Implementation and Reception
Keywords:park politics, landscape architecture, Oslo, green spaces, urban growth, Marius Røhne, Harald Hals, green structure, reception, critique
Park politics is the subject of critique by the landscape architecture profession. This article explores the politics surrounding the parks realised in Oslo in the 1920s and 30s, which was critiqued in a book by some of the most prominent landscape architects in Norway at the time: Vår tids hage [The Garden of Our Time] (Aspesæter et al., 1939). The book reads as a commentary on the development in Oslo during that period. This study uses contemporary books by the key policy makers as resources for the ideology of these parks and aims to show how the actual park politics in Oslo were acknowledged and critiqued by contemporary landscape architects working in the first decades of the 20th century. This is then used as a backdrop for the study of today’s park politics, which has been strongly influenced by the densification policy that was introduced in the 1990s and that puts additional strain on green spaces inside town and city boundaries. Up until then, urban development had, for the most part, come about as a result of urban expansion, and the urban growth that has taken place since the Second World War has been extensive in terms of land space use. One result of this study is an attempt to establish a periodisation of the park politics in Oslo in order to shed light on the consequences of recent developments in park politics.