Massive Small

July 5, 2016

Places that attract people are successful. Involving local people and business interests in participatory design processes help to make a place attractive. Encouraging and supporting people to be an active part of their local community thereafter makes that attractiveness sustainable. So what’s the problem?

The workshop

Tøyen is an area in Oslo that is thriving with many grass root initiatives. There are frequent statements of interest from both business and the government concerning the need for effective participation from local citizens. We look at how current participation can be leveraged to produce even more effective outcomes through more embedded co-creation processes. The session will comprise of a round table dialogue where property developers, architects, local government, områdeløft Tøyen and local bottom up initiatives are all represented.

Introductions by:

Andrew Campbell  Massive Small
Sarah Prosser  Områdeløft Tøyen & Tøyen Unlimited
The Fishbowl:
The Politician  Line Oma  Arbeidepartiet
The Developer  Tom Bratlie  Entra
The Architect  Arild Eriksen  Eriksen Skaja
The Participation Facilitator  Ole Pedersen  Nedenfra
The Researcher  Ingar Brattbakk  Arbeidsforskningsinstituttet
The Grass Roots Initiator  Karianne Hjallen  Tøyen Sportsklubben
Facilitator: Chris McCormick


Tøyen has some of the greatest socio-economic challenges in Oslo. The decision to move the Munch Museum out of the area resulted in a political decision to invest in a regeneration programme for the area, part of which – Områdeløft Tøyen – was to focus on ensuring bottom-up processes were included in steering the changes initiated. Businesses and more activist movements are simultaneously having a fundamental effect in how the local community is experiencing the visible and less-visible changes in Tøyen.


MASSIVE SMALL is calling on city governments, urbanists, architects, civic leaders and communities – and anyone who wants to make the place they live better – worldwide to change behaviours and make changes to the system. This will encourage many more small-scale projects and help transform the way that urban environments are planned, built, improved or used. As a collective it is a global community bound together by the Massive Small principles.

What is an ‘områdeløft’?

An ‘områdeløft’ or ‘area regeneration’ is a method where physical and social measures will contribute to “comprehensive, lasting and locally based development” in areas with challenging living conditions. 

The local authority in Oslo have invested 25 million NOK annually in the period 2014-2018, and the state have been invited to match this investment.

One of the key issues is how real participation in processes concerning the ‘områdeløft’ are safeguarded.

The overarching vision is as follows: 

«Områdeløft Tøyen shall contribute to; the experience of feeling safe, a community that includes and  inspires residents to want to remain in the area.»

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