Marianne Skjulhaug Urban dynamics in peri-urban areas – lost opportunities or land of potentiality? A spatial study of relocating programs in peri-urban areas in the Oslo Territory


The thesis takes its starting point and interest in a growing Oslo Region with its administrative divisions experiencing varying degrees of urbanization. The thesis will study in particular the peri-urban areas in the Oslo Region (the ‘Oslo Territory’), addressing a very particular spatial transformation; how relocations and movement patterns of programs moving from the inner city parts are manifested in a new peri- urban context.

Peri-urban areas are characterized by a multi-layered co-existence of urban and rural land-uses, as well as coexistence of heterogenic urban programs in terms of functions, scale and use. Pressure from urban growth creates conflicts of land use, conflicts between stakeholders and a variety of private and public interests. However the peri-urban is not only a field of conflicts; several theorists in the field suggest that the peri-urban can have positive, hidden potentials for urban development. Since the peri-urban is not yet fully integrated into established urban discourses there is a need for developing new knowledge and urban principles. The general perception of peri-urban landscapes is they are undergoing changes at an uncertain pace. A core question for the research is how can the peri-urban be seen as a land of opportunities where new forms of urban/rural conditions can emerge?

The research has several aims. First, the project seeks to develop knowledge in order to read, analyse and conceptualize current conditions and developments in peri-urban areas. Second is to raise awareness and produce new knowledge on what kind of policies and mechanisms that comes into play when urban programs relocate to peri-urban areas. With support from literature one can argue that a new approach to managing change in the peri-urban landscape requires well-informed, knowledge-based spatial planning and design concepts. Third, it is the aim to develop new knowledge on possible co-relations between policies of sustainable urban development and overall peri-urban development. Fourth and more specifically, producing site-specific, new knowledge relevant for future planning and urban developments in Oslo Territory.


Institute of Urbanism and Landscape / Peter Hemmersam (Supervisor)

PhD started in 2015