Key Findings

The sample exhibits the following major characteristics.

  • It gathers data on typical members of the population using the case area, which means that the results are representative of people’s meanings and experience of the case area.
  • Half of the participants were familiar with the area and a quarter of them lived close by, which suggests that they have geographical insights and some historical knowledge. 52% of the participants said they are often in the area (to attend work and cultural activities, or visit restaurants and cafés), and 41% said they rarely visit the area (occasional stop for food, city walk, shopping or shortcut on the way to other places). 7% were visiting for the first time. Comparatively, 23% wrote that they lived in the urban core of Oslo, and 48% wrote that they lived in other areas of Oslo. 29% wrote that they did not live in Oslo.
  • The quality of the architecture and public space seems contested. 25% seemed positive towards the urban development. They were satisfied with the latest architectural developments (6) which, according to 2 informants, creates “a very modern and solid impression”. They explain that it is important to preserve the cultural heritage, but not at the expense of everything else. 13 informants said it is not a good area and specified that the public space was “chaotic” (4), “fragmented” (1), “cramped” (1) or “noisy” (2), with “little dedicated outdoor space” (2). Some even used the words “ugly” and “not beautiful” (4), 2 informants explained that the architecture was “uncreative” and “uninspiring”, showed “poor urban planning” and that it looked aesthetically odd with parts of Tukthus wall protruding out a modern facade. Informants who thought the wall was nicely presented in the restaurant (5 in the survey, and most of the restaurant’s customers directly to us) and the police station (1), added that ruins are an attractive feature in urban development.
  • Informants who made historical connections with the area (8) said they appreciated its authenticity. Nonetheless, the informants’ majority were unaware of the presence of ruins, and even fewer knew that they are the remnants of a bigger complex. For example, only 3 informants knew about the churchyard and the graves that were uncovered during excavation work at the site in 1989. One informant also doubted that many citizens knew that there once was a women's prison (just 9 out of 44 informants associated Tukthus to a women's penitentiary).

The case study demonstrates that there is a need to disseminate historic knowledge in order to let people learn about their not-so-distant past. 

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