May 31, 2019

Brand new plans for Økern: Developing the area from old industry to a new, sustainable, urban and lively city centre

Steen & Strøm and Storebrand are updating the plans for Økern in line with Oslo’s development strategy to become greener, more inclusive and more creative. Økern will be transformed from an industrial area to a vibrant city centre with public available plazas, green parks and attractive meeting points.

“Oslo is a pioneer in Europe when it comes to sustainable, green and social urban development. Økern Sentrum will now take a leadership position to make Oslo even better. We will program the project to a greener, smarter and more inclusive city centre for the new area,” said Thomas Holth, Steen & Strøm’s project director for Økern Sentrum.

Steen & Strøm and Storebrand have applied for re-zoning of the project Økern Sentrum. The re-zoning  could encompass a tripling of public meeting spaces and squares, more housing and locally tailored shopping opportunities in an open city centre structure,  with the clear aim to make a positive impact on peoples lifes and the surroundings around. 

For such a large and inspiring  development project, we want to build an urban city centre that is right for the Oslopolitans and equipped for future city evolution  and developments. In line with one of our CSR pillars Act For Territories, we will make an inclusive city centre in close partnership with the city of Oslo, local politicians, neighbours and local stakeholders.

Inspiration from Oslo as Europe’s Green Capital

Økern Sentrum is appointed the role as the city centre in the new urban area. 

“We are inspired by Oslo as the green capital of Europe. Økern could be a zero-emission neighbourhood that boosts the circular economy and biodiversity. Our goal is to make Økern Sentrum the most sustainable urban development project in Europe,” said Truls Nergaard, CEO of Storebrand Asset Management. .

“Sustainability is not only about being green, we find the social dimension of sustainability equally important. At Økern we want to do innovative urban development, and build a city centre based on input from an inclusive participation process. Simply said, we want to design the project together with those who live in and are passionate about Hovinbyen,” said Nergaard.

Project director Thomas Holth emphasized that they will be open to the neighborhood’s needs in the further planning process.

- The public meeting places and service-offers will be based on the needs of the neighborhood and a good and cooperative involvement process. The overall vision is to transform Økern from an industrial area to a sustainable, urban and lively city centre. The final programming will be based on the involvement process and the local needs” said Holth.

Further process

Økern Sentrum will now apply to the Planning and Building Services of the City of Oslo for a formal initial meeting. 

- Now we will present the adjusted plans to the Planning and Building Services and the politicians. 

Holth emphasizes that the project will involve neighbors in creating a city centre adapted to their need.

The plan is to make a high quality city life at Økern, where living, working, experiencing and trading becomes a part of the city centre and urban fabric it selves.

The city life of Økern will become of great value to the whole of Oslo.

We are looking forward to the road ahead.

All new illustrations in this article: A-lab Arkitekter