In recent years Thisted municipality has been facing a growing challenge: What to do with the empty lots that emerge in villages when old derelict houses are demolished as a result of municipal plans for improving living conditions in small villages and rural areas? The problem is, that even though the immediate effect of clearing away obsolete buildings is clearly visible, even an empty building lot will eventually become a dismal sight unless it is made to play an active role in the urban space. The best solution would be for someone to buy the building lot and build a new house, but that is not the trend at the moment.
Alternatively a neighbour could buy the lot in order to enhance his or her garden, but in cases where the neighbours are elderly people that is not an option either. At the current speed of demolition, Thisted municipality would quickly be facing a monumental maintenance budget if untraditional methods are not employed. As a result the municipality has offered the empty lots to the citizens of Ydby to maintain and otherwise use as they find fit. Citizens are thus engaged in the development of their own village and the green lots become an active part of village life. The plan is not only to save the municipality money but also to develop ownership and be supportive of the citizens’ involvement in improving living conditions in the village.
The Old Inn
Ydbyvej 170 was once the location for the inn in Ydby, strategically placed opposite the train station and built when the railroad came through Thy and Ydby in 1882. For generations the inn functioned as the natural meeting place for celebrations, meetings and other get togethers. Eventually the building became outdated and couldn’t compete with the newly built Boddum-Ydby Sports Centre and Boddum-Ydby Private School. In June of 2012 the old inn was demolished and subsequently the village was given the rights to utilize the empty lot. Ydby Residents Association together with Boddum-Ydby Sports Association and Thisted municipality worked out a plan for the establishing of a petanque and croquet court at the vacant lot where the inn used to be. Adjacent to the court is the club house. The project reflects a profound interest in playing petanque and croquet in Ydby. Boddum-Ydby Sports Association has fostered two national croquet champions. Additional plantation of bushes and the laying out of a picnic area are some of the projects in the pipeline for the former inn parcel.
The Flarup Rune Stone
But Ydby’s history stretches much further back than to the inn and the railroad as the many bronze age burial mounds in the area and the beautiful medieval village church show. Also the Vikings have left their mark on Ydby in the shape of a rune stone from Flarup in Ydby parish. That is, the rune stone has long since been lost but a drawing exists from 1767 when the stone was still to be found in Flarup. The drawing is at the Royal Library in Copenhagen and forms the basis of the copy of the Flarup stone made by stonemason Erik Jensen and placed to the east of the petanque court. The inscription reads: “Here Troels and the sons of Leve erected a stone to commemorate Leve”. And even though the stone is not placed at its original spot both Troels and Leve would probably have approved of the location: A busy spot with many by passers, just as it was originally intended.
The Community Green
A sled run, football court, camp fire and new trees are just some of the elements in the plan for a new community green at Ydbyvej 184 where Thisted municipality has recently removed the old veterinary hospital. Subsequently the area that was formerly a fair ground has been handed over to Ydby Residents Association who is planning to turn the grounds into a community green for everyone to enjoy. And with a little stream running at the bottom of the hilly lot there will be ample possibilities for the children to get their feet wet when they are not busy playing football.
A Green Lot with Potential
At Ydbyvej 224 where the two roads Ydbyvej and Oddesundvej meet, just opposite the grocery store, is another of the Green Lots now in the care of Ydby Residents Association. With its location so close to the very busy main road Route A11 the function of Ydbyvej 224 must be carefully contemplated in order not to remove the commuters’ focus from the traffic. The lot may come in handy in case traffic regulating initiatives eventually are to be realized in connection with the grocery store parking lot.
A Green Lot does not necessarily have to be a place of action. It can also function as a break in all the impressions and a chance for the eye to rest. In Ydby the green lots are there for both activity and reflection and set the scene for the good life now and in the future in the village of Ydby.