The constant influx of new residents to the Oslo area, already the fastest-growing metropolitan area in Europe, will turn neighbouring small towns into regional cities, according to plans proposed by top politicians in Oslo and Akershus counties.
Newspaper Aftenposten reported over the weekend that towns targeted include Ås, a rural community south of Oslo that’s best known as home to Norway’s foremost agricultural university, along with Jessheim, Lillestrøm, and Ski on the northeastern and southern sides of Oslo. Sandvika and Asker are targeted to the west of the capital. They will need to absorb much of the population growth in the Oslo area, according to regional planners.
Ås, for example, is still surrounded by open fields, and one of them located between the university and Ås town center may be developed into a new train station and commercial facilities tying the two together. The town’s population of 18,500 is expected to double by 2030. Planners also cite the need for more housing, shopping, service and public transport hubs.
Lillestrøm already has city status and has seen rapid development in recent years. Oslo will continue to grow as well, with new residential communities planned near Klemetsrud on the south side and around Bjerke, Økern, Breivoll and Bryn. A total of around 350,000 new residents are expected in Oslo and Akershus counties by 2030.