The aim of the project
This project investigates urban experiences based on the everyday living experience city dweller has. The main core of this investigation is based on empirical data from fieldwork on specific geographical locations (Oslo and 4 Moroccan cities) and a delimited period (contemporary).
My interest lies close lived and narrated experiences (vs. data as written text), qualitative interviews (vs. historical or statistical material), main source of information from laymen (vs. specialists or notorious representatives), contemporaneous approach (vs. longitudinal study) and explorative approach of today’s urban experience as a goal (vs. normative production for new urbane practise as a goal). Nevertheless since this project is situated in an urban context, it will hopefully bring new knowledge on contemporary urban experience that can inform professional urban practitioners and thinkers on how the city is experienced.
The aim of this project is to investigate how Oslo is experienced by citizens having a daily living experience from both Oslo and a Moroccan city. This phenomenon will be seen through the eyes, so to speak but also literally speaking, of citizens with both urban references.
The subject matter and the aim of this project are already indicating directions to which methods are relevant to approach the topic.
Oslo, the capital of Norway is the largest town of the country. But other components differentiate it from the rest of the country. Oslo is considered as one of the most urban and modern city in Norway. The population of Oslo is seen as multicultural and as a result of that the city is described as offering diverse urban experiences. Especially because of foreign shops and restaurants that are to be found there.
As many other Europeans cities Oslo has undergone changes of different nature and of large extend after World War II. The city grew larger in term of inhabited area and population. The country developed from being a poor one to one of the richer in the world. Industries have disappeared, moved and/or have been replaced by other sectors. New means of communication have reconfigured the layout in the city it self, but have also brought Oslo closer to Europe and the rest of the world.
All this contributed to change the provincial town into an urban city.
Also venue of people from abroad gives the city an international character. “Any city that wants to be a “grand” city has to be international. It is a well know paradox that a grand city is mainly characterized by the number of foreigners that come to establish them self into it” (Spinoy 1996).
The purpose of this project is to bring forth some knowledge about the experience of the city of Oslo given by inhabitants that have another urban reference. This other urban experience is limited to Moroccan cities.
I choose to relate the experience of the city of Oslo by mirroring Oslo in other cities. This is not a comparative study between Moroccan cities and Oslo. The Moroccan cities are used to bring some aspect of Oslo’s urban experience into relief.
The research question is: How is Oslo experienced by citizens having another urban experience from a Moroccan city?
The citizens are seen as vector of the knowledge I seek about the urban experience. They are not the object of the study only define as space-user but are seen as active space-producer. The way they describe/picture Oslo will be used to explore urban experience. The exploration of Oslo’s urban experience is based on empirical material as interviews and drawings, photographs and videos.