Oslo, Norway
City population: 591933
Duration: 2004 – ongoing
Implementation status: Ongoing
Scale: Meso-scale: Regional, metropolitan and urban level
Project area: unknown
Type of area: Public Greenspace Area, Other
Last updated: October 2021

Oslo municipality is underway with the large-scale project of opening up rivers that previously were running in underground pipes. Alna Environmental Park is a part of this project and includes major transformation and environmental upgrade of the river Alna. The Environmental Park runs along the river and has transformed grey structures to accessible parks and recreation areas and now acts as an important resource for Oslo's citizens. Central aims of the project are to improve the self-cleaning ability of Alna, while maintaining biodiversity in the region and to inspire future urban development. (Ref. 1, 3)

Source: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fdocplayer.me%2F19839266-Kommunedelplan-for-alna-miljopark.html&psig=AOvVaw1_9fsNSLwpPHXH8NO0cCxu&ust=1603954425554000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAIQjRxqFwoTCIDwqO3h1uwCFQAAAAAdAAAAABAD


Nature-based solution

  • Grey infrastructure featuring greens
  • Riverbank greens
  • Parks and urban forests
  • Large urban parks or forests
  • Pocket parks/neighbourhood green spaces
  • Green corridors and green belts
  • Blue infrastructure
  • Rivers/streams/canals/estuaries

Key challenges

  • Climate action for adaptation, resilience and mitigation (SDG 13)
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Water management (SDG 6)
  • Flood protection
  • Stormwater and rainfall management and storage
  • Improvements to water quality
  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Habitat and biodiversity restoration
  • Green space creation and/or management
  • Regeneration, land-use and urban development
  • Promotion of naturalistic urban landscape design
  • Health and well-being (SDG 3)
  • Creation of opportunities for relaxation and recreation
  • Cultural heritage and cultural diversity
  • Protection of historic and cultural landscape/infrastructure


Maintenance and management of urban nature, Management of rivers and other blue areas

Project objectives

This NBS aims to achieve the following (Ref. 1): Strengthen the blue-green structure of Oslo; Secure biodiversity, habitats and good water quality in the region along the river; Open storm water solutions for flood prevention with respect to climate change and heavy rains that are expected to come; Recreation and well-being for the citizens; Preserve cultural landscape and vegetation; Act as a inspiration and a driving force for future urban development

Implementation activities

- Opening of several parts of the river as a means of flood prevention (Ref. 1,3) - Reconstruction of certain parts of the river to increase water self-cleaning ability and facilitate purification of water seeping into the river from the surrounding road and industrial area (Ref. 1,3) - Artificial wetland has also been laid out on Hølaløkka (an area along the Alna river) to contribute to self-cleaning (Ref. 7) - Establishment of various recreational opportunities and parks along Alna (Ref. 1,3) - Transformation of grey areas into green areas (Ref. 1,3) - Restoration of natural areas of high value, which act as important habitat (Ref. 1,3) - Restoring and making places with cultural heritage value more available (Ref. 1, 3)

Climate-focused activities

Climate change adaptation:

  • Renaturalization of rivers and other water bodies

Biodiversity conservation or restoration-focused activities

Biodiversity restoration:

  • Rehabilitate and restore damaged or destroyed ecosystems

Main beneficiaries

  • Local government/Municipality
  • Non-government organisation/Civil Society
  • Citizens or community groups


Management set-up

  • Co-governance with government and non-government actors

Type of initiating organisation

  • National government
  • Local government/municipality
  • Non-government organisation/civil society

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Taskforce groups
  • Consultation (e.g. workshop, surveys)

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

Local Government: Oslo municipality has been responsible for planning and developing the park. The project has also involved a task force of six political representatives from different parties (Ref. 1,12) National Government: Norwegian Environment Agency co-leads initiative with municipality and compiles knowledge related to Alna restoration (Ref. 12) NGO: "Alnaelvas venner" Friends of River Alna" have been involved in the development of the project too (Ref. 1, 2, 12). Citizens: The Municipal Master Plan (KDP) was open for public scrutiny a little over 3 months in 2009. (Ref. 1, 12)

Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? Yes (EU Water Framework Directive (Ref. 1))
... a national policy or strategy? Yes (The first White Paper on Climate Change Adaption (Ref. 5))
... a local policy or strategy? Yes (The Alna Report of Ideas (Alna Idérapport, 2002); Climate and Energy Strategy for Oslo; Municipal Sector Plan for the Alna Environmental Park (2013); Oslo Environment Urban Ecology Program (Oslomiljøet byøkologisk program); The Municipality Plan (2008); Strategic Greenstructure Plan for the Grorud Valley (Strategisk grønnstrukturplan for Groruddalen); Plan for Sports and Outdoor Life in Oslo 2009-12 (Plan for idrett og friluftsliv i Oslo 2009-12); Holistic Development Plan for the Grorud Valley (Helhetlig utviklingsplan for Groruddalen (HUG)); and The Municipal Plan for Meeting areas (Kommune delplane for torg og møteplasser) (Ref. 1))


Total cost


Source(s) of funding

  • Public national budget
  • Public local authority budget

Type of funding

  • Earmarked public budget
  • Direct funding or subsidy

Non-financial contribution


Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Climate, energy and emissions
  • Strengthened capacity to address climate hazards/natural disasters
  • Water management and blue areas
  • Improved water quality
  • Increased protection against flooding
  • Improved stormwater management
  • Enhanced protection and restoration of freshwater ecosystems
  • Green space and habitat
  • Promotion of naturalistic styles of landscape design for urban development
  • Increased green space area
  • Increased conservation or restoration of ecosystems

Economic impacts

  • Unknown

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Health and wellbeing
  • Gain in activities for recreation and exercise
  • Cultural heritage and sense of place
  • Protection of historic and cultural landscape / infrastructure

Type of reported impacts

Expected impacts, Achieved impacts

Presence of formal monitoring system


Presence of indicators used in reporting


Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports


Availability of a web-based monitoring tool