The Neighbourhood Index is Oslo Architecture Triennale’s catalogue of neighbourhood projects, practices and perspectives. This work contributes to the Triennale mission: creating more sustainable, diverse and thriving neighbourhoods.
In the index you can explore visionary work from architects, planners, urban practitioners, academics, artists and activists from around the world. All projects shown in the index were sent in through the international Open Call that the Triennale launched spring 2022. An international jury have made the selection to be featured on the online platform, as well as choosing which projects to be exhibited in Oslo during the Oslo Architecture Triennale starting September 22nd 2022.
Out of the 383 submitted projects, 236 projects were selected to be showcased online as part of the Neighbourhood Index. Six projects were selected to be presented as part of the Triennale’s main exhibition in Oslo. Seven projects received an honourable mention from the jury. All projects can be seen in their entirety on the Index page.
About the Neighbourhood Index
The intention of the index is to share projects, practices and perspectives that contribute to better neighbourhoods.
The aim is to show visionary ideas and examples on how to form better neighbourhoods: What are the practical, architectural, and social features of good neighbourhoods? How can we share more at a neighbourhood scale? How can new urban areas become more diverse and socially and environmentally sustainable?
The index highlights both urban form – the physical planning and design of neighbourhoods – and the community life at a neighbourhood scale: the content of the built environment. The index thus features both practical and systemic reflections, small-scale interventions and master plans, physical and social projects.
Towards better neighbourhoods
The concept of neighbourhood intuitively includes both physical and social dimensions. The neighbourhood is where people live their individual lives, but also an opportunity to come together as communities. The everyday places we share with one another, from streets, squares, bus stops and kindergartens to schools, shops and workplaces, are all sites of (social) potential.
The thriving neighbourhood depends on the co-existence of a diversity of elements – and must be nurtured to flourish. The best projects, places and neighbourhoods weave together lives and opportunities, so that they become greater than the sum of their parts. Although there is no one formula for creating great neighbourhoods, some recurring features tend to create better conditions for communities to thrive than others.
The building stones of the good neighbourhood are many. In the Open Call, the following themes were highlighted to be addressed through the Neighbourhood Index:
Streets with (new) meaning
The streets are the blood veins of cities and the potential stage for everyday activities and neighbourhood life. How can streets be designed or transformed from serving cars to becoming an asset for the neighbourhood? How is infrastructure integrated in the social and cultural fabric of a place?
Public space – squares, parks, playgrounds – are essential sites where the neighbourhood can come together. Public space can be produced, programmed and designed in ways that engage the community and support neighbourhood life. How does the place enable local actors to use it and co-create activities? How can it inspire and accommodate different communities?
Neighbourhood is also a question of content – of activities, commercial and non-commercial meeting places. Cultural functions, schools and commercial activity are all functions that can contribute to the neighbourhood. How are public and private functions designed and connected to their surrounding context and communities? How is diversity and community activities supported?
Ways of living, ways of sharing
The increasing interest in shared living is inspiring on a neighbourhood scale. Different scales of community must be considered – from the building to block and to the entire neighbourhood. What functions can we share on different levels of the neighbourhood? How can residential or commercial projects contribute to neighbourhood quality?
Transforming, adapting, reusing
The transformation of former industrial areas, low quality and/or low-density urban areas is a common challenge for post-industrial cities across the world. Transformation can turn existing residential or industrial areas into quality neighbourhoods. What are sensitive ways to adapt existing qualities and cultures? How can older structures be put to new use on a neighbourhood scale?
Naturehood – wilder and greener
The biodiversity crisis must be confronted also in an urban context, taking into consideration the wellbeing of other species at a neighbourhood scale. How can green and blue structures be integrated with the urban and social fabric? How can planning for other species nurture more wild nature in ways where local communities also benefit and contribute?
Production and commercial diversity
Neighbourhoods in cities are increasingly becoming mono-cultural places of housing and consumption. An important question is how to integrate forms of light industrial activity with communal activities and public life. How do we cater for diverse, local production and circular practices? How do we support local (co-)ownership on the street level?
Rethinking processes and governance
The planning, design and management of cities and neighbourhoods is an immense challenge. Creative planning and design processes, models of participation and political instruments can support diverse and inclusive neighbourhood development. What processes, policies or organisational resources should be then put in place to improve neighbourhood quality? What are the great examples of co-creation and shared management of neighbourhoods?
We, the jury, are excited to announce the six submissions selected for exhibition at the Triennale 2022, as well as seven honourable mentions.
The submissions showed a wide variety of urban planning and architectural projects, urban practices and academic and artistic perspectives. We are especially happy to see many submissions displaying creativity in both (architectural) form and (cultural, social) content contributing to more diverse, generous and sustainable neighbourhoods. All in all – an impressive demonstration of neighbourhood engagement and thinking. 236 submissions have been selected for online exhibition at the Neighbourhood Index.
We would like to thank all submitters for the effort invested in the work, and we hope you will take the time to explore the ventures into neighbourhood projects and practices.
Founder and program director, Future Architecture Platform
Camilla van Deurs
City Architect of Copenhagen
Curator at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal
Jenny B. Osuldsen
Partner Snøhetta, professor landscape architecture NMBU
Director and chief curator of Oslo Architecture Triennale (chair)
About the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2022
Oslo Architecture Triennale 2022 spotlights neighbourhood as a place and horizon for rethinking our cities. With the working title Mission Neighbourhood – (Re)forming Communities, the Triennale explores how we form the places we share. Mission Neighbourhood is an invitation to broaden the collective imagination regarding the spaces of everyday life.
The making of good neighbourhoods is interwoven with a range of practices – social, political, commercial, architectural. We make a point of looking in, between and beyond sectors for answers and inspiration. As with any mission, there is a goal: To visibly boost critical and constructive inquiry into the possibilities of neighbourhood within and across different disciplines. We seek responses and responsibilities: What must be done? Who can do it? What is our responsibility? And last, not least: What can we accomplish together?
To read more about Oslo Architecture Triennale and Mission Neighbourhood, visit our website