Grünerløkka is Oslo’s hippest neighborhood, and like many revamped neighborhoods around the world, the area has a working class background – and facing the increasing problem of gentrification. This nostalgic, informative video (in Norwegian only) gives a good insight into the history of the streets I now call home. The transformation is quite remarkable, but even more so I am very impressed with Thorvald Meyer – whose conditions, when selling land to the municipality, included a clause saying the facades of the buildings should be aesthetically pleasing, and that he personally should be allowed to double check all architect drawings to ensure the area became more beautiful. He also donated large areas for park developments, including what we today know as Birkelunden. If only contemporary buildings were subject to the same rule of thumb… few things saddens me more than the lack of beauty in new urban developments.
If you are a Løkka gal (or guy) like me, a little warning: watching this video might make you a little warm and fuzzy at heart.