Skien municipality represents a peri-urban area close to Oslo where a large-scale transformation project is planned - opening a buried river using blue-green infrastructure as a catalyst for city development, to mitigate potential flooding as a result of climate change and to improve water quality. However, the landscape transformation faces challenges; the Kjørbekk river is currently diverted in an aging concrete pipeline buried up to 15 meters deep thus rendering excavations technically challenging and expensive. Furthermore, some areas along the Kjørbekk have been buried using municipal waste which has now become a source of pollution downstream. The aim of this case study site is therefore to explore the available alternatives that prevent the transport of pollutants from the buried landfills in order to permit the excavation of the buried river and subsequent implementation of NBS. Potential solutions include stabilization, establishing a barrier, capping as well as local redistribution and reuse. These solutions will be assessed according to the local policy context including relevant regulations and local perceptions, the ecological benefits of increased biodiversity and pollutant load reduction, as well as the economic implications of each solution.
The site of the buried Kjørbekk river in Skien municipality