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Experiences from the past 25 years have shown that there are some major conflicts between the densification policy that has been predominant in Norway and the desire to preserve urban green spaces. Auditor General expressed e.g. 2007, concern for downsizing of urban nature. According to Statistics Norway, the proportion of the population with acceptable access to recreational areas has dropped by 3% in the period 1999- 2009. Today, also smaller municipalities in metropolitan regions in our country are growing in population and some are pointed out as centers for growth in regional plans. Thus, there is also a huge pressure on nature and green areas in these centers.

When the current policy is to increase density, efficient use of the urban land is more important than ever. In order to prevent badly planned development, regional planning authorities emphasizes that these centres must establish borders to stop urban sprawl. They should also locate new urban development to selected nodes in the communication system and maintain an efficient green infrastructure within built-up areas. This is however often small municipalities with weak traditions of green infrastructure planning and no established ideas about how a system of green spaces should be accommodated. We assume that this is a general problem, which not only applies to Norwegian conditions. The purpose of this study is therefore to examine how these municipalities meet the new challenges and how they are working to establish green infrastructure as a concept in planning.



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