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Sustainability and social responsibility

Oslo as a pioneer in sustainable urban development

Oslo is a European pioneer in sustainable urban development. The city has clear ambitions for the climate-friendly development of Hovinbyen, in which Økern Sentrum will play a central role. Økern and Hovinbyen will help to achieve Oslo’s vision of future-oriented, innovative, and climate-smart urban development.

Sustainability is now being addressed systematically on the basis of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In projects such as this, it’s important to have effective systems that ensure that words are followed by action. That’s why Økern Sentrum will be certified in accordance with Breeam Communities rules and have world-class quality and monitoring programmes in this respect.

Find out more about the quality programme here: (LINK)


Objectives and ambitions for the project


An extensive and documented participatory process that has influenced the plan proposal.


Significant growth in employment, productivity, and investment in the area. A variety of services and venues to address societal challenges.


A pioneer of urban cultural life. Culture and experiences to enliven Økern and encourage activity 24/7/365.


Detailed studies for the future climate adaptation of the area to increased precipitation, higher temperatures, and changes in ground conditions, for example.


Opening of Refstadbekken and Hovinbekken. Common ecological strategy for the area with a net increase in biodiversity.


At least a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the area’s energy solutions. Low emissions from materials in public spaces.


Targets for those using the most water in the area. A water strategy to achieve these targets.


Renovation of high-rise block. Feasibility study for reuse/recycling of remaining buildings prior to demolition. Assess requirements for recycled materials in new buildings.


By way of its broad cultural heritage perspective, the project will capture Økern’s rich natural and cultural history through a future-oriented approach.


Further development of the public transport hub with effective joint solutions and sharing schemes. Detailed assessments of cycle paths and the operation and maintenance of shared installations.


Environmental certification requirements for individual buildings to be at least ‘Excellent’ in accordance with BREEAM.

Figure 1. Focus areas based on the UN’s SDGs for economic, social, and environmental sustainability
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Økern Sentrum has decided to retain and rebuild the landmark high-rise block. This will create geographical identity while contributing significant environmental benefits through the reduction of CO2 emissions.

Find out more about how what we’re doing to preserve and enhance the rich and varied natural and cultural history of Økern.
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The opening of the Refstadbekken and Hovinbekken streams, which currently run through pipes in the plan area, will increase biodiversity in Økern and create a better environment for plants and animals.

Find out more about the reopening of the streams here.
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Økern Sentrum has a clear cultural vision and effective objectives for its work, whereby residents, the business community, and the public sector will – with the help of art and culture – strengthen its development as a sustainable local community.

Find out more about how culture is supporting sustainable urban development in Økern.
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Økern Sentrum has focused on participation to achieve a broad, open, and inclusive process. The participatory process has aimed to create commitment, ownership, and predictability for all parties involved and affected. This process builds on the social sustainability of urban development.

Find out more about participation.

International frameworks as management tools

Økern Sentrum uses the BREEAM Communities framework and certification system to ensure holistic and sustainable development for the purpose of achieving the certification level ‘Excellent’. BREEAM Communities sets requirements for the planning and execution of the project and awards points based on an overall assessment of social, economic, and environmental sustainability. As world-leading companies in sustainability in relation to the international awards GRESB and GLOBAL 100, Steen & Strøm and Storebrand have set the bar high for the project’s sustainability strategy. Find out more about their work here:

Storebrand’s sustainability strategy

Steen & Strøm’s sustainability strategy

About Økern

Read about how Økern will go from being an industry to an urban, sustainable and vibrant city center for the whole of Oslo

Read more