Sandnes is centrally located in the North-Jaeren region, approximately 15 minutes drive from Stavanger International Airport Sola. With an average annual growth of 1.9 % it positions Sandnes as Norway's fastest growing city. Shopping Sandnes is known for having one of the longest pedestrian street in Norway, Langgata; the main shopping street in the town. It has several niche shops along with cosy cafes and restaurants, making it perfect for a shopping day out. About Sandnes and surroundings Sandnes has originally been known for it's large natural deposits of clay which made it possible to establish an extensive brickworks and pottery industry during the 1800s, while the manufacture of bicycles has helped put the city on the map in more recent times. The city has worked towards positioning themselves as a "bicycle town" and has been commended on their system with free bike rentals available in the city centre. In 2005, Sandnes was awarded a price for being the best municipality for outdoors activities. The city has been very active and innovative in organising activities; i.e. an organised hiking trip/concert at sunset to Dalsnuten that became a huge success. The event Blink Ski festival is furthermore an event that has been organised for several years now, and become a huge success. Sandnes also won an award for being the best municipality of trade and business the same year. The basis of this award is measured from profitability, growth, establishment of new businesses and employment rates in proportion with population.