Our goal is to make life as good as safe as possible for every citizen of Struer
Interview with Niels Viggo Lynghøj, Mayor of Struer in Denmark
- October 29, 2019 09:30
- Monika Dimitrova
Niels Viggo Lynghøj was born in 1955. He represents the Social Democratic Party. He has been member of Struer City Council from 1986-1989 and currently since 2002. Lynghøj is mayor of Struer Municipality for third mandate.
A view from high above Struer
Mayor Lynghøj, please describe the town of Struer in a few sentences. Which is your favorite place?
Struer is situated on a slope leading to the Limfjord and the landscape all over the municipality is shaped by the ice age and the fjord, making it a very scenic place. The development of the town of Struer is based on the railroad and industry such as Bang & Olufsen and the harbor – a town influenced by talented entrepreneurs and active citizens.
My favorite place in the municipality is an eight-minute drive from Struer followed by two minutes on a ferry: the island Venø, home to some of the world’s best oysters and the smallest church in Denmark. The nature, the island culture and the people living there is something to experience and enjoy.
Struer is a small and peaceful community, what are your biggest challenges?
Like many municipalities outside the biggest urban areas we are challenged by demographics. Most of our young citizens leave for higher education when they finish high school and fewer return, lifting the average age of the population year by year. But we are working hard to slow down this trend, investing in welfare, business development and culture to make our community attractive for young families and entrepreneurs needed to keep Struer Municipality dynamic and growing.
How do you keep young people in town?
We need attractive career opportunities to keep young people here, so it is important to attract education and highlight exciting local jobs and careers for the young to pursue. That said, we accept that a part of our young population has a desire to leave for the opportunities and higher education in the bigger cities. Therefore, we work to remind them what makes Struer Municipality the best place to live in Denmark. So that they will hopefully return some day with families and kids when they realize the value of the place they grew up.
Struer is one of the cleanest and greenest municipalities in Denmark. How did you achieve this goal?
I think everyone living here wants to take care of our community and keep it nice and attractive for themselves and our visitors. Living among some of Denmark’s most unique landscapes we feel a responsibility for treating our environment the right way.
At the same time our proximity to the west coast blesses us with the fresh western wind that pulls our windmills and contributes a surplus of green energy to the Danish power network.
Share other good practices from your municipality. How do you finance them?
We have chosen to brand us as “The City of Sound” based on our heritage of world-famous audio brand Bang & Olufsen and presence of highly specialized companies around it. Sound is our identity and we have launched sound initiatives in schools, healthcare, cultural life, business and city development among other fields.
Initiatives like this cost money of course, but it adds new value to our welfare and makes Struer Municippality attractive to a lot of exciting partners and new projects, hopefully making our community interesting for new citizens and businesses.
How would you evaluate the necessity of a portal that brings together the best practices of European municipalities and aims to keep the citizens informed about the latest developments in local policies, such as TheMayor.eu? How can our platform be useful to your administration?
I think the goal for Struer Municipality is the same as similar municipalities all over Europe. To make life as good and safe and promising as possible for every citizen. So we have every interest in getting inspiration from other municipalities with the same challenges to that goal, and sharing our own ideas the other way around.
What are the main projects you are planning to develop in the near future to make Struer a better place to live?
Investing in the welfare that matters to the citizens, strengthening our identity as The City of Sound, developing our cities to future housing needs and protecting our unique selling points as a community can keep Struer Municipality an attractive place to live and run a business.
Find out more about Stuer here