Isvegen Feasibility Study

Our study is analyzing the old road formerly used to transport blocks of ice from the glacier Folgefonna to the fjord in Sundal. Our study evaluates how the path can be adjusted and improved as an alternative to the existing infrastructure, with a goal to provide better recreational possibilities for the local community, better integration of tourism in the village, and also how it could serve as a tourist attraction in itself.

The study has been developed by our planning and architecture team for Folgefonna nasjonalparkstyre. The submitted measures are gentle and based on in-depth analyses of the landscape and cultural history. The area is rich in qualities and history, both natural and cultural. The goal is to highlight these existing qualities in ways that are essentially proposed as strategies for enabling the community to develop the project by themselves.

Sundal is one of the important gateways to the Bondhusdalen landscape conservation area and Folgefonna National Park. Neither the current exit from the main road, the road up to Bondhus or the municipal car park has sufficient capacity or design for the large amount of tourists visiting the area. The road Isvegen is today partly overgrown and used as a local hiking trail. The feasibility study shows how this can be adapted and improved so that it can take some of the pressure off the existing infrastructure in peak season. The goal is that the local community will be able to manage the increasing stream of tourists as a local resource.

Our suggestions take into account the road and the area’s cultural history, the natural environment along the road and the agriculture in the area. The aim is to show opportunities and strategies for a facilitation and upgrading that provides good experiences along the road, with sufficient capacity, and adapted for information and dissemination for visitors and locals. Visitors shall have good experiences adapted to their expectations, through good and adapted information about the protected area. The road Isvegen as a cultural monument will be relevant to include in the communication materials for visitors. We point to which elements that are natural to highlight and where to locate signs and other information material.

The study answers the following questions:

  • How to design and upgrade the path Isvegen so that it can become a low-threshold outing for locals and visitors, by providing information about cultural history, cultural landscapes and landscapes.
  • How can one establish an infrastructure for experiencing the landscape by foot, and how could this be linked with parking for cars and public transport.
  • How can an upgrade of Isvegen contribute to tourism becoming a local resource for value creation in the centre of Sundal.
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