In 2011 a group of citizens in cooperation with VisitMariagerfjord started a town development project in Mariager. The goal were to examine how Mariager - with its maritime environmend, historical town centre and the local produces - can be nurtured and developed, so that the image and potential of the town will be clearer. The overall goal were, to promote further urban development and "the good life", as well as development in business and production - and thereby creating a solid foundation for increased settlement and a growth in jobs, tourism and general branding.
The group - consisting of representitives from local associations of citizens, trade and tourism - in cooperation with VisitMariagerfjord and VisitNordjylland, completed the 1. fase of the project, which were to describe the possibilities and initiatives which could bring Mariager into the elite class of provincial towns in Denmark!
To find further inspiration for promoting the further development of Mariager, the group visited the town of Svendborg, where a similar project has been carried out with great succes - this project was based on a global concept called ”CittaSlow”.
CittaSlow is a targeted urban development, which is based on a fucus on "the good life" as well as local history, identity and innovation.
After the visit to Svendborg, the group were under the impression that theese ideas could be implemented for developing a town as Mariager, as the two towns share many values and has very similar history. That Mariager is a much smaller town compared to Svendborg, the group only see as an advantage.
In 2011 and 2012 there were a numbere of workshops and citizen gatherings to inform and involve the citizens of Mariager. The result of these activities were the definition of six themes that constitute the values of Mariager. Volounteers now work intensely to promote these values themes.
The six themes are
Water sports, Paths and accessibility, History & The Abbey Church, Markets, Youth and Roses.
The main focus of the volounteers in the theme-groups, is to develop the town according to the CittaSlow concept.
The purpose is that the induvidual CittaSlow townd focus on their excisting values eg. the history, ressources, nature, culture and the local produductshistorien, ressourcerne, naturen, kulturen og de lokale produkter. Ved at se på de eksisterende værdier, finder man byens identitet, samt grundlaget for videre udvikling.
CittaSlow stammer fra Toscana, Italien, men er siden begrebets oprindelse i 1999 blevet et globalt byudviklingskoncept, som i dag praktiseres i mere end 120 byer. Disse byer/kommuner er således certificerede medlemmer af den internationale CittaSlow organisation og netværker på forskellige plan.