Oslo is the capital city of Norway, and with its population of 693 494, it is also the largest city in the country. The city’s urban area is relatively compact and nestled between the Oslo Fjord and forested hills. Approximately two-thirds of the total municipal area of 454 sq. kilometres is forest, and as such, represents one of Norway’s most important recreational areas with over a million users.
Main environmental challenges faced by the city
Oslo is one of the fastest-growing cities in Europe, which creates both opportunities and considerable challenges. The city is already experiencing the impact of climate change, particularly with regard to increased frequency of extreme precipitation events causing problems for stormwater handling. Urban growth also puts pressure on the availability of green space in the city. The city therefore needs to strike a balance between the need to build new infrastructure, schools, care facilities, etc., and the implementation of an ambitious environmental and climate policy.
NBS implemented or planned
The City of Oslo aims to reopen closed waterways, taking into consideration the original nature of the area concerned and, if possible, historical courses and accessibility to the public. In this way, the reopening of waterways can make a significant contribution to climate adaptation, as well as increased biodiversity, better water and air quality, and make Oslo an attractive, blue-green city for its citizens.
An example of an implemented measure to reopen one of Oslo’s waterways is the Teglverk Pond (see picture below). This was a major project completed in August 2015, reopening a 650 metre stretch of waterway. The pond has been planned and designed as a natural water cleaning system, with a number of sedimentation pools and streams, a small lake and shallow water with dense vegetation. All the species found in and around the pond are native to Oslo. The result of the project is clean water, increased biodiversity and a popular recreational area for the local population.