Kristiansand Municipality has been working on a feasibility study for the district of Tinnheia. The project was started by the residents’ associations in the area but adopted by the municipality. The focus of the feasibility study has been on resident participation. Participation results in well-informed decisions and stimulates commitment. Some of the participatory processes were also part of the research project “Social sustainability as a new driving force in local community development (SOSLOKAL)”, funded by the Norwegian Research Council. The aim was to obtain necessary knowledge on residents’ perceptions of their local physical and social environment helping to provide new and more nuanced insights on key components of socially sustainable communities. A secondary, more practical aim was to mobilise residents to participate in shaping their local community based on social sustainability goals.
Our focus has been on involving a wide variety of different people and using a variety of methods of participation, e.g. workshops with children and youths. We used a tool called Place Standard Tool for a questionnaire with local residents and as a framework for focus group discussions. We selected groups who often are not sufficiently represented in traditional participatory processes, e.g. residents with immigrant background, older people, young adults, and families with children. Based on the results from the survey and the workshops, we decided on three topics for an urban lab. Both inhabitants, people with key roles and municipality employees were invited to discuss three different topics. We used the world café method for the discussions. The results of the participatory processes show that many local residents think that Tinnheia lacks a social meeting place and that the local square needs to be upgraded with more functions. We organised an event for Tinnheia, in collaboration with the residents’ associations where we used low scale upgrading to show how the local square easily can be improved. We presented the results from all participatory processes, and it was possible to speak with urban planners and to write down proposals for the district.
Based on the participatory processes, two architect firms produced analyses of both the built structure of Tinnheia and the green spaces and proposals for their future development.
The results of the feasibility study are presented on the project’s website.
The project has contributed with significant knowledge regarding the residents' perception of the district, the qualities they would like to preserve and what they value in future developments. The testing of various participation processes gives useful insight to future participatory processes. By working closely with the residents, we have been able to draw on the views of those who use the area daily and incorporate their feedback in our feasibility study. These processes have helped to create a strong network for those who live in the area and provided a shared understanding of the challenges and qualities of the district. The project has contributed to an increased focus on the area from both the municipality and the local politicians. The collaboration with SOSLOKAL resulted in an accumulation of knowledge related to social sustainability, which will be an integrated component in future city planning both in Kristiansand and others that work with neighbourhood development.
Participatory process with a nursery group. The children were asked what they want for their neighbourhood, and the wishes were written on Christmas balls that they could hang on the Christmas tree on the local square. Photo: Kristiansand kommune
Program for the urban lab event. There was a speech of a local politician, a café, activities for children, music, a bicycle track and a possibility to talk to urban planners and read the presentation of all results from the participatory processes. Photo: Kristiansand kommune/ Rando Martinson
Urban lab event on the local square. The square was upgraded with simple means - furniture and flower pots - in order to show its potentials. Photo: Kristiansand kommune/ Rando Martinson
Local residents write their proposals for the future development of the neighbourhood. For the display we used a container that a local artist has decorated. Photo: Kristiansand kommune/ Rando Martinson
Bicycle track that invited to use the local square in a new way. Photo: Kristiansand kommune/ Rando Martinson
The project team consists of Venke Moe, leader of the planning and building department, Nina Malo, urban planner and Gisela Nilsen, architect (planning and building department, municipality of Kristiansand).
The picture shows a workshop at the event "Barnas arkitekturdag" (Children's architecture day) that is organised by Nina Malo and Gisela Nilsen (Kristiansand kommune). The event is free of charge and takes place every year in the autumn. It is a day for children to explore architecture and urban planning in a variety of workshops with architects, artists and planners. The picture shows what can happen when you make a street free from cars and invite children to use the street as a playground.
A picture from "Barnas arkitekturdag". Pupils in 6th grade made models of what their dream house would look like if they were living in the city centre. The workshop focused on attracting families to live in the city centre.
Film of the event 2019: https://www.kristiansand.kommune.no/contentassets/29820dab4e9a4696a10235ec8c816699/barnas-arkitekturdag_wide-screen.mp4
A picture from "Barnas arkitekturdag". The workshop focused on art in public space.
All photos are taken by Rando Martinson.
More info and films of the event on the project's website: https://www.kristiansand.kommune.no/navigasjon/bolig-kart-og-eiendom/plan-og-bygg/barnas-arkitekturdag/
Article about the event in Arkitektnytt: https://www.arkitektnytt.no/nyheter/populaer-arkitekturdag