As is the case with many countries, Norway has its share of large, polluted industrial areas defined by monumental infrastructure, lack of permeability and complicated way-finding. These areas often feature a concentration of land uses that have been deliberately isolated from the surrounding city due to their unpleasant nature. Lin Skaufel, Associate at Gehl, is currently dealing with a project of this nature in Breivoll, Oslo. Together with Hans Martin Aambø, Project Manager, and his team at Planning & Building Authority of Oslo Municipality, they have investigated how these areas can become integrated within the city and methodologies for approaching city design can be used in industrial areas.
Breivoll is in the industrial area Groruddalen that stretches approximately 15 km north east of Oslo. Through lack of a coherent planning policy, the area has developed haphazardly over time along the beautiful river Alna. Breivoll is only 4 km from the center of Oslo and has the potential to become an urban generator for Groruddalen region.
I asked Lin to answer some questions for us on the project:
The pictures are from Lin's presentation framing Breivoll's positive characters. The headlines say Contrasted, Place of opportunities and Mental city planning. The last picture is from a light walk Groruddalssatningen facilitated
+Where did you begin and what did you do?
I grew up in Oslo and had only been to Breivoll once before. We had no reason to go there. It was never part of my mental map of Oslo and I think it counts for many of the citizens.
We developed a plan based on principals with concepts focusing on mental and physical city planning. We strongly believe these initiatives will attract investors, residents, users and visitors.
Firstly the area needs a rock solid physical cleaning up to make it work. Such as creating mixed functions, increasing the walkability, new metro station and improve the accessibility. Basically we need to strengthen the backbone. The plan concentrates on basic space identity and grasps what’s fascinating about the existing characters. By making a more playful area we give people a reason to come there. Making events, using temporality, experimenting and telling the industrial story, changing some of the functions and utilize the wonderful amenity value around Alna for relaxation and mindfulness.
Also from Lin's presentation. For the first picture "Magical destination" is about creating something Oslo does not have and making it special for Breivoll. We have borrowed the picture from Raum Labor Berlin. The second picture "Other spatialities" is about using space in a completely different way than originally thought (Picture is borrowed from http://scienceabroad2011.blogspot.com/2011/07/glimpse-of-dusseldorf-and-ruhr-region.html). The last picture "Breivoll twist" is a collage made by Lin about using existing functions in new ways.
+This city typology may off hand seem very limiting and uninspiring – Which opportunities does this city typology give you?
It is about using and finding the histories and potentials within the area. Working with second life; keeping instead of eroding. Interesting places are difficult to make. Breivoll has an super interesting complexity within contrasts between the industrial anti-nature, high noise, rough architecture and the poetic, peaceful, silent and rich wildlife nature around Alna. Imagine using this contrasted landscape and mindscape as a catalyst for change.
In Breivoll The Salvation Army has an enormous stockroom of collected cloth, you’ll find Norway’s biggest distributor of car tires, a huge recycle stations and car scrappers. All of this could be attractions and part of events. These places are often stocked with do-it-yourself distributors. The areas can then also be seen as handy and a place to do things. It is about understanding the beauty and potential in industry: There’s lots of space, it’s robust, generous and flexible. So it’s about changing the narratives and imagination of these places. About putting them on the mental map of the city. Creating a reason to go there. It’s about making the development of Breivoll poetically, entrepreneurial and vibrant. About discovering the second life of industrial cities and linking it (mentally and physically) the rest of the city.
Headlines sayi The Process, Example and Eventful. The pictures are from Berlin, Carlsberg in Copenhagen and PS1 in New York.
Check out second lives of industrial areas
Check out the video by André Crocton “Time is the essence” with music by Cold Mailman. It’s a timelaps-video of habitation in Groruddalen. This is an example of one of the many initiatives the municipality have undertaken.
See also the news paper articles Breivoll Faar hjelp av anerkjente arkitekter and Spektakulere planer for Breivoll.