Spring is in the air in Aalborg. The sun has been shining for over a week, trees and flowers are blooming, and it seems that the number of events and activities going on in the city has multiplied since winter. (Or maybe I’m just understanding more Danish as I browse newspapers and glance at posters as I cycle and walk through the center…) In any case, there’s plenty to do this weekend and it seems the weather is going to cooperate so let’s get out there and explore!
Aalborg tops the list of 79 European cities with the most satisfied residents
First, a small news announcement. If you are on Facebook, you may have seen this little item circulating already but if not…A recent survey by the European Commission found that the people of Aalborg are more satisfied with the quality of life in their city than those queried in 78 other European cities. Asked whether they were satisfied with life in their respective city, 41,000 survey respondents gave answers ranging from ‘totally agree’ to ‘totally disagree’. Here are the cities in which the most residents said ‘totally agree’:
As you can see, 99% of Aalborgenses ‘totally agreed’ with the statement. (The lowest recorded percentage was Athina at 52%.) Aalborg also rated high on levels of satisfaction with: health services, cultural institutional offerings, educational facilities, public spaces, availability of retail shops, availability of affordable housing, safety, trust in others, and the efficiency and trustworthiness of public administration. In terms of their views on the environment, most Aalborgenses think the city has good air quality, low noise levels, is clean, and has enough green spaces but they do not agree that the city is doing enough to combat climate change (only 10% totally agree). Personally, most residents of Aalborg appear to be satisfied with the life they lead, the place in which they live, their financial situation and their job situation.
However, not all is sun and roses in Aalborg. When asked to what extent they agreed with the statement, ‘I am satisfied with available public transportation in my city’, for example, only 31% of Aalborgenses answered ‘totally agree’. Perhaps the planned light rail/BRT system will help boost that number? Another area that stands out is employment opportunities – only 31% of Aalborg respondents ‘totally agree’ or ‘agree’ that it is easy to find a job here. Aalborg also ranked somewhere near the middle when answering whether ‘the presence of foreigners here is good for the city’ – only 38% totally agreed with the statement. And only 9% totally agreed that foreigners who live here are well integrated. Why might that be?
Note: only residents of Aalborg and Copenhagen were polled in Denmark; those in Århus, Odense and other Danish cities were not included. To learn more about the results of this study, click here.
Hopping Aalborg harbor: Loppemarked (‘flea market’) and Sport in Progress
The harbor is going to be buzzing this weekend. There are two events happening – first, the first day of a recurring flea market – ‘lopper på havnen’ – on Sunday, 4 May from 11:00 to 16:00 in the area next to the Elbjørn. 60 stands will be manned by people selling all sorts of goods, and local musician Andri Sigurdsson will be there to sing and play guitar. Future ‘lopper på havnen’ dates are 1 June, 6 July, and 3 August.
The second event is Sport in Progress on Friday, 2 May. There will be sport competitions to watch, including a Cross Fit tournament, where teams of two women and two men will compete in endurance and strength, street football games and a Roller Derby race. But the day is not just about watching – visitors can try their own hand at a FIFA 2014 computer game, pole dance, or get a body-scan, through which they can learn about their health condition. On the water they can also test themselves in the rapidly growing sport of stand-up paddle boards, which can best be described as a combination of surfing, canoeing and fitness training. The event is the result of collaboration between Sport Management at UCN and Sports Aalborg University. Students from the two institutions are in charge of directing the activities, while sponsors and Aalborg Municipality support the event financially.
Test 5k and 10k runs offered in Aalborg this Sunday
MotionNord is offering a test run this Sunday, 4 May to those who wish to prepare for different races this season. Runners can choose the 5k or 10k route, both of which start at Skovlysning, near Stolpedalsskolen in Hasseris. Runners will be given chips that track their progress throughout their run. Second and third test runs will be offered on the first Sundays in June and August. The idea behind these events is to test the runners’ current form and shape improvements – both ahead of and throughout the race season. You can sign up for individual test runs or pay for all three at a reduced rate. The ultimate goal is the Fjordmarathon in Aalborg 7 September of this year. For more information about the test runs, click here.
Bellydance presentation at Friis Saturday
In case you’re out shopping at Friis this Saturday, 3 May don’t be alarmed if between the hours of 13:00 and 15:00 you hear samba drums and come upon a bellydance presentation at the shopping center’s art wall. Vendsyssel Bellydance Association and the samba group Pocoloco will be giving a preview of their performances during Aalborg Carnival, complete with costumes.
Run for all on May 11
I posted previously about the Children’s Run on Sunday, May 11 at Karolinelund (please note: the registration fee for this race has increased to 110 kr + fee). However, I failed to mention that there are also runs the same day for adults. What used to be a 5k and 10k only for women has expanded to include men and teams of both sexes. In addition to a starting number runners receive a brand new, custom-designed Newline race T-shirt, a track bag stuffed with healthy and delicious surprises and, if you join the race with 3 other people, a large picnic bag filled with goodies to enjoy on the lawn after the race. There will also be plenty of support, pep and cheer along the route, so you might be carried to the finish line with your best time ever! Please note that registrations are coming in quickly and the course can only accommodate 2,500 runners; thus, please register soon if you want to join. Registration costs 230 kr. + fee and can be accomplished by clicking here.
Cinema at Aalborg Library
Aalborg Main Library staff invite you to a repeat movie screening of Lykkevej in their cozy cinema tomorrow, Friday, 2nd May (last week’s showing must have proved too popular to accommodate everyone!) from 16:00-18:00. The movie tells a humorous story about different Danish cultures meeting one another.The movie will be shown in Danish with English subtitles. The event is free and there is no need to register – just show up and head upstairs to the cinema. Read more about the film here.
Children’s Day and Symfonien vs. Platform4 event coming up at Musikkens Hus
Another head’s up for children’s day at Musikkens Hus, which will take place Saturday, 10 May. Parents are invited to bring their children to a free music appreciation event led by musician and music teacher Annemette Juul Pedersen and Mette Mailund Strong, graphic designer, visual artist and orchestra member. A program for children ages 6 to 8 will be held from 9:00 to 12:00, while 9-11 year olds should come for the afternoon (13:00-16:00). Although tickets are not required, you must register your child/ren and yourself by calling or emailing Anne Rom Hansen (98 13 19 email@example.com).
[The following text come directly from the event’s FB page.] Also coming up at Musikkens Hus on Friday, 9 May is the debut of the audiovisual partnership between visual artists from Platform4 and Aalborg Symphony Orchestra in its new setting. The sixth night of symphonic music in dense, digital landscapes is going to be special. The event is the first of its kind in Koncertsalen in Musikkens Hus, which will be the project’s new stage. After a series of popular events and limited seating at Symfonien in Kjellerupsgade, the event now has 1,298 characteristically red chairs at its disposal in the new high-tech music hall.
Koncertsalen is the largest of the four music halls in Musikkens Hus. It has been acoustically optimized by the American consultancy firm Artec and drawn by the award-winning Austrian architects from Coop Himmelb(l)au. Together the visual and acoustic spaces make the hall an ideal frame for the total experience that Platform4 and the symphony orchestra aim to give their audience. ‘We’re excited to explore the new settings and the possibilities they offer. Koncertsalen inspired us to make it all bigger and wilder so that’s what we did,’ says Platform4 daily manager, Bo Nicolaisen.
The music played by the orchestra on the evening is the first and the last movement of Brahms’ »Piano Quartet No. 1«. Originally written for a four-man ensemble the piece has been instrumented for a full orchestra. For context, chief conductor Rumon Gamba will start off the event with a usually very entertaining guided tour around the piece before letting his musicians do the talking. Apart from the event debuting in its new settings, Platform4 will also give debut on the big stage to its new group of visual artists represented by Jean François Robin, Alf Andersen and Dragoş Boţcău this evening.
Meet-and-greet with the artists: 22:00-23:00
Entrance: Free (tickets must be collected at Musikkens Hus or Platform4 in Karolinelund)
Bird tour at Østerådalen
The Danish Ornithological Society in North Jutland invites children and their grandparents to a spring ‘experience with birds’ at Aalborg Kommune’s Infohus at Østerådalen off Overkæret this Saturday, May 3 from 13:00 to 16:00. The association will serve cake and lemonade to children and offer coffee/tea to the adults. Visitors can see a small exhibition of stuffed birds and buy bird boxes. The association members will also introduce participants to various books about birds. During a tour of the area the ornithologists will talk about the birds they see, and explain what it is they do when they go out into the wild to see or count birds. They will also tell stories about the birds – both true stories and tall tales. In addition, visitors will visit a shelter, where it will be possible to get quite close to many birds. Binoculars will be available on loan but if you have some at home, it’s a good idea to bring them with you. Registration is required by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zoo sets record Easter weekend
Aalborg Zoo Director Henrik Johansen reports that 33,500 visitors chose Aalborg Zoo as one of their destinations during the Easter holidays, a 48% increase over the same period in 2013. 90,000 people have visited the zoo this year, compared to 79,000 in the first 4 months of last year. While the animals are still the main draw, another huge attraction is the enormous new playground in the middle of the zoo’s grounds.
2,700 parking places planned at new hospital
A couple of weeks ago I posted about the new light rail/BRT system that is currently under development in Aalborg. The system will run from the new university hospital in Aalborg Øst to Mølholm in the west beginning in 2021 and is projected to save 600,000 car trips a year. However, the Region Norjylland hospital project director, Niels Uhrenfeldt, has announced that there will also be a large enough parking lot built to the east of the hospital to fit 2,700 cars and ample space left to develop the lot should there be need for it. COWI has undertaken a study of current traffic patterns to the area where the hospital is being built and the consulting group estimates that the number of automobiles arriving daily at the new hospital, once it is fully operational in 2020, will be around 13,000.