The development of the Fjord City of Lier and Drammen is one of the largest ongoing urban development projects in Norway with the development of approximately 8 000 dwellings over the next 60 years. LINK Arkitektur is in charge of the city concept and preparation of the area plan. The client, Eidos, has high ambitions for sustainability and work actively to push the Fjord City to become a model project for sustainable urban development at an international level.
The ambition is to design a city with a strong identity and at the same time make sure there is variation in sizes, materials and functions. For this urban environment, we consider the proximity between the inhabitants as the greatest asset. This is the core attribute of cities that makes us smarter, greener, healthier and happier.
The Fjord City is designed with the goal of creating multiple neighbourhoods by ensuring that the outdoor spaces encourage and facilitate random encounters between the inhabitants. Environmental psychology explores the parameters that alter one's mood, behaviour, productivity, effectiveness, and attitude. Knowledge from this field enables us to shape solutions for the city with predictable results.
The urban street geometry, street orientation and the height to weight ratio plays an important role for the comfort of pedestrian. With the modern building designs and the complexity of urban areas, the interaction between buildings has become more and more pronounced, sometimes leading to discomfort issues for pedestrians. This is the reason why wind simulation is important in the design of the urban neighbourhood.
Much of our thinking is well described by Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam. He likes to imagine that there is a triangle, its points comprising where you sleep, where you work, and where you shop. In a canonical English village, or in a university town, the sides of that triangle are very short: a five-minute walk from one point to the next. In many American cities, you can spend an hour or two travelling each side. “You live in Pasadena, work in North Hollywood, shop in the Valley,” Putnam says. “Where is your community?” The smaller the triangle, the happier the human, as long as there is social interaction to be had. In that kind of life, you have a small refrigerator, because you can get to the store quickly and often. By this logic, the bigger the refrigerator, the lonelier the soul.
The result of our effort will be a vibrant and fair 10-minute city. The Fjord City will provide equal access to core services, with everyone able to meet their basic needs within a short walk or bike ride from home. It means ensuring that the activities that make urban life liveable and enjoyable are available to all, not just concentrated in central or wealthy neighbourhoods. This includes community-scale education and healthcare, essential retail, such as grocery shops and pharmacies, parks for recreation, working spaces and more. Cities built of ‘complete neighbourhoods’, where residents can find most of what they need locally, generate more responsive local growth, more viable local businesses and commerce, lower emissions, more active travel, vibrant neighbourhoods and stronger communities.
LINK architecture, together with WSP and Multiconsult won the contract for area regulation for Fjordbyen Lierstranda for client EIDOS in January 2019. EIDOS manages approx. 60% of the area owned by Lier municipality, the Port of Drammen and Bane Nor Eiendom.