forus stavanger, norway



Identity as one of the main values on urban development.

The strongest is the place identity the bigger sense of belonging citizenship has, the more sense of consciousness and security, and therefore the happier people live.




> Existing built urban fabric:

Mono functional.

Based on urban sprawl model.

Low density. / Widely urbanized.

Zoning. / High specialization of use.


>Superposition of the drained lake (1908) over Forus

The metaphorical flooding / the radical utopian picture as a starting point.

If the water level lows, the roofs emerge: occupation data, the grid organization…



> Innovation and urban development

_Mixed uses

Urban condition.

There is a defined goal for Forus future (by the management agent): maintaining the business and industry use. Though a U-turn is in the making to become a reference as an innovative business area. As long as main businesses in the area are clean offices they are highly compatible with other uses. This condition allows including hybrid schemes of use.

It is also possible to preserve some soil strategically located for noisier or less clean businesses.



Where does the interest of introducing hybrid schemes lay?

Creating a new urban district with its own identity, creative and innovative is on the task.


Innovation is at odds with the tight division, the constraining and simplification.

It requires flexibility, communication, culture of sharing.

The new Forus should be active around the clock. Therefore it would be desirable a mixture of uses.


_Some actions for the grid revitalization /an hypothesis of development

    _the nodes of interest

    _common shared facilities

    _high density zones

    _compact diversification of uses



Abounding in this metaphorical flood, the direct result of a lower tide is illustrate:

> The blue & green elements: benefits and keys of this structure related with 5 concepts


_Esthetical qualities of the environment

Connecting city and landscape. The task is bringing the landscape closer to the city.

Rough, uneven, wavy, hilly, wild, untamed, sylvan, are characteristics of the nature condition.

Tidy, clear, elaborated, detailed could define the aspiration of the urban condition.


Being the crossing point of the municipalities of Sola, Stavanger and Sandnes, the green structure takes on a symbolic value as representative of which are the shared common values of the community.


A blue&green structure as close as possible to the ‘nature’ condition.

Sylvan rather than tidy design parameters (self-sustaining, self-heading) that talk about the historical site traces.

‘Cultivated’ instead of ‘designed’


_Culture of preservation

This natural infrastructure creates awareness of surrounding landscape and farmland.

Nowadays Forus is defined by the physical limits of high-speed roads with wide lanes. These limits draw a regular map designed rational and easy to grow.

This urban development does not lecture us about the physical limits of the territory.

It sends us the message of an unlimited sprawl instead.


The insertion of the green structure makes us aware of the natural potential of the area and the site context.

The surrounding landscape is a valuable common legacy and the planned development in Forus could teach us about the culture of preservation.


_Tool for social improvement

The blue&green structure offers opportunities to enjoy nature and meet with other people without social barriers.

A meaningful place to welcome people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

A flexible grid of spaces for a varied number of activities and uses that amplifies the sense of inclusion.


_Infrastructural support for sustainable active structures

For example, in relation with rainwater management.

Basins and channels are and important element of the urban space in terms of recreation and landscape qualities. And they also have a very important role in water management.

They can be use for a proper diversion of water during thunderstorms.

Instead of treating big volumes of rainwater through sewerage (costs of building and maintenance of pipes, chambers, manholes, pumping stations…), there is an alternative to design storm water handling by seepage and reservoirs located in this blue and green structure.

Added to the fact that the less paved surface is urbanized, the more rational cost in sewerage is obtained.


_Added value

The blue&green structure transforms its surroundings.

It could be seen as a nice but not essential element to the plan success.

But the revitalization it carries will generate return in investment.


This transformation implies an added value due to new conditions of the site definition.

The changes in the urban grid and the landscape-enriched qualities bring new perspectives of use to the existing plot sites.

We can hardly imagine including certain uses in the present area definition.

But if some ‘green’ changes are introduced sure it will be an attractive place to stay.



> The strategic nodes of interest

Common shared facilities accompanied by qualified public spaces.

Referential nodes in the district vibrant regeneration.



> New open perspectives due to the new public transport development

Estimations of traffic on the area will change with the implementation of the new public transport project.

The traffic capacity of the internal road network should fit into the new parameters of accessibility that will end with the existing high dependency on private transport. It is desirable to reduce the total road area and parking surfaces as much as possible in order to achieve the best possible traffic handling and urban density.


This does not mean to completely eradicate surface parking. But rethinking about the urbanized definition.

What urban definition do we search? How do we encourage pedestrian nice ambience?

Flex zones that can be use as short time parking and unloading and reuse as recreational areas when empty of vehicles can bring groundbreaking ideas about how to design these surfaces. Parameters like scale, texture, functional diversity can help to readapt the area for pedestrian use.


Building parking facilities located on a few parking houses strategically located, would work on the desirable sustainable direction:

     _sharing facilities between diverse uses

     _promotion of the public transport

     _limit  of soil use by private vehicles

     _limit of pollution


This downsizing of car use surface liberates useful areas for redevelopment of the site

_densification of plots

_redesigning a pedestrian network of nice paths and plazas

_including a referential green_blue structure



> The temporary activities / the implementation strategy for the future development

Including temporary activities and occupation of existing vacant facilities in the area creates awareness and emotional connections with the site.

The right to the city / the right to participate: with direct relation with the happiness and well-being.

Interaction. When feeling connected to a space, we are more likely to experience connections with others within that space (informal meeting, relaxing ambient, innovation).

These activities can bring refreshing views and new ideas about the site.



> The future development

The existing grid offers a flexible base to work with old and new, large scale and small scale in one unifying structure adaptable in its borders.

The fixed network of internal roads, pedestrian paths, bike lanes and squares places can bring a unifying identity for the new urban district.


On addition the green structure brings surrounding landscape into closer contact with the city, creating a recreational urban park in the crossing site of the surrounding municipalities. The green structure functions as a district reference and an activity catalyst providing support to the strategic hybrids and nodes.


The polar nodes establish district references with common facilities shared by many users (cultural and sports facilities, retail spaces, entertainment uses…)

The hybrid plots supplement the businesses with a wide diversity of uses: creative businesses, entrepreneurship industries, educational and residential program to ensure that long day vibrant district.


Whether it is a growth period or an economic leverage or even a recession scenario we are facing is something we are not able to determine.

But in relation with the necessary adaptation of the urban development to the future of the economy, there are some certain questions we would like to emphasize:

_a model based in common interests has a higher possibility to succeed.

_flexible, adaptable, resilient are proper qualities for an scenario of uncertainty

_a deterministic plan based on a predesigned formalist model has a big risk to fail if it is rigid and does not have a rapid response capability for upcoming changes

_reusing part of the existent elements makes the development approach flexible

_the development can be carried out progressively combining long-term vision and adaptation to specific vicissitudes (social development / economy)

_maintaining existing elements preserves the community memories and therefore helps to the collective strength (identity)

_refurbishing existing facilities limits the investments, extends the life use of buildings and promotes the research on how to improve our environment  applying an increasing efficiency (sustainability)

_concentrating common mixed uses promotes the sharing of facilities and as a direct consequence:

  _the less investments costs are needed (economy)

  _the less resources consumption results (ecology)

  _it promotes the opportunities for collaborating (innovation)