Over the past year, the commissioned artists for Slow Space in Oslo have been researching and developing a range of different projects. Their ideas have been transformed through the conversations on the ground with residents, architects, landscape designers and developers.
Amy Franceschini and Futurefarmers
Amy Franceschini and Futurefarmers have begun to develop a proposal for a bakehouse to be sited in the Loallmenningen Common. This project will be developed through a temporary mobile oven project over the next year. Inspired by the possibilities of urban food production, Amy’s previous Victory Gardens‘ project in San Francisco, and previous historical artist works in the public realm such as Agnes Denes’ Wheatfield in Battery Park (1982), the city has commissioned a test-field project to prepare the ground for the Slow Space commissions and the bakehouse.
Herligheten Parsellkollektiv (The Glory Allotment Collective)
“Herligheten Parsellkollectiv” is an ecological initiative and project about urban food production which was initiated in April 2012 and developed during April and May 2012. The Herligheten is located at Loallmenningen in Bjørvika, a rocky “island” in the middle of a rough building site surrounded by roads, railway lines and the airing towers for the submerged tunnel underneath. The project involves:
- Herligheten Allotment Collective with 100 allotments
- A field measuring 250m2 where several types of ancient grain such as spelt, emmer, einkorn and bere barley and clove will grow.
- A programme of events and seminars for learning and exchanging ideas in August 2012.
“Herligheten Allotment Collective” offers the use of 100 allotments free of charge. Nearly 4000 residents applied for one of the allotments with the project providing the necessary infrastructure such as pallet collars, garden netting, soil, water and common areas. Each of the 100 allotment owners were given enough pallet collars to make a 5m2 garden with free rein as to what they wished to grow. Allotment owners were encouraged to exchange seeds, plants and know-how with other fellow gardeners, and last and to discuss and influence the development of Bjørvika.
On Saturday 12. May, the allotment collective was established through a weekend “dugnad” by volunteers. You can follow the project on Facebook, and you can read the Herligheten blog on http://loallmenningen.blogspot.com/
SPONSORS, SUPPORTERS AND PARTNERS
The Herligheten Allotment Collective was initially a project without funding. In a very short period of time supporters enthusiastically pledged their support for the project. Statens Vegvesen Region Øst (SVRØ), Sørenga Utvikling AS, Oslo S Utvikling, Hav Eiendom, Bjørvika Infrastruktur AS, Byfabrikken (link), A-lab, Tigerjord fra Oslo Kompost, Bjørkheim&Lindheim Landskapsarkitekter og Caféteateret/Nordic Black Theatre. Majobo, MAAEMO ecological restaurant, Farmer and ancient grain enthusiast Johan Swärd from Vestre Aschim Farm Mill, Erik Johner from Bioforsk and Etterstad Kolonihager.
VEGETABLE PRODUCTION IN POLLUTED AREAS
Is it safe to eat vegetables produced in a polluted area? We think so. To start off with we planned to grow only flowers and other plants not meant for consumption, but after having consulted various experts at Bioforsk, Bymiljøetaten, Universitetet for Miljø- og Biovitenskap, Norsk Institutt for Luftforskning and Bjørvika Utvikling our ambitions increased. One necessary measure is to cover the surface with a thick fibreous sheet preventing the new, clean soil from making contact with the surface underneath. Plants grown in clean soil are clean. It takes at least 10 years for the soil to become polluted through the air, and in Oslo the worst levels of air pollution are reached during the winter outside the growing season. The airing towers spread the polluted air from the submerged tunnel so high up it is carried away by the wind. Our conclusion is that vegetables can be grown as well in Bjørvika as in any of the other already existing allotments in Oslo. But we are not leaving things to chance. Bioforsk has agreed to measure levels of pollution in plants before we harvest.