide event from 1983
View from Årdalstangen after rockslide event from 1983
Årdalstangen August 1983
Damages after rockslide event from 1983
Damages after rockslide event from 1983
Boat damages after rockslide from 1983
Damages to the coastline after the landslide event in 1983
Årdalstangen’s harbour after landslide event in 1983
Triggered Landscape Landslides 30
Sources: www.norgedigitalt.no, nrk.no,
Remains of a Viking Village in Ytre Moa
Reminderâ€™s of the Viking Era
Excavation of burial mounds in the Ytra Moa
View towards Ytra Moa 1921
Remains of the settlement in Ytra Moa
tre Moa is regarded as one of the biggest discoveries regarding the Viking age 800 - 900AD. The farm proves that this place had been cultivated, although abandoned after a short period of time, it is theorised this could be because of water shortages. Sogn villages are one of the driest in the country; therefore development of artificial irrigation became an important aspect of the farming industry in the area of Sognefjord.
Built Up Area Agriculture Forest Water system Contour lines
Sources: ngu.no, ‘Bygdebok for Årdal.’ H.Turid: Kulturlandskap og kulturmark stypar i Årdal kommune
The use of Årdal’s lands
Transition from the farming to the Industrial village
Bjørn Tvedt art representing People of Årdal
Bjørn Tvedt art representing People of Årdal
Jørgine Asperheim Øvre Årda 1921
s a traditional fjord based village Årdal has strong agriculture roots. Nevertheless the rise of industrial production has managed to replace the farming and forestry as its main sources of income. The industry and farming has had a significant impact on the Årdal’s character.
Farm in Seim
Sources: Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane, ‘Bygdebok for Årdal’ “ Årdal , kamp, krefter og kunnskap”
Farmers from Årdalstangen 1941
Stained glass art from Årdal
Sources: kanaler.arnholm.nu, nrk.no, Ă…rdal Kommune, www.sogelaget.no, Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane
Unfinished Canal 36
he need for a channel between both villages has its roots back in 17th century when local Cooper mining started. In 1868 the clearing of the river started. Due to the costs, building of a road was suggested. In 1914 the need for a canal appeared again this time in form of a petition. This procedure was repeated in 1919.During the WWII the German Army had a particular interest in creating a boat passage across Årdalstangen. To Øvre Årdal’s aluminium plant. This would increase of exporting goods. With time the increasing focus on car and railway transport and the infrastructural investments made in the country, increased to the point where transport by boat was discontinued.
rdal Lake separates Årdalstange and Øvre Årdal. Is located 3m above the sea level. Historically it was used for floating timber. Nevertheless due to the close vicinity and split in the Årdal community it became increasingly important in the “ ages “ to improve the connection between the two settlements.
Sources: Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane,
Canal running through Årdalnstangen
The Årdalstangen (Hi)Story
he German invasion of Norway in 1940 brought faster growth of Årdal. The Germans were in need of aluminium for the production of war planes. This came together with increasing capacity of hydroelectric power plant in the area. They decided to expand the aluminium industry. Works had been stopped due to the end of the WWII. This village is well known for its collective efforts and the work of its inhabitants. Industrial society Årdal became the symbol of the modern Norway after the war and was called Social Democracy exhibition windows”. Municipalities and unions worked together to build the successful industrial town, where the famous collective spirit has created both roads and country renowned cultural event.
Sources: P.Perkiewicz , Norge Digitalt.no, Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane, www.sogelaget.com
Årdal’s Karbon Industry
carbon plant Årdalstangen 1976
ack in 1970 70% of Årdal’s population was employed by Årdal Metalverk( 2200 inhabitants).In 2006 Hydro Sodeberg (1/3 of Hydro Aluminium in Øvre Årdal) was closed. With this decision the company reduced 1100 positions, radically changing the population from 7 000 inhabitant to 5 700. Årdal is an industrial municipality, with a strong connection with the industry even today. This relationship makes villages vulnerable and very depended on the industrial market. Many youth leave Årdal to look for opportunities and an employment in the bigger cities.
Sources: norgedigitalt.no, Hydro Aluminium SA, Årdal Kommune, NORSK HYDRO rapport 1998, Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane www.sogelaget.com, Årdal : verket og bygda 1947-1997 www.sogelaget.com,
Industry in Årdalstangen
Carbon plant Årdalstangen 1972
Carbon plant Årdalstangen 1960
Aluminium load 1960
Carbon plant Årdalstangen 1958
Sources: P.Perkiewicz: Norge Digitalt.no Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane
At the end of Ă…rdalsvatn
Årdal Aluminium Industry
Aluminium PLant 1952
rdal history is strongly connected with a heavy industry and what comes with it big need of electricity. In 2006 Hydro Sodeberg was closed due environmental issues. As a result of energy demand dropped 825GWh from its previous needs of 3750 GWh. Hydro Aluminium decided to give back 825GWh to the municipality. Production of aluminium changed as part of the plant had been closed down due to Carbon leakage. Previously the plant produced 45 tons of aluminium. After the closure production increased by 50 tons. Nevertheless in the larger picture it is important to strengthen the national grid.
Sources: norgedigitalt.no, Hydro Aluminium SA, Årdal Kommune, NORSK HYDRO rapport 1998
The Aluminium Landscape
Øvre Årdal 1900
Øvre Årdal 1942
Øvre Årdal Infrastructure development 1941
ydro Aluminium provides energy free of charge from waste disposal, to Health clinic’s, community house, outdoor swimming pool and artificial grass. Nevertheless most of the energy produced in Årdal is used by Hydro Aluminium.
Dooria which was opened between 2007 and 2008 needed 1,5 GWh. In order to provide the necessary amount of energy company resorted to burning wood in order to satisfy their energy demands. NorSun produce solar cells. The company with 100 employees started in the 2008 required 25-30GWh. In 2010 their production and employees increased and with it the need for power its consumption now needing in excess of 50GWh.
Sources: Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane, www.sogelaget.com, ” Årdal kommune i dag 1860 - 1960” Årdal : verket og bygda 1947-1997
Årdal’s Aluminium Past
Aluminium Plant, Hall A 1948
Aluminium Plant, 1983
Tyin Tunel construction
Aluminium Plant,1969 Sources: Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane, www.sogelaget.com, Årdal : verket og bygda 1947-1997
Ă…rdal Aluminium Today
Aluminium Plant,2012 Sources: P.Perkiewicz
Hydro Powered System
The lakes of Årdal
Torolmen Lake 1956
he large height differences cause a high hydropower potential. Most rivers are directed to Årdal lake, which has been dammed by a moraine and is regulated by the hydroelectric activities in the area. Årdal’s energy consumption increases by an average 5% each year. Most of the energy produced in the municipality is consumed by Hydro’s Aluminium plant. Sources: P.Perkiewicz 2012, Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane, www.sogelaget.com
The Power from inside the Mountain labyrinth
here is a market and a need for more renewable energy in the area. Too increases the flow of energy larger 300420kV power lines are needed.
his proposal is very controversial as a lines supposed to cross Sognefjorden itself. Local communities are against the project.
Sources: Hydro Energy, www. atlasnav.no, Statnett: ‘Strømnettet på Vestlan det mot 2025’
An Interlinked Watersystem
yin Power Station was opened in 1918. The main reason was to support local farms. In 1933 Tyin Power Station was expanded due to the need of supplying Ă…rdal itself. From 1945 Tyin Power station has been providing energy to all local farms in the whole municipality. A new Tyin Power Station project will offer a greater Production of energy.
he new tunnel is 2,5 km in length and is located inside the mountain. All lakes on the surface in which creates a system of 8-9 has been used as reservoirs in the production of energy. Norway is one of the biggest Hydro electric power exporters in Europe. The energy produced in Ă…rdal has mostly a regional and national use. However the new proposal including 420kV power line transmitters will provide allow for export towards UK and the Netherlands.
Sources: P.Perkiewicz Hydro Energiy, Norge Digitalt.no
Sources: Årdal Kommune, Offerdal Kraftverk AS, www.nve.no NGU rapport 2008-2011, Statnett:‘Strømnettet på Vestlan det mot 2025’
Power Lines cutting through the Landscape
Snow collected on the power line cables
Construction of power lines in Sognfjord
Power Line in Sognefjord 1958
Artistic vision of 420kV Årdal Landscape
Artistic vision of 420kV Årdal Landscape
Sources: ‘Hvor Årdal’, www.nve.no, www.statnett.no, Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane,
A Landscape Shaped by Natural Events Årdal is an area heavily influenced by human actions as well as natural forces. Both have resulted in modification of the areas powerful topography. As a result the urban area has been restricted to perceived ‘safe zones’. Human interventions in the landscape cannot prevent the multitude of natural events that can cause devastation. The understanding of the risk factors involved in the area, could contribute to develop a strategy in order to better provide stable living conditions in Årdal as well as as well as protect significant characteristics of the landscape.
Sources: skredatlas.nve.no ,Årdal komune.no, ngu.no
A landscape Regulated by the Need of Power Årdal is located in the end of the Sogn Fjord. A split water system and the close proximity of mountains create fertile grounds for the establishment of Hydro Electric Power plants. Most of rivers and lakes within Årdal’s water system has already been regulated and modified by hydroelectric companies. It was originally introduced as an energy source for farming. The greater part of the energy produced in the municipal¬ity is consumed by Hydro’s Aluminium plant. There is a marked and a need for more renew¬able energy in the area. In order to deliver more power 300-420kV power lines are needed. The proposal is very controversial as power lines are supposed to cross Sognefjorden.
Sources: Hydro.com, Hydro Energy Rapports 2004-2011, ngu.no, ngu.no, ‘Bygdebok for Årdal.’ H.Turid: ‘Kulturlandskap og kulturmarkstypar i Årdal kommune’
Clean Energy allowing for Clean Aluminium Production Årdal has a long industry roots. The importance of the industry and the impact it has on the landscape. Has in the past forced new solution to be developed, in 2020 Hydro Aluminum As will introduce carbon Zero production technologies. This will be possible with the use of the energy coming from the local water systems.
Sources: Statnett:‘Strømnettet på Vestlan det mot 2025’, Hydro.com, Hydro Energy Rapports 2004-2011,
The Shrinking City Phenomena and the potential Årdal Tourist Routes Årdal is a part of Sogn og Fjordane a county characterized by an aging population. As a result the average age of habitants in the area is 43. Instead Årdal has decreasing amount of inhabitants and an increasing population over the age of 60.Its attempts towards keeping the youth in the county has not been successful, heavy industry does not seem provide the possibilities or the “glue” for young people to stay. Årdal has many natural features that are very rare in comparison with the rest of the country. Its closeness to national park and Jotunheimen should generate tourism, however this aspect seems to currently be non-existing.
Sources: ngu.no, ‘Bygdebok for Årdal.’ H.Turid: Kulturlandskap og kulturmarkstypar i Årdal kommune
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Weeks starting 14th January 2013 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Research Studies Interviews and surveys Represantation of findings Scenario Development Represantation of scenarios Scenario Evaluation Presentation Presentation dates March 18th April 16th May 10th May 27th-31st June 6th
1st Review 2nd Review Hand in deadline Diploma Review Diploma Lecture