Download report (Norwegian) (PDF, 6.4Mb)
In March 2009, INTBAU Scandinavia held a charrette in Brokelandesheia in southern Norway. The charrette examined the Brokelandsheia truck stop, a small but rapidly growing settlement within the Commune of Gjerstad, in southern Norway. Working with the local authorities, businesses and citizens, the charrette proposed that the truck stop be slowly converted into a town, based on traditional urbanism and best practice in sustainability, and focusing on a new station on a new high-speed railway.
Update September 2009
Newspaper announcement that Gjerstad Commune will adopt the INTBAU Brokelandsheia plan.
In September 2009, the Gjerstad Commune voted formally to adopt the plan for Brokelandsheia as the official growth strategy for this town. The plan is expected to take many years to implement in full, and will provide a clear direction for future development.
Gjerstad commune is located a fours hours by road south of Oslo, the capital of Norway, and halfway to Kristiansund, a popular summer destination. Hitherto a largely farming and mining-based community, it has benefited by the recent construction of a Class B motorway and exit ramps at the western edge of the commune.
Brokelandsheia, ("Brokeland Hill"), forms the natural half-way point on the recently-constructed motorway and as such is an extremely busy and fast-growing new settlement within the commune. Concerned that the growth was occurring without thought for the future led the Gjerstad Commune to call in INTBAU Scandinavia to plan the future development of the new settlement to take advantage of the future construction of a high-speed railway and associated station just east of the site.
A team of five architects, urbanists and planners, together with 5 students from Norwegian universities, and aided by a CAD team of three, worked over four days to produce the detailed proposal. Aided by presentations from local stakeholders, highway and railway authorities, local people, and nightly visits by all elected members of the local authority, the scheme was developed over the week into a detailed final proposal. A near-unanimous vote in support of the scheme at the final public presentation on Thursday night means that the scheme will now go into development plans for the area.
The scheme centres on a new "High Street" running from near the motorway exit to a new square fronting the new station on the high-speed railway line. This new street links to the old main road - still heavily used by local traffic - at its north end, ensuring a flow of traffic even in the early days of its development.
The proposal maintains all existing buildings, and proposes that a system of streets, blocks and squares be created that allows each landowner to maximise built volume in a manner that supports street life, rather than each competing with each other. The town centre is a new square, developed on the site of a parking lot, in front of the two oldest buildings on site, a truckers restaurant and a small shopping building. It encompasses some existing residential building while indicating locations within the existing site that can be developed to avoid waste space. All this is acheived with the same number of car-parking spaces as the existing, unplanned development, and with a minimum of disruption to existing expensive infrastructure.
A row of steep granite hills, clad in pine forest, is retained to the west of the site, as a natural backdrop to the town, and as a noise barrier against the railway. It provides within its area spaces for recreation, connecting paths to a new local primary school and the new railway station, and some new housing development in the popular traditional Norwegian style amongst the forest.
A future development to the west of the railway line, on a level and elevated plateau within the forest, is indicated to be developed in the distant future, depending on the success of the town. Due to the steep slopes it has a direct link by steps/lift to the station, and a long loop of road passing under the railway line. This development area will also help to reinforce the railway station as the centre of the final town.
Stakeholders vote in support of the plan at the final public meeting.
The plan was supported by an almost unanimous vote of local residents, business owners and other stakeholders at the final public meeting. The plan will now move on to formal consideration by the local authority.
European Charrette Institute
This event is a pilot project of the European Charrrette Insitute, a new joint venture by INTBAU and other partners. Further detail of the ECI will be available in due course.
All rights reserved
INTBAU UK Ltd a registered charity no 1132362
© INTBAU 2001-10