Tromsø as climate neutral city will require significant changes in opportunities we develop the city on. If we are to succeed in bringing carbon emissions back to levels from 1990, we must rethink the link between housing, jobs, trade offers and leisure activities. The focus on the car must be reduced, while the focus on the people who live in the city must become stronger.
The key to get this, are good city centers where people can have their primary needs covered, without being able to cross Tromsøya by car. Then we must start by allowing more housing construction in the city center. When more people live within walking distance to workplaces and the services in the city center, more people will shop in the shop, more people will eat at restaurants and the use of cars will decrease dramatically.
The renowned Danish the architect and urban planner Jan Gehl left the box «Life between the houses» in 1971, where he could present his thoughts on urban planning with people at the center. Gehl argues in the box for better quality uterus that can be facilitated for the necessary and social activities people need.
He also shows how gathering activities in urban spaces stimulates different and opens up more opportunities for the inhabitants who can reside there. Gehl’s vision for urban development has, among other things, marked a transformation in Copenhagen, New York and Sydney, where people’s social needs have received greater attention, at the expense of cars. This is a perspective we have faith in Tromsø as well.
We in Pellerin believe in the center as a social meeting place where people can live, work and meet. If we build good urban spaces with a myriad of activities, and open up more housing in the city center, the activity, handling and economic sustainability will improve. To achieve this, we must accept that the buildings will have several floors on the same footprint. The result is a center with greater appeal. A place people visit to meet other people and which counteracts loneliness. A place people go to deal with. A place where they want to spend their time and where many will want to live. And where the need for the car is greatly reduced.
Such a link between housing, work, trade and leisure activities we can also get outside the center. We at Pellerin have concrete planers to develop the service offer on Slettatorget, so that those who live on Kvaløysletta slippers to drive over the bridge to handle at the pharmacy, visit the health station, eat out or buy new clothes.
A trade analysis performed of the Forecast Center shows that the correct trade offer on Kvaløya will use the traffic to Tromsøya. When the inhabitants of Kvaløya find the goods and services they need on Slettatorget, more cars can be in the driveway at home. It is an important contribution to the important climate work that Tromsø municipality is doing.
At the same time, Tromsø has municipality set a ceiling for housing construction on Kvaløya. This medicine was written 20 years ago and we can use it on the right treatment today. Is it just as relevant to stop housing construction to use traffic when the use of home office increases significantly and the need to get work reduced? Can an expanded service offer on Slettatorget contribute to the traffic being used more? And can a targeted investment in business development on Kvaløya give more residents opportunities to go to work, rather than drive a car or bus?
We think a function mixed urban development on Kvaløysletta will have a positive effect on traffic development. Can we find another recipe for the traffic challenges yet to build and reuse, if we are really to make Tromsø a climate-neutral city?
We in Pellerin believes in strong city center, and more volume and housing construction in the city center. At the same time, we register that the draft plan program for the Municipal Plan’s area part (KPA) opens up for more housing construction in the city center, while the sketches for the city center plan so far do not allow for this. The plan program for KPA is a new document yet the Center Plan, which is one year old.
It can be some of the explanation for this divide. We hope that, and will not be surprised if, the revised draft city center plan follows the thinking for city center development in the planning program for KPA. It will be an important contribution on the road to the green shift in Tromsø.