Kathrine Strøm from COWI presented The Green Shift in Urban Mobility, focusing on their green city and green mobility strategy in collaboration with Oslo municipality. COWI is an international consulting group specializing in engineering, environmental science, and economics. On the consolidation of varied consulting expertise under one roof, Kathrine remarked that she “finds the synergy effects we can make between us very effective when it comes to making a more sustainable city.”
Strøm described how, in 2019, Oslo was named the European Environment capital, providing accelerated incentives for the municipality to pursue environmental action. With Oslo’s road traffic constituting approximately half of Co2 emissions in 2020, an apparent opportunity to reduce emissions lies in reducing of emissions through traffic. For the first time in Norway, a public body, namely Oslo’s municipality, is dismissing the time is money paradigm as it pertains to transportation, as the roads are no longer merely designed around cars but also non-motor-driven transportation.
In addition to the strategy and design of Oslo’s urban roads and spaces, Strøm presented a project where COWI contributed to a more sustainable construction site, where building was performed with electric digging machines on cable and battery, replacing diesel engines, which consequentially meant a less noisy building process to the benefit of construction workers and city dwellers. One unresolved aspect of the project was that not all materials used were emission-free, and some trees were removed due to an intricate process of planting on such fundaments. Taking learnings and inspiration from this project, all buildings and constructions sites in Oslo municipality shall be emission-free from 2025. The named initiatives have contributed to a healthier, safer, more beautiful city to live in and visit, with less emissions and a reduction of flooding hazards.