60 505 Concepts for the Subarctic City Snowhow in a Cold Climate


Open for Architect and Landscape Architect students

Recommended prerequisite knowledge

Basic knowledge of cartography and analyzing methods, creative concept development, manual and digital forms of presentation, dissemination, and general knowledge of public planning and public government in the high north.

Course content

In wintertime the city of Tromsø receives extreme amounts of snow and experiences recurrent challenges with regards to snow management. Very often a random deposition is the chosen solution. The random areas are often the playgrounds and park areas; sites that are important to reposess in early spring. The random deposition of snow often leads to blocked natural waterways and a breakdown of planned waterflow. The result is flooded areas that then freezes and becomes icy with reduced accessibility especially for pedestrians and cyclists. The depositioned snow represents an ecological hazard as the snow contains pollutants from motorized vehicles. The melting snow will follow roads or tubes, and reaches the sea unfiltered and polluted.

How can we make safe snow deposits that do not reduce access to our green structures and walkways ? How to enhance winter circulation for pedestrians, bikers, skiers and people with physical disabilities ? What are the necessary requirements for walkways specifications; climatical, surfaces, construction and dimensions to meet the demands of a changing climate ? How can ice, snow and storm water be turned into qualities for a winter city instead of posing a problem ? How to develop strategies for implementing our findings in practical policy making ?

The autumn 2014 studio is a research pilot that will explore, map, analyze, discuss and represent conceptual design solutions to these questions. The pilot will be organized with Tromsø Municipality as a partner, and the outcomes will be implemented in an ongoing work to develop policies to improve mobility for vulnerable road users.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge of particular circumstances in the Subarctic; political, economic, social, climatic and geographical.

Knowledge of mapping and analysis of nature based and human made systems and infrastructure.

The ability to develop a critical position and to develop operative landscapes based on concepts on a strategic and formative level. The students should be able to discuss projects in relation to the future development of the subarctic city.

The ability to understand the dynamic evolution of landscapes , as well as the forces that affects it (political, economic, social and nature based).

Working and learning activities

The studio works as a collective platform for lectures, reading, discussions and practical excercises.

The semester will start with a study trip in Finnmark to get introduced to the landscapes and settlements in the region. There will be specialists invited to meet us at specific sites to share knowledge and opinions. The students will participate in a 3-day workshop together with students from Finland and Sweden, where interpretations of landscape and built environments will be the main theme. There will be costs in connection with the excursion, approximately 3000-5000 NOK.

Tromsø Municipality will organize a seminar where we will meet the recourse persons from the projects that we will cooperate with in this studio course; Where goes Tromsø ?, Bisycle Town Tromsø and Transport Network Tromsø. The resource person will be available for contact during the semester, and will also take part in critics.

There will be seminars in specific themes, where external resources will contribute with their competence. The themes will be mapping (video interviews, analyzing methods, cartography), snowhow (scientific, experience qualities), climatic analyzes (wind- and snow drifting analyzes, comfort zones), model work (formal studies, scale) and communication (digital platforms, social media, presentation).

Students will receive individual tutoring, and there will be regular critics with invited guests where project work is presented and discussed.

Professor in charge

Anita Veiseth


Assessment Date Duration Grade scale Oral examination
Prosjektoppgave Pass / Fail

Evaluation of project work that will be developed in the course of the studio, and presented in a final review at the end of the semester. Final evaluation by an external examiner.
The course is assessed as Passed/Failed according to the Regulation for Master degree programs at AHO § 6-14.