PlaceCity Work Package 3 focuses on the case study of one of the partner cities: Oslo, Norway. Specific objectives of WP3 are: a) build and maintain local stakeholder networks, b) choose tools and strategies from the Placemaking Europe open source toolbox and test them in the project area, c) implement and analyse placemaking initiatives in collaboration with public and private stakeholders and establish sustainable business cases for placemaking, and d) develop a Oslo-specific toolbox for placemaking. PlaceCity project partners in Oslo are Nabolagshager and the City of Oslo - Agency for Urban Environment. This PlaceCity work strives to bring and support placemaking for sustainability and liveliness to Oslo.
In 2019, Nabolagshager undertook an in-depth analysis of the main challenges and the best placemaking practices in the project area: Grønland, Oslo's most diverse district. Some of the most significant social challenges in this district are:
- high child poverty rate (2 of 3 children grow up in poverty)
- low educational ambitions and high school dropout rate (⅓ of youth do not complete high school)
- the highest proportion in the country of young people that is pessimistic about their future. 25% of youth believe they will become unemployed
- drug abuse, violence and mental health problems
- high unemployment rates
- the highest concentration of municipal social housing in Oslo
- very low participation in organised leisure activities
- the quality of the public spaces is low
- there is a lack of after school and spare time activities for youth in the area
Nabolagshager established a collaboration with Hersleb Upper Secondary School, located in Grønland, which is struggling with a bad reputation, low academic test scores, and where most students are first- or second-generation immigrants, mainly with East African backgrounds. It is one of the schools in Oslo with the highest drop-out rate and the long-term societal challenges related to their students are significant, including low degree of attractiveness on the labour market as well as limited life skills and networks to ensure employability as well as other key aspects of societal integration and participation.
Since youth in this district is lacking meeting places after school hours and on weekends and Hersleb’s schoolyard, with more than 6.000m2 of unused public space, has a fantastic potential to contribute to a local good living environment for the entire neighbourhood, PlaceCity project partners in Oslo decided to select this school as a case study for implementing and analysing placemaking initiatives during the project period.
Project goal: empower and facilitate the students to create inclusive meeting places across demographic groups and activities in their schoolyard after school hours and on weekends for neighbours and fellow students.
How: through placemaking and creative participatory methods, the students themselves will identify wishes, needs and limitations, test and implement short-term placemaking actions that will contribute to create meeting places for the entire neighbourhood.
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