Startblokka is a collaboration between commercial city developer, Stor Oslo Eiendom, the local branch of Oslo municipality Bydel Bjerke. The network Pådriv for collaborative infrastructure for city transformation is also a partner in the project. Startblokka is the Norwegian word for starting block and is the start of a new transformation period in the area. Startblokka take use of empty buildings in an industrial area that will be developed into a modern and inclusive residential area. The local neighbourhood has significant welfare challenges and weak social connections. The temporary situation allows to experiment, test and learn to create a more lasting model for sustainable living and local environment development.
Neighborhoods cannot be created by design alone. They are formed by the individual responsive actions of many, acting in the collective interest of a place and for their own needs. Successful urban neighborhoods arise from continuous bottom-up action by people working closely within the communities with a clear mission of strengthening the social connections and empowering people in the neighborhood to participate actively in the local society.
Bydel Bjerke has taken an active role in urban local community development and base their effort in Startblokka on a broad community analysis of the social, organizational and physical structures in the Linderud area. They have close dialogue with the local community, and the need for meeting places and activity arenas is evident. Bydel Bjerke experience that in partnership with real estate developers from an early stage, it is possible to contribute with local knowledge and insights that can enrich the project and enhance the focus on social sustainability in transformation areas. In Linderud specifically it is also important that the new neighborhood to be built will enrich the existing neighborhood, both in the transformation period and when the new community emerges.
Stor Oslo Eiendom offered 12 000 sqm as a physical temporary platform and engaged a manager in partnership with Bydel Bjerke. Bydel Bjerke dedicated resources in form of a project manager.
Results of this type of working is a full house with a variety of tenants, activities and networks, and a diverse and dynamic meeting place for the neighborhood.
After one year in business Startblokka has social entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, writers, start-ups, school classes, public functions, senior club, weekly activities such as yoga, senior health, Bosnian folk dance, woman network meetings, after school activities as well as Open days with art exhibitions, theater shows, music on stage, food festivals and so on. This builds a positive reputation, creates a renewed identity in the area, and attracts attention from people and actors outside the district. Startblokka is a training arena in collaborating and co-creation in new and other ways to find new solutions. It is a doing platform. Collaboration on top level is the key to creating change: it creates a common ground to work on wicked problems rather than pointing fingers.
Senior club and a local women NGO collaborating at Startblokka
Startblokka is a popular venue for private events, such as dressing up birthday parties.
A open day at Startblokka, initiated and organized by several of the tenants renting rooms at Startblokka
Artists at Startblokka contribute by hosting creative workshops for the local community
Startblokka has hired a local youth team to build bridges between the diverse community of businesses at Startblokka and local youth.
The concept developer and manager at Startblokka is Hildegunn Gutvik, working to unite the interests of the project owners into one common effort.
The project manager from Bydel Bjerke is Ellen Pande Rolfsen.
The owners are Ragnhild Olaussen representing Bydel Bjerke and Marit Jensen representing Stor Oslo Eiendom. From the Pådriv partner network there is Stina Låstad.