Urban cemeteries could become public parks – New town in Bodø plans to create green lane at cemetery – NRK Nordland

Bodø Kirkegård Gravlund

Pavel Grabalov has been at NMBU for the last four years Search On how urban burial plots are used in Scandinavia and Russia.

It all started when he noticed a cemetery in Copenhagen.

– I was surprised how different it looked compared to my own experience from Russia, he told NRK.

Grabalov believes that burial groves will be used differently in the future – especially in cities with little available green space.

Are Norwegians ready to set up recreational facilities and activities in our cemeteries?

– Yes, I totally think so. The cemetery is already used for many other things, says Tom Sully, the church warden of the Bodo Church Council.

Another study shows Only 5 percent of those who visit the old town cemetery in Oslo use it to visit graves.

Do you use cemeteries other than visiting cemeteries?

The cemetery will become a green lane

Planning for the new district of Bodø began in earnest when the municipality of Forsvarsberg, Avinor and Bodø signed an agreement in 2018.

NRK meets with Sheriff Solli and District Planner in Bodø Municipality Kristoffer Larsen Seivåg at Bodø Cemetery.

Seivåg’s spatial planner tells how very early on they started to think of new ideas about Bodø Kirkegård.

Kristoffer Larsen Seivåg and Tom Solli passionately discuss how the new district of Bodø Kirkegård should be used for urban expression.

Photo: Sondre Skjelvik / NRK

– We don’t have much green space in Bodo. That’s why we thought early on:

“What can we do to get enough green space in the new neighborhood?”

Seivåg continues:

– In addition to its function as a cemetery, Bodø Kirkegård could serve as a central green area in the new district. As a park and recreation area, Sevog explains.

In Bodin Kirkegård there is a strip of jogging track next to the road built through the cemetery.

Bodin Kirkegård is also located in Bodø. Many people use the surrounding area for jogging. But is it okay to take the path through the cemetery, and not the path that goes next to it?

Photo: Sondre Skjelvik / NRK

This summer, the city council adopted the Bodo Municipal President Spatial plan of the area.

There the allotment of the land was confirmed by the cemetery.

In other words, it will be used as a green passage to the new neighborhood.

Tom Sully emphasizes that different jobs can mesh well.

Completely different usage from Russia

Researcher at NMBU Grabalov explains that burial plots, especially in Scandinavia, are increasingly being used for things other than mourning.

– In Copenhagen, I noticed that tradition did not conflict with entertainment. He says there is something interesting about someone using the cemetery to run.

Bowden Cemetery

Jogging: In Bodo, many people run in the area around the cemetery, but few choose to take the trek.

Photo: Sondre Skjelvik / NRK

In Denmark, it is recognized that they were more liberal than in Norway.

Cemeteries in Copenhagen are largely social places. For example, they investigate how burial groves can be used to connect urban areas, he explains and adds:

– In Oslo they realized that too, but there is more emphasis on greening and the local climate.

pudu cemetery airport cemetery fly

Bodo Kierkegaard gets rid of air traffic. It will be replaced by more activity of people.

Tom Sully and Christopher Larsen Sevoj

Church commander Tom Sully and spatial planner Christopher Larsen Seevog agree that the cemetery in Bodø could function well as a link between the old quarter and the new area.

Bodo Cemetery

The sheriff of the church, Tom Sully, says the cemeteries will remain a quiet place where many will find space for meditation.

However, there is plenty of evidence that Norway also uses cemeteries to a large extent to connect urban areas – such as Bodo.

– In Bodo there will be a axis across the cemetery to the new area. Here we will take care of things like footpaths, bike paths, recreational areas, garden areas or other activities, Seivåg explains.

Not to be at the expense of tradition

Although Norwegians’ ideas about what the cemetery could be used for are changing, many likely think it should be a quiet place.

Tom Sully doesn’t think there would be a problem with too much noise.

– I understand that in people’s spinal cord. Don’t bring big speakers and attend a rock concert. Every time you reach such a place, you almost automatically enter another mode.

Bowden Cemetery Tombstone

A room for reflection and mourning: The cemeteries, and according to Tom Sully, will be a place for reflection and mourning in the future as well.

Photo: Sondre Skjelvik / NRK

– It’s a quiet place with space to think.

Grabalov does not think the cemeteries will lose their identity any time soon.

– I think burial plots will be burial plots in the future as well. They are often of significant value in large cities. A place where you can be alone and think about life.

He adds:

– We need these places and I hope they will be there in the future. At the same time, I hope that cemeteries will also become places where activities take place without compromising tradition. Here, planning should facilitate the right activity to be done.

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Dalila Awolowo

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