Oslo, Norway
City population: 591933
Duration: 2008 – ongoing
Implementation status: Ongoing
Scale: Sub-microscale: Street scale (including buildings)
Project area: unknown
Type of area: Other
Last updated: October 2021

The University's Botanical Garden is part of the National History Museum of Oslo and acts an important green space for both citizens and regional fauna. The Garden was founded in 1814 and is the oldest scientific garden in Norway, which through research, education and plant conservation seeks to increase public awareness of the importance of plant diversity. The Great-Granny's Garden is an important element in the Botanical Garden, aiming to preserve Norway’s horticultural heritage and prevent traditional fauna from disappearing, while encouraging sustainable use in future horticulture. The Garden also act as a sensory garden for people with dementia. (Ref.1,2)

Great Granny's Garden (2016)
Photographer: Karsten Sund, retrieved 08/24/2018 from Karenina Kriszat


Nature-based solution

  • Parks and urban forests
  • Botanical gardens
  • Community gardens and allotments
  • Horticulture

Key challenges

  • Green space, habitats and biodiversity (SDG 15)
  • Habitat and biodiversity conservation
  • Green space creation and/or management
  • Social justice, cohesion and equity (SDG 10)
  • Environmental education
  • Social justice and equity
  • Health and well-being (SDG 3)
  • Improving mental health
  • Creation of opportunities for recreation
  • Cultural heritage and cultural diversity
  • Preservation of natural heritage
  • Preservation of historic traditions


Creation of new green areas, Knowledge creation and awareness raising

Project objectives

- To preserve old-fashioned horticultural varieties and encourage people to use them in their gardening. - To help people suffering from dementia through its design of a therapeutic sensory garden. (Ref. 1)

Implementation activities

Establishment of Great-Granny's Garden, which is designed to improve the well-being for people suffering from dementia. It also accommodates wheelchair users (Ref. 1,2) Conservation of out-dying species through a living archive of traditional plants. (Ref. 1)

Biodiversity conservation or restoration-focused activities

Biodiversity conservation:

  • Protect species
  • Undertake specific measures to protect species
  • Undertake specific measures to protect valued species
  • Means for conservation governance
  • Raise public awareness
  • Protect and apply traditional knowledge and conservation practices

Main beneficiaries

  • National-level government
  • Researchers/University
  • Citizens or community groups
  • Marginalized groups: Elderly people, People with functional diversities


Management set-up

  • Co-governance with government and non-government actors

Type of initiating organisation

  • National government
  • Public sector institution
  • Researchers/university

Participatory approaches/ community involvement

  • Unknown

Details on the roles of the organisations involved in the project

The Botanical Garden is a part of the Natural History Museum, which is owned by the University of Oslo. The University is in turn owned by the government, making the Botanical Garden a governmental body. The intervention itself is a cooperation between The University's Botanical Garden and Oslo’s Resource Centre for Dementia and Psychiatric Care of the Elderly (Ref. 2). Since 2003, the Botanical Garden has been part of the national program The Plant Heritage Project, coordinated by the Norwegian Genetic Resource Centre (NIBIO), which gave birth to the idea to this project. NIBIO is owned by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, which is part of the Norwegian government. (Ref. 3,4). The intervention itself was initiated by the Botanical Garden, as a response to the rapidly declining population of traditional plants, and a wish to spread public awareness about the issue. (Ref. 1) The Resource Centre got involved after being asked by the staff of Botanical Garden to cooperate (Ref. 1).

Project implemented in response to ...

... an EU policy or strategy? Unknown
... a national policy or strategy? Yes (The Plant Heritage Project (Ref. 1))
... a local policy or strategy? No


Total cost


Source(s) of funding

  • Public national budget
  • Public local authority budget
  • Funds provided by non-governmental organization (NGO)
  • Other

Type of funding

  • Unknown

Non-financial contribution


Impacts and Monitoring

Environmental impacts

  • Green space and habitat
  • Increased green space area
  • Increased protection of threatened species

Economic impacts

  • Unknown

Socio-cultural impacts

  • Social justice and cohesion
  • Improved access to urban green space
  • Increased visibility and opportunity for marginalised groups or indigenous peoples
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Improved mental health
  • Gain in activities for recreation and exercise
  • Cultural heritage and sense of place
  • Increased awareness of flora and fauna as culturally and historically meaningful
  • Education
  • Increased awareness of NBS and their benefits

Type of reported impacts

Achieved impacts

Presence of formal monitoring system


Presence of indicators used in reporting

No evidence in public records

Presence of monitoring/ evaluation reports

No evidence in public records

Availability of a web-based monitoring tool

No evidence in public records


Source: Ref. 2, Dag Inge Danielsen