As urban regions face the demand to decrease fossil fuel dependency, many cities in the developing world are undertaking initiatives designed to create a greener city by aiming for a more sustainable form of urban development and, to do so, they need to evaluate existing modes of transportation and patterns of land use. Focusing on Oslo, an early leader in urban environmental policy making and a European 'green city' award winner, it argues that this evaluation must adopt and integrate two approaches: firstly, as a process of ecological modernization based on a combination of transit, densification, and mixed use development and secondly, as an opportunity to reconsider the character and substance of the built environment as a reflection of natural values, landscapes and natural resources of the wider region. Environmental debate and concern is widespread in Oslo, and this is reflected in its earlier planning decisions to leave intact large forest reserves, its successful ecological restoration of the Oslo fjord, the importance of outdoor culture among its residents, the relatively progressive political agenda of Norway, This book provides an opportunity for a critical assessment of the limitations and opportunities inherent in 'green Oslo' and suggests the need for much broader integrative approaches. It concludes by highlighting lessons which other cities might learn from Oslo.
Mark Luccarelli is an Associate Professor of North American Studies at the Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages, University of Oslo, Norway and Per Gunnar Roe, Associate Professor of Human Geography, Department of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo, Norway.
’Green infrastructure is an important aspect of urban sustainability for human wellbeing and for enhancing biological diversity, and this timely volume gives a thorough and much needed critical analysis of green urbanism in theory and practice. Oslo is well suited as a showcase for elucidating the challenges of green planning in urban areas.’ Marie Stenseke, University of Gothenburg, Sweden ’Green Oslo: Visions, Planning and Discourse critically elucidates the sustainability challenges facing all cities today. This comprehensive case study of Oslo draws on many perspectives and asks crucial questions, such as, can cities be green? It will be of great interest to planners, sustainability scientists, environmental urbanists and activists alike. An exemplar for research into urban sustainability issues, I hope the book’s goal of a series of similarly thorough case studies of other cities around the world is pursued.’ Eric Clark, Lund University, Sweden 'This book offers in-depth discussions on selected aspects of a sustainable city. Using the Norwegian capital of Oslo as an example, it asks how the city may be understood and interpreted as ’green’ from different angles and within a variety of theoretical perspectives. It focuses on the urban green spaces and the complex cultural and social aspects of ’green Oslo’. It deals with green city planning and its implementation ... it is a complete, beautiful, and most handy book ... compulsive reading for all those who are closely or in a remote way dealing with the sustainability challenges facing all cities today.' International Journal of Environment and Pollution 'This book adds a unique perspective and set of tactics to the task of creating a truly green urbanism.' Journal of Planning Education and Research