Reviving the City Center
The Kitten Square in Notodden, Norway
You might not see them at a first glance but when you visit Notodden’s city center - probably the most vibrant part of the town - they are everywhere: Kittens. Small ones, bigger ones, white or black, on roofs and in the streets; no, not real kittens but kitten sculptures. The reason for this unique and special example of urban design is a personal idea that turned into a movement.
It all started with a cat loving lady who had lost her pet. She and some friends placed the first kitten sculpture in 2005 in memory of hers and other pets that are lost or missing. People, especially children, loved it and soon a whole neighborhood supported her. Now, every year, money is raised with the aid of a local flea market to order a new kitten sculpture from locally and nationally known artists. Thanks to that
initiative Notodden’s city centre - also known as Oscar Nissens Square - is called the Kitten Square. The Kittens as well as the Felicia Coffee Bar revived the town’s center and made it a perfect place to sit in the sun, watch the street life and enjoy a Café Latte. By the way, from here it is only a two minute walk to Carbiden, one of Notodden’s pubs.
The Kitten Square is one out of many rural highlights that are collected for a new booklet of the Trans in Form Project. "The Roadmap to Rural Highlights" is a collection that shows examples of attractive meeting places, outstanding individuals or unique events which attract attention to a region. The booklet will officially be published during the Final Conference of the TiF Project, 21 - 23 of May.
Picture: © Christin Schmidt