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Urban agriculture as a basis for human flourishing and sustainability transition in Norwegian cities


Module 4

How to successfully integrate UA in compact city development in Norway in terms of spatial planning, legal frameworks related to the use of public space, and maintenance?

Module leaders - Inger-Lise Saglie, Melissa Murphy

In this module, we will examine the specific spatial planning and management context in Norway to identify possibilities for integrating lessons learned from UA facilitation in other countries here. Norway and the municipality of Oslo in particular are at a turning point when it comes to the provision and sustainment of public space, seeing many of the responsibilities involved being privatized. While most of Oslo’s public spaces are still publically owned and maintained, a growing number are privately owned and/or privately maintained. Beyond that, new developments that provide urban space are planned by private developers. As a consequence, increasing amounts of urban outdoor space may be semi-public, delimited in user groups, or have highly regulated uses that detract from their public nature and potential provision of capabilities. This context offers unique challenges for integrating UA initiatives, which we will research in this module to understand the challenges UA might meet here – how it can be facilitated in publically or privately owned, publically or privately maintained urban space and if one of the models proves more conducive than the others.

Within this module, based on the dialogue with the Norwegian Farmers’ Union, we will also address legal concerns related to land ownership. The key issue for UA is land availability – it is crucial to provide extended areas that are at the disposal of UA in a way that is safe for property owners, at the same time giving growers the time frame required to wager. In this context we will look at models of linking property owners to urban farmers established in other cities (e.g. in Paris established links between property owners and urban farmers have resulted in more than 100 acres of arable area being taken into use. This is set in a system of standardized contracts with 10-year bond. A similar model is being developed in Sweden under the auspices of thefoodprintlab.no). An important concern here is how to ensure property owners that crop acreage will be maintained over time. In order to address this issue, some cities have developed standardized application forms and contracts for use of urban spaces for UA purposes.

Foto: Credits

Methodologically: this module is based on document analyses, focus group interviews, and analytical reasoning.

Additional information

Projects within module 4

Cultivating public space is a project funded by: