Tale Bjelland

Tale Bjelland

Landscape Architecture


Improved public space for better mental health

With modern cities expanding rapidly, more citizens than ever are exposed to more industrial and paved landscapes. The standard European city has changed drastically in the past 100 years, with exponentially growing populations and predictions of future growth. The need to densify, and in turn, the common prioritisation of housing over all other functions, has become a negative trend in modern society. Public green space has historically been seen as a luxury, and in many ways, it still is today, as something that is not equally or adequately afforded to all city residents. Even now, parks and other green spaces are threatened by urban sprawl, and skyrocketing land worth within densely packed areas only exacerbates the problem further.  

These pockets of green within cities are inextricably linked with the well-being of city residents. The loss of green space, paired with increasing migration to cities and the inequitable quality of life among residents, necessitates an interdisciplinary approach to the apparent modern rise in mental illness. Treatment options to combat the changing demands of people should extend beyond medication and include other factors that influence quality of life. This is where the value of a restorative landscape can help lessen these stressors.  

This project looks at the inner city density of Oslo, an asphalt haven, and what its materiality and use can mean in terms of quality for its residents. The focus centres around the Aker river (the green backbone), which bisects the city and its connectivity to the urban fabric. This project proposes a new way to look at the fragmented inner city green, its use, and the public space leading to it as a way to improve the lived experience in the city. 


Graduation date: 26 June 2023
Graduation committee: Dirk Sijmons (mentor), Ruwan Aluvihare, Machiel van Dorst
Additional members for the exam: Saline Verhoeven, Brigitta van Weeren

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