Urban concentration has been the mantra in urban planning in Norway since the 1980s. There is broad consensus that concentrated cities can, amongst other things, create more opportunities for social interaction, reduce car use and strengthen the local business community. This in turn promotes social, environmental and economic sustainability.
National expectations, guidelines and measures for municipal and regional planning support this and more or less say the same thing: homes, jobs, retailers, services and social meeting places should be concentrated in the city centre. The same applies to most party programmes across the political spectrum.
All the same, we see that decisions are made on the local, regional and national levels that are not in keeping with this. Shopping centres are allowed to expand and new ones be built outside of the central zone. The same takes place with public hospitals and police stations. Why is it so difficult to translate political rhetoric into practical politics?
Better documentation of urban concentration
DOGA believes that part of the reason why neither the negative effects (costs) of urban sprawl nor the positive effects (usefulness) of urban concentration are sufficiently well documented. The reality is also that quantitative agreements often triumph over the qualitative ones on which decisions are based. DOGA believes that as long as the social and environmental effects cannot be estimated in Norwegian crowns, they will not carry the same weight as other considerations and therefore not be prioritised.
To show the reality of the effects as a whole (social, environmental and economic), DOGA wants to launch a project aimed at identifying the values created using a socioeconomic method.
Announcement: Preliminary project on urban concentration
To show the reality of the effects as a whole (social, environmental and economic), DOGA wants to launch a project aimed at identifying the values created using a socioeconomic method. This initially entails carrying out a preliminary project in the spring of 2017.
We would like a systematic, research-based literature study of the social, environmental and economic values of good urban development, as well as the transference values within these contexts. For example, can we identify the:
- Value of the environmental savings of reduced car use?
- Value of increased well-being and less loneliness as a result of a more inclusive public space?
- Economic benefits of having a vital centre for the local business community and tourism?
We believe that a neutral foundation can be used in the dialogue between developer, consultant (architect or otherwise), municipality and residents that will lead to better decisions being made, decisions that are not based on short-term interests or the opinions of the few, but that are most beneficial to society, also in the long term.
The submission deadline is 20 March.
Interested in participating? Contact Siri Holmboe Høibo below for more information.