During the spring of 2016 Assens’ municipality began several great initiatives on future planning and development in the Tommerup-area. This area has the potential to increase the number of citizens living in Assens’ municipality as it close to nature as well as Odense, and well-connected in terms of access to railroads and express ways. This is a potential which Assens’ municipality wishes to bolster in collaboration with citizens, neighborhood councils, associations and the economic industry.
Forward thinking was on the agenda when 60 citizens from Tommerup met with Assens’ municipality and The Danish Board of Technology Foundation for a citizens’ summit designed and facilitated by The Danish Board of Technology Foundation.
Maps were used and areas in Tommerup on which improvements could be made was circled
Assens’ municipality has selected the towns of Tommerup as an area for development and this made for a first act of collaboration between the municipality, the neighborhood council and The Danish Board of Technology Foundation.
The participants were asked to address the branding of Tommerup in working groups. They focused particularly on Tommerup as a safe, modern and sustainable town with nature right outside the door. Furthermore, they were asked to consider which types of housing that should be built on the new residential areas such as Tommerup West and The Sawmill Plot in Tommerup St. The two twin cities are close to railroads and express ways and are as such well-connected. This should be exploited and the participating citizens made suggestions on how the roads for these new residential areas should be laid out. There is room for a 20 percent increase of residents living in Tommerup and this increase would naturally increase the level of traffic on the existing roads, as Anders Dam, planner at Assens’ municipality explained.
The water is coming – use it
Anders Mønster from Rambøll made a short presentation on how to use the climate change creatively. The number of heavy rain showers will increase in the future and that water should be used in the best possible way. It can be used to create lakes and streams that can help drain the excess water but also create recreational areas. This is a popular idea in the cities which are not close to the coastlines.
The neighborhood council – an active partner
The neighborhood council of Tommerup was an active partner in planning the meeting and its strategy served as a source of inspiration for Assens’ municipality. Chairman of the neighborhood council Arentoft Svane was pleased with the meeting:
“I thought it was a well-arranged meeting with an important agenda and relevant themes. The level of enthusiasm amongst the attending people was great and I sensed that we will receive a great and very usable report based on the many constructive debates around the tables. Before, during and after the meeting the participants continued to discuss animatedly and several came up to me and expressed their enthusiasm on this event and their expectations for the future development.
Speaking on behalf of the neighborhood council, I thought our stand received a warm reception and were able to draw people in. At the same time, we successfully recruited several citizens as city ambassadors as well as for the working party ‘Pulse in Town’. I can’t really think of anything negative about the citizens’ summit yesterday – it was a really great Saturday.”
Member of the neighborhood council, Jakob Schjødt-Pedersen added: “The things we discussed in yesterday’s groups matched the subjects which had been suggested in the neighborhood council. It is going to be great having the municipality as an active partner in the development of our towns. It adds a certain level of gravity and thereby a better option for the projects to actually go through. Personally I got some new information on the area and new ideas were presented as well, and we can continue to work on them in the neighborhood council.”
Every idea is now being processed by The Danish Board of Technology Foundation and Assens’ municipality and they will conclude which overall tendencies that can be deducted from the Tommerup citizens’ wishes. Work will continue on these suggestions and in December the local development plans for Tommerup will be finalized.
By Jakob Schjødt-Pedersen, Tommerup Neighborhood Council