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that drives a potentially
transforming force

Europan 13


Urban and social context/ Identity

From 1969, Norway’s oil capital / one of Europe’s energy capitals [Associated event: Offshore Northern Seas ONS / second largest exhibition and conference for the energy sector]. Previous main industries have been shipping (herring fisheries), fish canning industry, shipbuilding… / One of the nation’s premier culinary clusters [Associated event: Gladmat food festival] / Tourism: growing port of call for cruise ships

318,000 inhabitants (population in the region in 2011) / Immigrant share of 20.2% /

Fertility rate of 2.18 (in Rogaland / the highest in the country) / 10,000 students enrolled at the University

138,500 people employed in the conurbation; 37,500 (27%) in Forus


Landscape and geography of Low-Jæren

_Coastal region of fjords, islands and beaches; a flat area of land mostly of marsh, sand, stone aur

_A shoreline rich with vegetation and wildlife

_Low-lying terrain / 49% of the area is less than 20m above the sea level

_Wide farmland surfaces bordering the urban grid

Chapter II. The oil rig.

The availability of technology and human resources enables the research on how to apply the knowledge in the recovery and protection of natural areas, how to exploit resources for producing energy efficiently, how to invert in new uses for facilities and in more ecological and durable buildings.

The Stavanger region has a population proud of their work and involved with their future.

The concept one identifies with is valuable and should be preserved.

The oil platform is seen in this proposal as the symbol of identity that deserves to be recycled under a different way, as a hybrid model with compatible uses.

This provocative vision is related with the force of identity. With the reflection about the possibilities that recycling brings. With the costs, the return time of investments and the dimension of the ecological footprint buildings can mean. With the collective intelligence and social resilience capable to adapt to deep changes.

It brings together the identity, the building technology and the logic of stacking up (foundation / soil occupation).

Chapter III. The lost lake.

The old drained lake is taken as a referent of the deep transformation of the urban context.

The workplaces located in Forus are mainly clean offices, which are highly compatible with other uses and facilities.  However a very low-density land use has been adopted. This development seems inconsistent if high cost of soil obtaining, substantial budget required by the deep foundations, and the physical limit of the surface of Forus are put together.

Densify intermediate nodes, create public space scaled to the pedestrian users and restore the nature soil are on the task.

Stavanger has the technical tools and the know-how for new concentrated developments optimizing both deep foundations and consumption of soil.

Zoning and urban sprawl. Present and future.

Nowadays the urban extension corresponds to a model of urban sprawl with highly specialized areas (residential, industrial, business, big box shopping). This segregation of uses makes the conurbation of Stavanger highly dependent on car based private transportation.

The privileged status of prosperity of the region supports this model and probably will keep doing so in the future. The question is, if once seen the result of the global economic crisis over speculative development of unstoppable growth that has turn the city into a financial business, and with the basis of the Norwegian socioeconomic model, an innovative sustainable development is possible. 

The disadvantages of this sprawl model are widely known:

_ unlimited consumption of land based exclusively on immediate economic growth

_ elevated consumption of energy (transportation, supplies, maintenance…)

_ self-sufficiency  of each urban element; impossibility of sharing resources

_ limitation of social relations and social segregation

_ weak characterization of the urban spaces and absence of identity

It is a reality that if urban sprawl keeps expanding, soon there will be no vacant soil for new developments. At the same time there will be a rising inequality between the last built zones and the obsolete structures and an increasing consumption of energy and resources.

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