Bergen: A Vibrant Multicultural Hub for International Trade and Cultural Exchange


Robert Eduard Antal » Urban Innovation » Urban Development in Bergen: Achieving a Greener Future

Contributions and Roles of Member Cities in the Eurocities Network: Bergen, Norway

Innovation and Sustainability

Bergen is committed to sustainability and innovation as key components of its urban development strategy. The city has set ambitious goals to reduce CO2 emissions and promote the use of green technology. By investing in renewable energy sources and encouraging the use of electric vehicles, Bergen aims to create a cleaner and more sustainable environment for its residents.

Smart City Initiatives

Bergen leverages advanced technologies to improve various aspects of urban life. From smart water management systems to healthcare enhancements, the city is at the forefront of integrating smart solutions to tackle everyday challenges.

Examples of Smart City Projects

  • Smart Waterways Project: Implementing sensors and monitoring systems to clean and maintain the city’s waterways.
  • e-Health Solutions: Deploying telemedicine and health monitoring systems to improve healthcare services.
  • Intelligent Lighting: Installing energy-efficient LED lights with sensors that adjust based on activity and natural light.

Cultural and Social Projects

Bergen actively engages in a variety of cultural and social projects, ensuring the inclusion of all community members, especially vulnerable groups. Through support for cultural events and social welfare programs, the city fosters a sense of community and belonging.

Official City Website:

Examples of Cultural and Social Initiatives

  • Cultural Festivals: Hosting events like the Bergen International Festival to celebrate art, music, and local culture.
  • Support for Refugees: Providing housing and social services for refugees and asylum seekers to help them integrate into the community.
  • Senior Citizen Programs: Offering activities and health services specifically designed for the elderly.

Urban Planning and Development

Bergen is committed to significant urban development projects aimed at enhancing livability and addressing climate change. These projects focus on improving infrastructure, creating green spaces, and promoting sustainable construction practices.

Examples of Urban Development Projects

  • Green Urban Spaces: Developing parks and green corridors to improve air quality and provide recreational areas for residents.
  • Climate-Resilient Infrastructure: Building flood defenses and resilient infrastructure to cope with extreme weather conditions.
  • Public Transit Expansion: Expanding and modernizing the public transportation network to reduce traffic congestion and emissions.

Youth and Education

Bergen places a high priority on creating a vibrant environment for students and young professionals. The city invests in educational institutions and programs that foster innovation, creativity, and career development.

Examples of Youth and Education Initiatives

  • Student Innovation Hubs: Establishing centers where students can collaborate on innovative projects and startups.
  • International Student Exchange Programs: Partnering with universities worldwide to offer diverse learning experiences.
  • Career Development Workshops: Providing workshops and mentorship programs to help young professionals enter the job market.

Benefits of Participation in Eurocities

By participating in the Eurocities network, Bergen gains numerous benefits. These include access to a wealth of knowledge and best practices from other member cities, opportunities for collaboration on transnational projects, and enhanced visibility on the European stage. This engagement allows Bergen to continually innovate and implement successful urban strategies.

Bergen, Norway


Bergen is located on the southwestern coast of Norway, within the region of Vestland. The city is situated among a series of fjords and mountains, most notably the Seven Mountains that surround the city. It is renowned for its picturesque views and maritime climate.


Bergen has a population of approximately 285,000 people. The city’s demographics are diverse, with a mix of Norwegians and a growing international community. Bergen is the second-largest city in Norway, following the capital, Oslo.

Economic Overview

The economy of Bergen is driven by several key industries, including shipping, oil and gas, and marine research. Tourism also plays a significant role, thanks to the city’s rich cultural heritage and natural scenery. Bergen’s GDP is robust, contributing significantly to both the regional and national economy.

Historical Significance

Bergen was founded in 1070 by King Olav Kyrre and has played an important role in Norwegian history. During the Middle Ages, it served as one of the main trade centers for the Hanseatic League. Bergen has endured numerous fires throughout its history but has always been rebuilt, preserving much of its historical architecture.

Cultural Attractions

  • Bryggen: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bryggen is a historic harbour district with colourful wooden houses dating back to the Hanseatic period.
  • Bergenhus Fortress: One of the oldest and best-preserved fortresses in Norway, dating back to the 1240s.
  • Bergen International Festival: An annual cultural event featuring music, theatre, dance, and more.
  • Bergen Art Museum: Home to a significant collection of Norwegian and international art.
  • Aquarium of Bergen: One of Norway’s oldest aquariums, offering an insight into marine life.

Education System

Bergen has a well-established education system that includes numerous primary and secondary schools. Higher education is particularly strong, with the University of Bergen and the Norwegian School of Economics being two of the most prominent institutions. Both universities attract students from all over the world and are known for their research contributions.

Transportation Infrastructure

Bergen is well-connected both locally and internationally. The Bergen Light Rail (Bybanen) is a popular public transportation option within the city. Bergen Airport, Flesland, provides both domestic and international flights. The city is also connected by rail and road to other major cities in Norway, including Oslo and Stavanger.

Urban Development Projects

  • Bybanen Expansion: Plans to extend the Bergen Light Rail network to integrate more districts and improve public transit access.
  • Green Bergen Initiative: Projects aimed at increasing green spaces, sustainable housing, and eco-friendly public utilities.
  • Harbourside Redevelopment: Efforts to rejuvenate the waterfront area with new commercial, residential, and leisure facilities.

Environmental Initiatives

Bergen is committed to environmental sustainability and protection. Initiatives include the promotion of electric vehicles, with extensive charging infrastructure, and the development of wind and solar energy projects. The city also puts emphasises on waste reduction and recycling programs.

Quality of Living

Bergen offers a high quality of living, supported by an excellent healthcare system and strong safety records. The city is known for its clean air, high environmental standards, and access to outdoor recreational activities. Amenities such as parks, cultural institutions, and modern shopping centers contribute to a comfortable lifestyle.

Quality of Life Indexes

  • Livability Rankings: Bergen consistently ranks high in livability indexes due to its safety, health services, and environmental quality.
  • Healthcare Index: The city is known for having one of the best healthcare systems in Norway, reflected in high healthcare index scores.
  • Environmental Quality Score: Bergen scores well in environmental indexes, boasting impressive air and water quality metrics.

Mayor Profile: Christine Meyer

Current Position

Mayor of Bergen, Norway

Political Affiliation



  • Ph.D. in Economics, Norwegian School of Economics (NHH)
  • Master’s degree in Business Administration, Norwegian School of Economics (NHH)
  • Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, University of Bergen

Professional Background

  • Professor of Strategy and Management – Norwegian School of Economics (NHH)
  • CEO – Statistics Norway
  • Commissioner for Finance – Bergen City Council
  • Consultant – McKinsey & Company

Achievements as Mayor

  • Sustainability Initiatives: Introduced the “Green Bergen” initiative, which includes extensive recycling programs, promotion of electric vehicles, and expanding green spaces throughout the city.
  • Urban Development: Spearheaded the Bergen Waterfront Revitalization Project, transforming former industrial zones into vibrant residential and commercial areas.
  • Technological Advancements: Launched the “Smart Bergen” initiative, which leverages IoT and AI to improve city services, traffic management, and public safety.

Vision for the Future

Christine Meyer aims to transform Bergen into a model smart city by prioritizing the following:

  • Smart City Initiatives:
    • Expand the use of smart technologies to enhance public transportation efficiency and sustainability.
    • Implement smart grids for better energy management and reduced carbon footprint.
  • Environmental Sustainability:
    • Achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 through comprehensive climate action plans.
    • Promote green building standards and renewable energy usage.
  • Community Engagement:
    • Encourage citizen participation in governance through digital platforms and public forums.
    • Develop community programs to enhance quality of life and social cohesion.

Personal Life

Christine Meyer is an avid hiker and loves exploring the natural beauty of Norway. She is deeply committed to community service and often volunteers for local environmental cleanup activities. Meyer is also a patron of the arts and enjoys supporting local cultural events and institutions.

Awards and Honors

  • Order of St. Olav – Recognized for her contributions to Norwegian society in the field of economics and public service.
  • Norwegian Businesswomen Award – Awarded for her leadership and impact in the business and public sector.
  • Environmental Leadership Award – Honored for her efforts in advancing sustainability initiatives in Bergen.

Bergen, Norway: Quality of Life and Cost of Living

Quality of Life


Bergen has a safety index of 65.48, indicating a relatively high level of security for its residents. The city is known for its low crime rates and well-functioning law enforcement, contributing to a safe living environment.


With a healthcare quality index of 74.03, Bergen ranks high in terms of medical services and support. The city’s healthcare system is reliable, providing residents access to top-notch medical facilities and well-trained healthcare professionals.


The pollution index in Bergen stands at 22.4, showcasing the city’s commitment to maintaining a clean and healthy environment. Bergen’s focus on sustainability and environmental preservation is evident in its low pollution levels.


Bergen’s transport index is 71.37, underlining the efficiency and reach of its public transportation system. The city offers a variety of transportation options including buses, light rail, and ferries, which are both extensive and reliable, making it easy for residents to navigate the city.


Bergen is home to several renowned educational institutions, such as the University of Bergen and the Norwegian School of Economics. These institutions are well-regarded for their quality of education, contributing significantly to the city’s intellectual environment and overall quality of life.

Cost of Living


The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Bergen’s city center is approximately $1,000 per month. This cost is reflective of the high demand for housing in the city, which is balanced with the quality of living offered.

Groceries and Dining

  • Monthly grocery costs: Around $350 for a single person.
  • Dining out: The average cost for a meal ranges between $20-$45.


The monthly cost for utilities (including electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage) for an 85m2 apartment is approximately $150. This is indicative of the efficiency and reliability of essential services in the city.


A monthly public transport pass in Bergen costs around $95, allowing unlimited access to the city’s comprehensive and efficient public transportation network.


  • Fitness Club: Membership fees range from $50-$70 per month.
  • Cinema: A cinema outing will cost roughly $15 per person.

Bergen’s Role in the Eurocities Network

As a member of the Eurocities network, Bergen plays an active role in discussions and policy-making on urban development across Europe. The city’s initiatives in sustainability, healthcare, and public transportation make it a valuable contributor to the network, helping to shape a better urban future not just for its own residents, but for numerous cities across Europe.

Please note that all data is sourced from Numbeo.

Leave a Comment

Vote and Share:

Let Your Voice Be Heard:

Which City Wins Your Heart for Innovation & Sustainability?

Join's symbolic poll for Eurocities Awards 2024.

At, we're not just spectators; we're active participants in shaping the future of urban innovation.

Dive into our unofficial polls and cast your vote for the city projects that inspire you the most.

Whether it's groundbreaking sustainability initiatives, cutting-edge technology, or transformative community programs, your opinion matters!

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Innovative Ecosystems: Attracting & Retaining Talent
Sustainable Food Systems: Empowering Communities
Creative Election Campaigns: Mobilising Citizens

Join the Community
Stay Ahead with Urban Innovations!

Get exclusive insights into Eurocities Awards 2024
by subscribing to our newsletter!

From detailed event schedules to live updates and exclusive insights into pioneering urban projects, we've got you covered.

Experience the inspiration from nominated cities leading the charge in innovation and sustainability.

Join our community today and be a part of the movement that’s shaping the future of our urban landscapes. Don’t miss this chance to connect with urban innovation – subscribe now!

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.