City centre development

Developing attractive and vibrant city centers is an important goal for many Norwegian cities. At the same time, city centres lose retail and their customers to shopping centers outside cities, and that the centers lose relevance as commercial and meeting place for the population. What can cities do to strengthen their city centres?

Important questions are how municipalities, property owners and businesses in the city can work better together to increase city centres’ attractiveness - for retailers and their customers. Other important questions are linked to interrelation between retail, accessibility and the urban environment. A very relevant question are whether reduced access by car, and increased accessibility by other transport modes, will strengthen or weaken city centre attractiveness. Car-free city centres is a controversial topic. And - how does this vary with city size and context?

Planning and decision making related to the city center development is particularly complex. A number of different actors play important roles, and their interests are not necessarily congruent. You will seldom find conflict-free, vacant land for development in city centres. Historical buildings and urban environments makes processes and discussions even harder.

Such questions have occupied research group Sustainable Urban Development and Mobility through a variety of research projects:

Project manager

Aud Tennøy

Other contacts:


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0349 Oslo, Norway

Phone: +47 22 57 38 00