Oslo, with its buzzing city centre and lush surroundings, was named the European Green Capital 2019 for its dedication to conserving natural areas and reducing pollution.
The town honours this title by continuing to outline new, green goals. Among other things, Oslo aims to reduce food waste in schools and reduce emissions by 95 per cent by 2030. The future is looking green and the Norwegian capital will continue to be a beacon of inspiration in the years to come.
And as the town continues to focus on sustainable urban living, the activities offered to citizens and visitors reflect this attitude. You can, for example, start your day with a morning swim in the city centre and enjoy a warm sauna afterwards – some crazy Norwegians do this before work, even in winter! Then, join a guided tour on foot or by bike and check out some of the city’s top attractions or free things to do. Round off your day with botanical cocktails at a (literally) green bar in the evening.
Oslo municipality aims to reduce emissions by 95 per cent by 2030.
In the last few years, Oslo has become a city that puts the people who live here first. Many central areas are now traffic-free, which means that streets and squares bustle with people who enjoy a meal or an “utepils”, or who just want to get where they’re going on foot or by bike. The waterfront, which used to be dedicated to railway lines, motorways, and shipping containers, now has paths for pedestrians and cyclists between several city beaches and cool neighbourhoods.
The Norwegians often say that “nature is the best medicine” and as Oslo is placed strategically between the blue Oslofjord and the vast green forest of Oslomarka, you can go hiking, cycling, fishing, and skiing just a short metro ride from the city centre. The scenery along the Akerselva river, which runs right through the city, is also a perfect backdrop for a stroll.
During spring and summer, the colourful flowers in Oslo botanical garden are loved by locals, tourists and tiny buzzing pollinators. You see, bees and bumblebees appreciate green cities as well, and here they even have their own highway through town.
Catch a ferry or rent a kayak and go island hopping, or kick back and relax in one of the city’s green parks. If you’re here for the culture and have been to all the important museums, you can jump on one of the thousands of city bikes that are placed around the city and look for outdoor art installations and street art. When you get hungry, you’ll be happy to discover that lots of excellent cafes and restaurants – some with Michelin stars – offer green menus with locally grown food, organic vegetables, and meat-free meals.
If you’re not ready to go home after a weekend getaway to Oslo, there are several other certified sustainable destinations to check out.
In the Climate and energy strategy, Oslo has listed 16 initiatives the local government will focus on in the years to come, to make the city more sustainable. Here are three of them:
1. Reduce car traffic by one-third by 2030.
2. Make the port greener and reduce emission with at least 50 per cent by 2030.
3. Work with the transport industry and authorities to make trains and ships the primary means of transporting freight, as opposed to heavy duty vehicles.
With Oslo city bike, it’s easy to explore Oslo on two wheels.
Use your phone to unlock bikes at more than 100 stations in and around the city centre. If a rack is full or empty, the next one is often close by.
You can use the same bike for up to 45 minutes, and you may then pick up another bike at the same or any other bike station.
As 30 per cent of all vehicles that are sold in Oslo is now electric, Oslo has earned the “title” Electric vehicle capital of the world. This is part of the city’s ambition to be carbon neutral by 2050.
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