The small village Torup is situated on a peninsula between sea and fjord, 60 km to the northwest of Copenhagen. Part of Torup is an eco-village (Dyssekilde) initiated more than 30 years ago by a group of people who moved here to form a community based on organic and sustainable principles. The village has a high level of active participation and is one of very few growing Danish villages, so called “Warm Zones”. Its inhabitants enjoy a diverse range of initiatives and activities, including parent-initiated school and kindergarten, Coop initiated shop and café, and a lot of other activities, all enabled due to a strong tradition for initiative and involvement. An almost 50 % extension of the village (Hvideland) is also a local initiative. It is both planned and implemented by Torup Ting, the local community association. Crowdfunding done by the local Torup Foundation made it possible to purchase the 5 ha land for the project including the farm-house. The extension is now in progress and like Dyssekilde it will be following sustainable principles.
Learning community in Renewable Energy
Torup is actively participating in supporting the energy transformation – in the village as well as around. In the village many inhabitants have invested in solar-panels, better insulation etc. and the sorrunding area, is with most occurring wind turbines within the municipality. Inhabitants are copying their local experience on to the energy transformation and are supporting the idea and importance of local ownership to the solutions implemented. When it comes to energy for transport the village has also being actively persuing sustainable solutions: They have ensured the public transport was maintained, when it was planned to close down (train with a stop in Torup) and they have developed their own alternative transport in the project “Sykkel” – with different types of bicycles and small wagons all run on electricity – and displayed at the train station to remind people, that a “normal car” is not a necessity. For most of the inhabitants of Torup sustainability is a normal part of everyday life, and they are implementing sustainable solutions at home, in their village and surroundings. They want to enable district heating for the entire village, using the experience gained via implementation in Hvideland. For the Hvideland heating system, they want to make it even more energy-friendly by also implementing a cooling-option. Unfortunately this is found to be difficult due to regulations (Rules for heating only – not for cooling!)
They are actively calling and supporting public meeting about wind turbines in the municipality, and by that ensuring this is not a top-down initiative only. They have a good cooperation with the municipality on this topic.
Degree of urbanization
Town or suburb
population of 356
Check out the village strategy:
Sustainable district heating will be established for the village extension, Hvideland, and inhabitants will be obliged to connect. This will align with the general sustainability approach of the village to minimize the use of inefficient and individual heating systems.
It will be using ground source heat pumps, and distribution temperature will be middle only to avoid excessive heat loss during transmission. Hot water will be produced in each house to boost the heating water when needed.
The implementation is to be carried out in cooperation with the local semi-public company Halsnæs Supply [Halsnæs Forsyning] in terms of organisational setup
Tools&Talents is a mobile-based App that gives citizens access to find and borrow the village's common tools and equipment, which are stored in a tool bank established in a barn as part of the village extension, Hvideland. In addition, the App allows citizens to advertise their skills and competences, which other citizens can then benefit from. Sharing available tools and talents (competences) is supporting the village vision on sustainability, inclusiveness and engagement, and with a special focus on all the newcomers. Please note: the budget is including establishing the tool bank as well.
Development plan of Torup
With the development plan for the enlargement of Torup with 100 new homes in two stages over the next few years, Torup is a rare example of a Warm Zone, i.e. a rural community in growth. This applies to the quantitative aspects of growth, i.e. the number of newcomers, but equally to the qualitative aspects in terms of the quality of life, and the life-work balance in rural settings. Sustainability is a key concept in this respect, in all its dimensions: ecologically, economically, socially, and culturally.
Torup Ting, Torupting@gmail.com
Plant Peter, firstname.lastname@example.org