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60 524 In Transit - Urban Integration

Emnenavn på English: 
In Transit - Urban Integration
60 524
2019 Høst
2019 Høst
Maksimum antall studenter: 
Tone Selmer-Olsen
Håvard Breivik

Admission to AHO and successful completion of three years bachelor level studies (180 ECTS). Open for Master level architecture and landscape architecture students. 

Om emnet

Urban Integration 

How can mobility and migration inform and shape our cities? How can new ways of living and social infrastructure contribute in creating diverse, tolerant and inclusive neighborhoods? How do we plan and facilitate for diversity and social sustainability in our communities?

 “(…) migrant-created urban quarters are ripe with both peril and promise; they are where the new creative and commercial class will be born, and where the next wave of tension and conflict will erupt. Much of the difference depends on how we approach these districts, both organizationally and politically, and, crucially, in terms of physical structures and built form (…) they are increasingly where the real life of the city is found; they are the place where the old city stops being a museum and starts being a laboratory devoted to its own future” - Doug Saunders

The European city is largely a collection of migrant enclaves and the history of the continent’s many great cities like Paris, Berlin and London are all created by multiple clusters of migrants that has slowly become an integrated part of the city. Some of the them, like Belleville in Paris or Kreuzberg in Berlin have, according to Saunders, gone from disreputable to fashionable in a generation. After the high number of refugees and migrants seeking sanctuary in Europe in 2015, communities with high number of new arrivals are once again the focus of attention in the media and European politics. Segregation and ghettoization are topics that are highly featured in the current public discourse, and often used to support anti-immigration sentiments. 

The impact of the built environment, how we plan and design our neighborhoods to aid social cohesion, should also be included in the debate. Integration takes place at the neighborhood level and designing inclusion -physical structures facilitating human interaction - can form a crucial part of building safe, resilient, and sustainable communities. The In Transit studio aims to develop projects that change the narrative of fear into one of opportunity, and point out the potential for sustainable growth for communities hosting migrants and refugees. 

In the Fall-19 semester theIn Transit studio will explore 1) how spatial and physical structures contribute to the creation of safe places that may lead to interaction, integration and cultural exchange benefitting both new arrivals and their host communities 2) the interplay between urban meeting places, workspaces and housing solutions and how this can be solved in in two different contexts and two different migrant communities, one in Norway and the other in the UK. 

Case studies: Migrant communities in Norway and the UK

Stovner (Oslo)is the largest of the 15 boroughs in the city of Oslo, and the easternmost point of the Groruddalen, a valley running through four of the city’s boroughs where more than a quarter of the total population of Oslo live.  Stovner was built between 1968-78, as one of many drabantbyer (satellite towns) and is one of Oslo’s most ambitions city planning projects to date. 

The area planning scheme was the brainchild of Olav Selvaag, one of Norway’s most radical social housing developers. Inspired by contemporary international modernists and brutalistsand similar large-scale housing projects in Europe, the ambition for Stovner was to deliver a low-cost and rapidly constructed utopia for suburban Oslo. Despite its ambitious housing scheme, and an attractive location close to the city center, the area has slowly deteriorated and become a place associated with crime, social inequality and poverty.

Since its early days, the Stovner area has experienced a demographic shift. Today the area has a population of approximately 30,000 inhabitants of which close to 50% is of ethnic minority origin.

In the last few years, the Stovner area has been included in the Oslo Municipality’s area upgrading plans, known in Norwegian as Groruddalssatsingenand Områdeløft Stovner, which includes different revitalizations schemes: upgrading the current building mass, and creating new meeting places and safer neighborhoods. The success of the upgrading interventions, however, has been debated. 

Hackney (London) The London Borough of Hackney has a population of approximately 274,000. Hackney is a relatively young borough with a quarter of its population under 20 years old. Hackney is a culturally diverse area, and nine out of ten Hackney residents say that Hackney is a place where people from different backgrounds get on well together. Hackney’s diversity and multiculturalism are the main factors contributing to residents feeling proud of the borough.

Hackney is also an area of growing economic opportunity as a result of the increased focus on East London as an area of growth and development for London and the UK, including venues constructed for the 2012 London Olympics. This growth, however, sits alongside significant deprivation. Some local people continue to face persistent inequalities and are disproportionately affected by child poverty, worklessness and welfare dependency. 

The UK government has accepted to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020. These refugees have been selected from refugee camps in the neighboring countries of Syria, and plans are underway to resettle people from this group in Hackney. How will this resettlement scheme mark the different Hackney neighborhoods? 


After the studio, students will have acquired knowledge of theories and current issues related to urbanization, displacement and integration, focusing on the role of the architect/planner in this context.


After successfully completing the studio, the student will have acquired experience and skills with the urban analysis and develop architectural design proposals responding to the urban context.

Overall accomplishment´

After successfully completing the studio,the student will be able to develop strategic project proposals that showcase how architecture, urban design, and urban planning can facilitate for diversity and social sustainability.

Praktisk organisering og arbeidsmåter

The studio is organized around the two case studies and in three parts.

Each case study will include an analysis phase + project proposal phase.The research/analysis phase will be conducted in teams, while the project proposals can be developed individually or in (new) teams. Team work is encouraged. 

The studio will study and make use of proposed resettlement plans, liaise with the different organizations and agencies involved, and from a spatial and programmatic point of view, develop projects based on needs and opportunities in the neighborhood. 

At the end of the semester, each student / team will choose one of the two projects, refine and develop it further, and present this project as the final design proposal to the studio and external juror(s). The studio aims to merge academia with field experiences and input form partner organizations. 

In Transit is a design-driven studio working with complex global topics. Deliverables throughout - and at the end of the course - shall include imaginative and innovative, yet concrete project proposals with architectural designs that are carefully presented through models, drawings and visualizations. Students are expected to present a final design project that discusses concepts of urban integration -both at city level and at a detailed architectonic scale. 

The Study trip will be to different locations in the UK (southeastern England and London)


Reading lists will be made available closer to semester start

Obligatorisk arbeidskravPåkrevde arbeidskravOppmøte påkrevdKommentar
Oppmøte til undervisning PåkrevdStudents must be present at scheduled presentations.
Obligatoriske arbeidskrav:
Obligatorisk arbeidskrav:Oppmøte til undervisning
Påkrevde arbeidskrav:
Oppmøte påkrevd:Påkrevd
Kommentar:Students must be present at scheduled presentations.
Vurderingsmappe-Bestått / ikke beståttThe student needs to answer all assignments and be present at all presentations to pass the course.

All answered assignments and presentations are subject to an overall assessment - with an emphasis on the presentation of the final design project, which will be evaluated by external juror(s) and responsible teachers.
Karakterskala:Bestått / ikke bestått
Kommentar:The student needs to answer all assignments and be present at all presentations to pass the course.

All answered assignments and presentations are subject to an overall assessment - with an emphasis on the presentation of the final design project, which will be evaluated by external juror(s) and responsible teachers.
EkskursjonThose who do not have the opportunity to participate in excursion will receive a task / a project that replaces this.
Forventet arbeidsinnsats:
Kommentar:Those who do not have the opportunity to participate in excursion will receive a task / a project that replaces this.