Healthy Streets Everyday partners learn from Oslo’s transformation22nd November 2019 / Posted by Joshua West
On Friday 1st November, Cross River Partnership hosted a special webinar with Kristine Solgaard and Terje Elvsaas from the Olso Liveability Programme, as part of a best practise knowledge sharing event for present Healthy Streets Everyday (HSE) project partners.
The Olso Liveability Programme embarked on a campaign 2 years ago with physical and psychological reach. Accelerated by political will, Oslo city centre has become a more pleasant place to be in, improving people’s physical and mental health, as well as business footfall. This hasn’t always been the case and our Oslo partners described the anger and ferocity they still face in this process of change.
Improving city life through playful co-created design has seen Oslo citizens shaping vital public amenity from additional toilets and water fountains, to more and better seating. Whilst not totally car free, 760 car parking spaces have been removed in 1.3 km² of the city centre to make space for improved city life. Playgrounds have replaced car parks and citizens can now move freely through truly recreational areas with interesting streetscapes, punctuated with pop up events and community happenings.
It is clear Oslo are successfully challenging their citizens attachment to cars, as Kristine Solgaard said, ‘cars are perceived as symbols of freedom.’
The webinar learnings provided an interesting parallel for our partners and they were guided by our hosts to accelerate incremental improvements to more permanent healthier streets. 11 out of 16 HSE Local Authority partners have declared a Climate Emergency so we need to learn fast and grow strong. Watch this space!
You can listen to the webinar and view the presentation slides from the event on the HSE project page, downloads a links section.
For more information on the Healthy Streets Everyday programme please contact Kiran Rao, HSE Project Manager.