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Social Sustainability and Ecological Urbanism In Oslo

Type of project
01.09.2020 ->

About the project

For more than two decades, climate change, environmental damage and ecological threats have driven policymakers and city councils to move towards ‘greener’ initiatives in city planning. However, this focus on ‘greening the city’ can come at the expense of social imperatives such as community involvement, equity and justice. This study aims to address the tension between how cities become ‘greener’ while simultaneously more inclusive, equitable and socially cohesive through the lens of landscape-based projects in the Norwegian capital city of Oslo.

The City of Oslo’s best practice ‘greening’ agenda aims to mitigate the effects of climate change through its implementation of a blue-green structure within the City’s broader urban planning framework. One aspect of Oslo’s strategic ‘Green Plan’ includes the restoration of several rivers running through the city which coincide with proposed urban development (Oslo Kommune, Grøntplan, 2010). While the idea of opening these rivers is underpinned by environmental and ecological priorities such as increasing biodiversity, this research seeks to identify the social implications of a greener Oslo by asking: i) what is the relationship between social and spatial aspects in the City’s blue-green structure? and ii) how is the social dimension of sustainability addressed in Oslo’s river opening projects?

Through a combination of traditional ethnographic research methods and formal analysis of historic archival material, this research aims to identify how ecological and social imperatives can be integrated in the creation of resilient cities.

Image Caption: Tiedemanns Park, Ensjø, Oslo. (Source: Angela Kivle)