February 28, 2019

Lunch seminar - Integration, inclusion, deprived areas and urbanisation

During our lunch seminar in Oslo last week, experts and clients from Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Norway learned more about how different Nordic cities work with deprived areas, inclusion and urbanisation.

Several municipalities and metropolitan areas, both in Norway and in the rest of Europe, have in recent years developed different methods for working with urban community development and integration. Common to the chosen areas is that they are characterized by major socioeconomic challenges and have a higher proportion of immigrants than other areas.

The case of Holmlia

The backdrop of the seminar was, among other, an analysis of Holmlia South, which Ramboll Management Consulting in Norway carried out for Oslo Municipality. The assignment combined physical and socio-cultural analyzes and the purpose of the project was to describe what characterizes Holmlia South as a place to live and grow up (See the evaluation here) . The analysis forms the basis of the municipality’s identification and prioritization of goals and measures that will be included in the further development of the Holmlia area.

At the seminar, project leader Kristian Dyrkorn gave a quick presentation of some of the main findings from the analysis:

"In our analyses, we explored Holmlia as a physical space and as a place to live and grow up in. We found that the area had many positive qualities and some challenges both in a social and a more physical perspective. A thorough understanding of the strengths and challenges of vulnerable urban areas is vital in the development of sustainable solutions that meet the needs of the city, the area and the people who live in it.”

Exchanging knowledge and insights

Beside the presentation of Holmlia South, Hanna Tranås from Oslo Municipality presented Oslo’s overall strategy and methods for working with deprived areas. Sara Allerman Kruse from Aarhus Municipality talked about the developing project in the Gellerup area in Aarhus and Staffan Claesson from Gothenburg Municipality highlighted some of the challenges and successes from the work with vulnerable areas in Gothenburg. They all agreed that working with deprived areas requires both physical and social efforts, and cooperation between public and private actors.

Physical efforts are important to secure sustainable development

Whilst social efforts are vital for the individuals living in the areas, physical efforts and especially housing and mobility, is especially vital for securing social sustainable development of the areas in a structural manner. This corresponds with the insight from Ramboll’s survey “Liveable Cities” which Christine Lunde Rasmussen from Ramboll’s office in Copenhagen presented.