In addition to measures for including citizens in planning, the municipality has also created a lending central called “TURBO”, for outdoor equipment and bicycles. This project has been realized with help from the Red Cross and the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV). Anyone may either donate their items, or come and borrow equipment for hiking. The idea behind this initiative is that in a city with so much nature, water, mountains and general options for open-air experiences, you want to give as many as possible the opportunity to join in. For example, if a school is going on a trip in the forest, not every family may have the funds to give their child proper equipment for hiking. Or, a poor student may not be able to join their peers on trips. This to avoid further stigmatization of people with low income, and to involve schools, kindergartens and others. Perspectives such as environment, integration and health are also key aspects of TURBOS business.
This project helps wipe out socioeconomic differences within the city on something that is a very relevant area. Because the goal is to include the local residents in more outdoor activities and Turbo does not lend their equipment to tourists and other temporary visitors. Excluding tourists from being able to borrow free hiking equipment also means they don’t compete with the tourist industry, which otherwise would cause imbalances in the industry’s competition on the market.
TURBO have been very open to input from the environment. Employees in the municipality, politicians, administrations, schools, various partners and customers has all given a lot of input. TURBO have had actions to collect used equipment, participated in festivals and event where we were able to meet different audience. TURBO has grown and they had 3500 borrowers in 2017, of which about 1600 of this where under 16 years. This was an increase of almost 100 % from 2016.
Photo: Carl Henrik Deiting, Green mobility Norway