Succession – EUROPAN 11, Grønmo, Oslo

EUROPAN 11, Norway, Grønmo

in team with Franziska Schoder, Landscape Architect


Succession – Directed time-delayed succession leads to different vegetation stages and great diversity, biologically and visually.


The task is to design an attractive park for recreation and outdoor activities for the growing residential areas in the neighbourhood and to inform about the former disposal site.

First of all, when transforming the area into “New Grønmo”, users of the new park must be secured from any processes that are connected to the disposed waste in the ground. Equally important is that native vegetation is able to immigrate so that stable woodlands can develop. The area can be given back to nature and will be integrated into the surrounded forest areas in the Marka.

The concept succession proposes a dynamic network of paths and walkways which will be the key for a successful development. These paths can be used for various outdoor activities in the summer and winter and at the same time outline hazardous areas. They also define vegetation zones where natural succession can take place. The existing recycling area will be refurbished and a new recycling centre will be placed between the open space recycling area in the west and the new park in the east. It interlinks the two different functions and informs about converting Grønmo disposal site into an exiting new park.


When developing New Grønmo the overall premise is to protect the surface (top covers) from anything that can interfere with the disposed waste in the ground. Especially surface water must be prevented from leaking into the disposal site. To keep water in the top layers it is important to cover the surface as soon as possible with appropriate vegetation. Instead of extensive replantings in all areas at the same time, the concept succession selects just a few sites for reforestation at the very beginning. These areas will be the core for vegetation that arises at a later date. At this early stage all other areas will be covered with meadows. At the same time groups of small trees and shrubs are planted. The colourful flowers and beautiful fragrant of roses and lilac show that the area is transforming and the image of Grønmo is changing.

picture 1: dependency of succession of forests and leachate rate

After a couple of years time-delayed succession will be encouraged on the meadows throughout a period of 30 years. Succession processes will be guided and controlled as long as the operator of the disposal site is still in charge. With this strategy the surface will be equally covered at a very early stage. Consequently most of the rainwater will be kept in the top layers and will not sink down. Another positive effect is that different vegetation stages will exist at the same time which leads to a great scenery and biological diversity. The succession areas can also be of use for research purposes, to record which species are finally establishing over the years. There is a great opportunity to compare the variety of species in the development cores, where native plants where forested, with the species in succession areas. To protect the membrane that covers the waste and to establish successful vegetation the soil layer should be at least 2 meter thick.

picture 2: development cores after 5, 15 and 60 years


Paths and walkways

A dynamic and illuminated path will show the extension of the former disposal site and leads visitors around the area. The existing terrain will not be changed and the new path follows the contours and where possible lies on formerly used roads. With a hard surface, a lengths of 2.8 km and a width between 6 and 12 meters it invites to many different sport activities, such as cycling and skating in the summer or skiing in the winter. Because of its hard surface it will mark the area that was once used as a waste disposal at any time in the future. Various smaller paths and walkways complete the access network and lead through the park. They also extend the main path to length of 3,8 km and connect to existing paths in the Østmarka. At special areas, like the marshland in the southeast or where disposed fly ash is disposed in the north east, the path rises above the ground and gives distance to the hazardous areas. All new paths will also give access to the operator to the various gas regulation stations. A special effect will have the small walkways that lay in the meadows. Only through mowing these small aisles occur and lead visitors through the meadows in the heart of the park.

Facilities in the new park

The main features in the new park are the dynamic and illuminated main path that leads around the area, the different vegetation types and the recycling centre. Additionally the new park offers various possibilities for education, recreation and sport. An amphitheatre is integrated in the slope that lies west of the parking space and south of the recycling centre. As an open air classroom it can be used for educational purposes, especially to topics that are connected to the recycling area. The terrain in the south east in Sørlimosen will be free from dense vegetation at any time and forms a small park at the sunny slope facing east and mainly south. Here one can find benches and small wooden decks to rest or picnic as well as small playgrounds for kids. This areas is closest to the neighbourhoods and parking in the west. Another active area lies in the eastern edge where one can find a small park for skating and BMX-cycling. Throughout the entire new park one can find raised stand and small viewpoint to overlook the area and find shelter during bad weather. Furthermore benches area placed at different places along the main path.

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