Oslo’s Harbour Promenade

Type: Activation, facilitation and coordination
Client: Municipality of Oslo
Location: Oslo, Norway
Status: Start January 2015 – 2 years

Background
The Municipality of Oslo has a vision to bring the fjord back to the city of Oslo, and has since 1999 worked in a governmental multidisciplinary cooperation to fulfill this vision through the project titled The Fjord City of Oslo. As a key element in this project the municipality decided to develop a promenade that connects the whole city along the fjord from east to west, in total 9km.

Strategy
A strategy has been developed in order to secure a good quality and a strong identity for the promenade in 2009. In January 2015 LÉVA Urban Design was given the position as the coordinator for the promenade with the goal to establish a better formal cooperation related to:

  • Securing a holistic process
  • Providing for a socially inclusive process
  • Facilitating a dialog and cooperation between all stakeholders and the municipality
  • Strengthing the image of the city district along the Oslo Fjord
  • Activating the promenade

One-day program
14th of June 2015 was a big day, celebrating that the 9km of promenade was available for the city of Oslo. It was our task to coordinate the program for this celebration. To succeed with the task and in order to follow up on the great vision of the future it was absolutely crucial to engage local stakeholders and a large variety of actors who then contributed to the development of the program for the celebration day.

Fieldwork – participatory process 
In two months time LÉVA organized over 50 dialog meetings with different type of actors (stakeholders, entrepreneurs, artists, inhabitants, municipality, larger cultural institutions). All the meetings were on one on one basis (to ensure that every actors voice gets heard). The aim was to give the coordinator a better and a nonpartial understanding of the on-going development process while at the same time quickly generating activity and interest at the promenade through engaging all kind of groups of people.

Result of 6 months work

14th. June 2015, celebrating the promenade:

  • Over 200 actors involved in a large cooperation to activate the 9km for 12 hours. (Stakeholders, organizations, restaurant owners, entrepreneurs, inhabitants, large cultural institutions ++)
  • Between 50.000-100.000 visitors
  • Interest from Norwegian media, and a new image created by bloggers and local news channels.

 

Office

Next step in 2016 was to test out a temporary promenade-office. The idea is to give all actors that might want to get involved in the development process an easy access to information. At the same time the objective is to encourage a better cooperation between both people and projects.

The office, called Kiosken, opened in august at Vippetangen on the promenade. It is open for drop-in every Thursday from 3pm-5pm. We are testing this concept until March 2017.

Every month LEVA organizes events to bring up important and interesting discussions between the municipality, developers, organisations, inhabitants and other people with interest in the promenade. In September we focused on  water activities , in October the topic was communication. In December we will be focusing on art & culture on the promenade.