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Oslo – In the Air

Oslo – In the Air is the second volume in a trilogy concerned with the transformation of a sleepy village into a new, emerging world city. Since 1984, Oslo has seen continuous growth, making it among the fastest-growing cities in Europe. Its story spans from the conversion of a major shipyard into the award-winning, multi-use borough of Aker Brygge in the late 1980s, to 2030, when the transformation to a post-industrial city will be complete.

Six years have passed since the first volume, OSLO – Learning to fly, saw the light of day. What has happened since then? The Munch Museum and the new public library have opened in Bjørvika, making this district the new hotspot for both residents of Oslo and the rising number of foreign visitors. The extension of Oslo’s already impressive metro system has endured all the expected financial crises, and is under completion. Phase 1 of the controversial new governmental quarter in the urban core is coming to an end. The principle of densification around the transit hubs has a new landmark with the high-rise Vertikal in Nydalen. Regeneration and upcycling are high on the agenda. The opening of Oslo’s first commercial office building with 70% reused materials – KA13 – has marked a new phase, where old buildings now need a very good reason to be demolished.

Oslo – In the Air, is divided into four chapters. The first is dedicated to the ‘Fjord City’ – the return of the once busy harbour to the citizens of Oslo. Chapter two is devoted to how growth is handled in terms of densification around public transport hubs. Chapter three reflects the fact that most of the city has already been built, and is concerned with the transformation and refinement of the existing urban fabric. The final chapter is about making ‘third places’ relevant, a crucial factor in enabling the concept of community.

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