Oslo, Norway
City population: 591933
Duration: 2010 – 2015
Implementation status: Completed
Scale: Micro-scale: District/neighbourhood level
Project area: 36000 m2
Type of area: Residental
Last updated: October 2021

Bjerkedalen is a recently constructed park around the Hovin creek in Bjerke District. It is situated in the middle of a settlement block, which used to have few public spaces. The park now acts as a recreational area with lots of green space, a river and several facilities for outdoor activities. The construction of Bjerkedalen park incorporated the installment of several important blue-green structures and features such as planting native trees and plants along the river, providing open grassy areas as well as reopening the Hovin river from underground pipes, with the aim of improved water quality and flood prevention.(Ref. 2)

Source: Ref. 3, Camilla Jensen

Overview

Nature-based solution

  • Grey infrastructure featuring greens
  • Riverbank greens
  • Parks and urban forests
  • Pocket parks/neighbourhood green spaces
  • Blue infrastructure
  • Lakes/ponds
  • Rivers/streams/canals/estuaries

Key challenges

  • Climate action for adaptation, resilience and mitigation (SDG 13)
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Water management (SDG 6)
  • Stormwater and rainfall management and storage
  • Improvements to water quality
  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Green space creation and/or management
  • Health and well-being (SDG 3)
  • Creation of opportunities for relaxation and recreation

Focus

Creation of new green areas, Management of rivers and other blue areas

Project objectives

The Bjerkedalen Park and reopening of the Hovin River were part of wider municipal plans and strategies which included the following goals: - Adaptation to a changing climate - Better water quality and a strengthened urban ecology - Increased possibilities for an outdoor life and increased public health (Ref. 1)

Implementation activities

- The river was reopened for improved water quality and flood prevention due to expected increase in rainfall as a consequence to climate change, and now flows open for 300 meters. - Kelps and other aquatic plants create habitats for fish in the water bodies of the park and there is a bathing pond which acts as a popular attraction on hot summer days. - The river banks are planted with native, water-loving species and there are plenty of trees planted on the slopes of the park. The park consists of 12 acres of flower beds, 6 acres of lawn as well as 50,000 perennials that altogether provide green surfaces and habitat for some species. - A green canal with stepped edges is created near the café - It has been made accessible to everyone in an exemplary way, with a low gradient on the hiking trails. (Ref. 2,3)

Climate-focused activities

Climate change adaptation:

  • Renaturalization of rivers and other water bodies

Main beneficiaries

  • Local government/Municipality
  • Citizens or community groups

Governance

Management set-up

  • Government-led

Type of initiating organisation

  • Local government/municipality

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Dissemination of information and education
  • Consultation (e.g. workshop, surveys)

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

Local Government: Builder: Oslo municipality, Bydel Bjerke, Urban Ecology Agency, Oslo Water and Sewerage Agency (Ref. 3) Private Sector: Architect: Dronninga landskap AS, Filter Arkitekter AS (Ref. 3) Project leader: COWI AS (Ref. 3) Consultants: Sweco Norge AS, Holocinsult, Rossim (Ref. 3) Citizens: A number of meetings with residents and housing associations anchored the project (Ref. 3) Informative meeting for the public where questions and other input from the public were allowed, after the park was established. A document of gathered questions and answers were produced by Oslo municipality (Ref. 7)

Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? Yes (The European Water Framework Directive (Ref. 4))
... a national policy or strategy? Unknown
... a local policy or strategy? Yes (Oslo Municipality's 'Urban Ecology Program' (Ref. 5))

Financing

Total cost

More than €4,000,000

Source(s) of funding

  • Public local authority budget

Type of funding

  • Earmarked public budget

Non-financial contribution

Unknown

Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Water management and blue areas
  • Improved water quality
  • Increased protection against flooding
  • Enhanced protection and restoration of freshwater ecosystems
  • Green space and habitat
  • Increased green space area

Economic impacts

  • Unknown

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Social justice and cohesion
  • Improved access to urban green space
  • Increased opportunities for social interaction
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Gain in activities for recreation and exercise

Type of reported impacts

Achieved impacts

Presence of formal monitoring system

Unknown

Presence of indicators used in reporting

Yes

Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports

No

Availability of a web-based monitoring tool

No evidence in public records

References

Source: Ref. 3, Camilla Jensen
Source: Ref. 3, Camilla Jensen
Source: Ref. 2
Source: Ref. 2
Source: Ref. 2