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Urban dynamics in peri-urban areas – lost opportunities or land of potentiality?

Type of project
01.09.2015 -> 30.06.2020

This project has been completed

About the project

The thesis will study how relocations and movement patterns of programs moving from the inner city parts are manifested in a new peri- urban context of the Oslo Region.

The thesis takes its starting point and interest in a growing Oslo Region with its administrative divisions experiencing varying degrees of urbanization. The thesis will study in particular the peri-urban areas in the Oslo Region , addressing a very particular spatial transformation; how relocations and movement patterns of programs moving from the inner city parts are manifested in a new peri- urban context.

Peri-urban areas are characterized by a multi-layered co-existence of urban and rural land-uses, as well as coexistence of heterogenic urban programs in terms of functions, scale and use. Pressure from urban growth creates conflicts of land use, conflicts between stakeholders and a variety of private and public interests[1]. However the peri-urban is not only a field of conflicts; several theorists in the field suggest that the peri-urban can have positive, hidden potentials for urban development. Since the peri-urban is not yet fully integrated into established urban discourses[2] there is a need for developing new knowledge and urban principles. The general perception of peri-urban landscapes is they are undergoing changes at an uncertain pace. A core question for the research is how can the peri-urban be seen as a land of opportunities where new forms of urban/rural conditions can emerge?

The research has several aims. First, the project seeks to develop knowledge in order to read, analyse and conceptualize current conditions and developments in peri-urban areas. Second is to raise awareness and produce new knowledge on what kind of policies and mechanisms that comes into play when urban programs relocate to peri-urban areas. With support from literature one can argue that a new approach to managing change in the peri-urban landscape requires well-informed, knowledge-based spatial planning and design concepts. [3] Third, it is the aim to develop new knowledge on possible co-relations between policies of sustainable urban development and overall peri-urban development. Fourth and more specifically, producing site-specific, new knowledge relevant for future planning and urban developments in Oslo Territory.

The project is part of the Oslo Territories project.


[1] Mattias Qviström, Peri-Urban Landscapes: From Disorder to Hybridity,” The Routledge Companion to Landscape Studies (Routledge, 2012).

[2] Ibid.

[3] Tim Love and Christina Crawford, “Plot Logic: Character-building through Creative Parcelization,” in Urban Design in the Real Estate Development Process, edited by David Adams and Steve Tiesdell (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011).