Waterfront development

Åge writes about the danger of everything looking the same when old industrial waterfront is converted to residential or business use during a short period.

Such projects may turn out very differently. Aker Brygge, Sandviken Brygge and Kilen Brygge represent the good, the bad and the ugly.

When I started working in Oslo in 1983, the shortest route from the train to my office was on the waterfront, in front of the City Hall. But to avoid the polluted highway between the City Hall and the sea, I walked the detour, via Karl Johansgate. With very good help from an undersea road tunnel, Aker Brygge did reconnect Oslo to the sea. And while much of the place was built within a couple of years, it did not look too planned, it looked like a naturally grown cityscape.

Sandviken Brygge in Bergen is the opposite - like Aker Brygge, it is very nice for those who can afford to live there. But unlike Aker, Sandviken is blocking its inland neighbourhood from contact with the sea. Sandviken is not the only - not even the worst - culprit in the area. When I visited in 2001, the only breathing hole in the waterfront barrier, was the pier by the KPMG office.

Kilen Brygge in Sandefjord looked plain ugly, last time I saw the place and the plans.


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