Village on Steroids

Ever wondered how a village on steroids looks like?

Oslo Panorama, by

Panoramic view of Oslo, by

I’m currently working on a large-scale panoramic view of Oslo. This is a small preview.

Bjørvika & The Bar Code
On this photo you can see the area called Bjørvika, with Oslo Opera House & the Bar Code (nick name for the line of tall buildings in the picture).
The Bar Code has been criticized for blocking the view & connection to the sea for the city’s inhabitants – a connection that for many, many years have been blocked by the motorway and train tracks.

The water is so polluted that it’s considered hazardous to the health to swim there and one is also advised against eating fish from the inner parts of the Oslo Fjord. When the Opera was being built the government decided to get rid of all the poison sediments – PCBs and other toxins stemming from the days when there were factories along the river that runs out in the bay of Bjørvika: they dug up the sediments, transported it 4 kilometers further out the fjord, dumped the poison into the sea and threw some sand on top of it. (one kilometer is equivalent to 1,000 meters or 0.62 miles).

Sørenga – a place for the rich & Vannspeilet – the cesspool of Eden
The construction area to the left of the two towers is called Sørenga and it’s a new project where they are building apartments and a new city district for rich people. This has also been criticized with the argument that low-income people cannot afford to live there, but either way the construction of new homes will free up other buildings where the poor can live happily together.
Up until a few years ago Sørenga used to be the main container port of Oslo. The small strip of water on the right side is called Vannspeilet: it’s a fake man-made lake consisting of 50% water and 50% bird/seagull droppings. The fake lake was constructed to show where the sea-line once used to be. In the park with the fake lake there’s a festival this weekend called “Øyafestivalen”.

More photos from this area:

5 thoughts on “Village on Steroids

  1. Oh that’s not so nice though is it? PCB fish? Ack…. we’ve been having problems with housing here too, for a while there we were sitting at 0.05% rental vacancy rates and it was like uhhh where is everyone supposed to live? And idiot developers were taking existing rental properties and turning them into condos to purchase! Complete madness. So the city started building like crazy and now we are back into the whole numbers for vacancy rates, which is better – but rent is still so expensive. Even this supposed low income project they designed down town is $750 for one bedroom or $900 for two bedrooms – how is that cheap? Only 7 years ago I was paying only $425 for a NICE one bedroom, not a low income one – it really makes you shake your head how much housing has gone up, just to purchase it seems like it’s doubled. And over there they want people to buy near a poisoned lake? This world :\

    • The government claims that the fjord is safe now that they’ve dug up the PCB sediments and dumped it a bit further out, but I guess they won’t live there themselves or send their own children to swim there…
      But it’s safe enough for us tax payers/voters! 😀
      “Don’t worry” said the government (and we all went back to sleep).

      In Norway you’ll find the poor / the low income people on the rental market, but most people own their apartments/houses.
      Today it’s not possible to buy your own place without help from parents: you’ll need to save up a lot of equity and you need safety in someone else’s house in able to get a loan.
      They don’t build enough new apartments to meet the demands and your 2, 3, 4, apartment is tax deductible. So the people that are already in the market invest in apartments that they sublet to people that cannot afford to buy anything.
      When you rent an apartment, the prices are high, so you end up paying more for rent than what you would have done if you paid for a loan in the bank.

      This again makes it more difficult to save up money and get into the market.

      Most young people have parents to help them out, while those of us that don’t recieve financial aid (and are trying to make ends meet on a low income) are fucked.

      • I’ve heard most of Europe is that way. In North America there is still this sense of entitlement that once you are done your education you start work and you buy a big house with a yard etc. but with the way the economy is going it’s getting less and less realistic for the average person to afford but there is still that mindset that it’s just what you do and it’s expected. I try to remind people that it’s not like this every where in the world and that is why I choose to rent and still have some cash flow free in my budget to do whatever rather than be shackled to a mortgage I can’t afford but people think I’m so foolish to be in my 30’s and not own a house. So I guess either side of the
        argument looks right to the other, they think I should have bought at least 5 years ago and I don’t think I should be paying for something I don’t feel I can afford when I’m happy to rent something I can afford – it’s not like I get to take any of this with me when I die, neither do they – that might be the fundamental difference in viewpoint right there.

    • I have a small handful of ongoing time-consuming projects now: this panoramic photo of Oslo, a drawing of The Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland plus the next article in my series “The History of Tattoo”.

      Blogging surely confiscates a lot of time!

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