greenhamar | Bringing up the green of Stortorget

Les den norske versjonen her…

Have you been to Stortorget this past weekend? Have you seen the trunks, the car filled with flowers? It is all part of greenhamar, an event organized by dreamhamar with the help of Vea School Statens fagskole for gartnere og blomsterdekoratører (Norwegian School for Gardeners), and the contribution of teachers and landscape architects Gudbrand Kjøs and Frode Degvold.

There is one sad truth about Stortorget Square, it’s been a road and a parking lot for 50 years. Living in the XXI century, we are all in love with our cars. They mean comfort, they mean a fast way for moving around. The only problem -besides polution – is that cars isolate us. We don’t get to make friends while driving, and cars take up spaces that used to belong to people. One day humans may not need cars but we will always need each other.

On Saturday, dreamhamar wanted to give Stortorget the opportunity of becoming a car-free green oasis, a place for pedestrians to meet. We called it greenhamar.

We changed the appearance of Stortorget with the collaboration of  Vea School Statens fagskole for gartnere og blomsterdekoratører (Norwegian School for Gardeners), and offered by standers homemade mushroom soup – from this year’s harvest!- and bike-powered smoothies, courtesy of Oikos, NaturvernforbundetNatur og Ungdom, and Hexeringen mushroom gathering group.

The basic idea was to bring some ‘nature’ to Stortorget, to make it attractive to people and to forget about cars for a while. This is how we did it:

A  wooden platform-bench-stage-playground constructed using 400 meters of wood and 10 tons of gravel. This wooden platform is also a plant  container. Suddenly Stortorget was transfomed into a wood workshop where students with electric saws transfomed one hundred 4m trunks into 600 hundred pieces of wood. The wooden pieces were cut with different lenghts in order to create a topography. And boy, did kids loved it! On Saturday kids climbed the wooden platform and found many ways of enjoying it.

An old car became a plant container. You don’t really see a car full of plants and flowers every day, and people seemed as amused by it as we were. The car is a great excuso for people to stop by, talk and ask someone to take a picture of them. Also, this car was very popular in the ’60, the perfect ice breaker!

greenhamar is not an isolated event, but part of dreamhamar’s participatory process. On the opening event we painted the square – painthamar-, and later on, students from Bergen School of Architecture brough a cow to Stortorget and served a free meal – creamhamar.

These are all small, temporary transformations aimed to test ideas and solutions, aimed to give people the opportunity to experience Stortorget in different ways before the final design on 2012.

Get used to the idea: There is always something going on on Stortorget! Like ENVIRONMENT workshops, which are starting today.