OAT 2022: Neighbourhoods – public space for everybody, October 27

Oslo Architecture Triennale
NEIGHBOURHOODS – public space for everybody
Thursday 27 October, 16:30-19:30
The former Edvard Munch Museum (Tøyengata 53, Oslo) & online
Presentations in English, panel debate in Norwegian

Join us in person in the former Edvard Munch Museum or follow the livestream below. Welcome!

Public spaces are stages for our common lives. This is where we live our everyday lives, exchange ideas, knowledge and goods and gather around celebrations. We want our public spaces welcoming for everyone, as meeting-places in our diverse urban neighbourhoods.

However, we do also experience parks and streets that are either empty, in little use or dominated by single groups. Squares that are not appreciated by women, are often used by even more vulnerable groups. Conflicting interests are seen between children’s need for playgrounds and drug-users and dealer’s meeting places. Such troubled public spaces bear witness to a need for  new approaches to the development of thriving neighbourhoods where no – one is left behind.

Safety is one of the most decisive factors for people who wants to make use of public space, this is in particular true for girls and women. More than 130 countries around the world have laws that, in the name of security, are barriers to women’s movement. Simultaneously, it is the presence of others that generate a feeling of safety. In order to create welcoming public spaces that contain competing interests, we need more than an empty stage: We need to explore a combination of social, physical, technological and organisational approaches and solutions together with the different users.

At this event Habitat Norway explores how we can create better public spaces in urban neighbourhoods, drawing on global and local practices with a theoretical approach and practical examples. How do we include groups with different needs and resources?


16:00 Arrival, registration and refreshments

16:00 Videos by SDI Kenya KnowYourCityTV YouTube channel
Residents from Mukuru in Nairobi document and collect data about their neighbourhood.

16:30 Live-streaming of music performance from a public space outside the Mukuru Youth Initiative (MuYI) HUB – Nairobi, Kenya. Don’t miss a chance to experience a live performance brought to you directly from the largest informal settlement nested in the industrial area of Nairobi, Kenya.

17:00 Welcome   

17:00-17:05  Introduction to the concepts safety and security, from the board of Habitat Norway, Ellen S. de Vibe.

17:05-17:10 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, State Secretary of international development, Bjørg Sandkjær.

17:10-17:15 Youth welcome, UN Youth envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake.

17:15 Policies and planning perspectives: Inclusion and safety in urban public spaces

17:15-17:25 Planning for a city for all – safety and security through participation of women, youth and other vulnerable groups, UN Habitat, Safer cities programme, Juma Assiago.

17:25-17:35 Theory of change – Place-making and relational well being, Global Infrastructure Basel Foundation (GIB), Safe&sound cities programme, Kelly Donovan. 

17:35-17:45 Creativity and conflict in planning – Youth participation and capacity building, Oslo Metropolitan University, Ingar Brattbakk.

Pause 10 min

18:00 Action and activities of change – inclusive and safe public spaces for all

18:00-18:10 Experiences from youth building safety from the Safe&sound cities programme, Estiven Cano and Mateo Madrid Salazar from Envigado, Colombia.

18:10-18:20 The hustle of social inclusion: the Mukuru Special planning area – Youth community mobilizers in the SPA process, Laura Marano.

18:20-18:30 Reclaim Women’s Space – inclusive architecture and differentiated public space, Eva B. Storrusten, architect MNAL.

Pause 5 min

18:35-18:45 Youth jobs and data collection, Youth from the YouCount-project, Tøyen Unlimited and Oslo Metropolitan University.

18:45-19:00 Participation in area regeneration programme Grønland and Tøyen – Bydel Gamle Oslo, Områdeløft, Ida Ufoma Helgheim Ijeabuonwu.

19:00 Panel – hvordan skape rettferdige, trygge og inkluderende offentlige byrom i nabolag i byen?

Ellen de Vibe leder panelet, på norsk/in Norwegian.

Margrete Bjørge Kantanasho, LNU
Merete Agerbak-Jensen, Byutvikling/Høyre
Elias Mokhlis, YouCount
Sumaya Ali Isse, YouCount

19:30 End

Register here

Registration: Neighbourhoods - OTA, October 27, 2022
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More about the event


Arrive early, and you will be introduced to films from KnowYourCityTV/ YouTube channel, Slumdwellers International (SDI) Kenya, explaining how residents from Mukuru in Nairobi document and collect data about their neighbourhoods. The documentaries show the lived experiences of a government-led, co-produced upgrading of an informal settlement.

Mukuru Youth Initiative (MuYI) HUB opens the event with live-streaming directly a music performance from a public space of the largest informal settlement nested in the industrial area of Nairobi, Kenya. Youth in MuYI are co-partners and mobilisers of the Mukuru Special Planning Area (SPA), a large community-upgrading scheme of basic infrastructure using in-situ planning methods.


Ellen de Vibe, former Chief city planner of Oslo and board member of Habitat Norway, will welcome the participants to this hybrid event in Gamle Munch and in the online webinar. She will introduce the core concepts of safety and security as building-blocks of inclusive public spaces.

State Secretary of The Ministry of International Development, Bjørg Sandkjær, will draw up some of the urban safety and security challenges for vulnerable groups that Norwegian development cooperation is facing. The UN Youth envoy, Jayathma Wickramanayake, representing future global leaders will outline the contributions young people can make in leaving no one and no space behind.

Session 1

In this first session we will explore manners of how policies and planning perspectives can increase inclusion and safety. Juma Assiago from the Safer cities programme UN Habitat, will present a framework for balancing different group interests and inclusion of vulnerable groups. Kelly Donovan from Global Infrastructure Basel Foundation (GIB) will present a theory of change used in their Safe & Sound Cities Programme. It includes relational well-being as a necessary dimension to place-making. Ingar Brattbakk from Oslo Metropolitan University will share insights into how youth participation can involve friction and conflicts, but also creativity and innovation in the development of public spaces.

Session 2

The second session will convey examples of activities of change to create safer public urban spaces. Directly from Envigado in Colombia, youth will share their experience with the toolkit of Safe & Sound Cities Programme, building safety in their own neighbourhood. Laura Marano, Board-member of Habitat Norway, will share findings from her prize-winning master thesis on how youth work as community mobilizers in the Special Planning Area-process in Mukuru, Nairobi. Architect MNAL Eva B. Storrusten will present a project about how inclusive architecture and differentiated shielded public spaces may empower women to reclaim their public spaces.

Youth of the YouCount-project of OsloMet and Tøyen Unlimited will share how they are using digital tools to collect data about public space safety in Grønland, Oslo.  Ida Ufoma Helgheim Ijeabuonwu from the city area district of Gamle Oslo, will tell us how participation in local neighbourhood projects in the area regeneration programme for Grønland and Tøyen is contributing to safety in public spaces.

Panel discussion

The last session will be a panel discussion in Norwegian.  Here Ellen S. de Vibe will draw on different topics from the event, and ask what politicians from the local, municipal level can do to create just, safe and inclusive spaces in urban neighbourhoods.

The event is organized by Habitat Norge in cooperation with Oslo Arkitekturtriennale. Sponsored by Urban Oktober, Safer Cities 40 Days, Norsk Bolig- og Byplanforening, Kommunal- og Distriktsdepartementet and Bydel Gamle Oslo.