Norwegian version of this page
Ongoing project

Area initiatives

Project period 2020 - 2023
Project leader Ivar Eimhjellen

Project Background

The area initiatives are a collaboration between the state and the municipality to raise living conditions in particularly vulnerable areas in the big cities. As of today, such investments exist in Oslo (Groruddalen, inner Oslo east, Oslo south), Drammen (Fjell), Bergen (Årstad district, inner Laksevåg and Ytre Arna), Stavanger (Storhaug) and Trondheim (Saupstad/Kolstad). A common denominator of these areas is that a need has been identified for measures to solve living condition challenges that require efforts beyond ordinary policy instruments.

Neighbourhoods or areas with living condition challenges also have a high percentage of people with minority backgrounds. Thus, immigration and integration are also a central theme of area initiatives. This is part of the reason why area initiatives have gained great importance in recent years.

Project Aim

The idea behind an area initiative is to increase local participation and engagement among children and young people, minorities and among residents in general. The goal is that engagement can increase the competence of residents and local leaders about participation processes, local politics and election participation, about association activities and voluntary work, and about managing youth initiatives and events.

The instruments used to facilitate voluntary and civil society vary among the initiatives, but it is a general ambition that public measures should contribute to inclusive communities where more people are actively participating.

Project Approach

We will select four areas in different cities where we will collaborate with the municipality to obtain data related to the organisational population and its development, support schemes and other material. In addition, interviews will be conducted with people in the municipality with strategic responsibility for the area initiatives and with employees with strategic and operational responsibility related to voluntary and civil society in particular. Similarly, we will interview key individuals from the voluntary sector.

We also want to compare indicators of voluntary participation from the "Ungdata" youth data surveys ( in the relevant school districts before and after the area initiative in cities such as Oslo and Bergen.


ParticipantDegree PhoneE-mail
Ivar Eimhjellen Senior Research Fellow PhD
Mads Thau Senior Research Fellow PhD +47 921 70 782
Håkon Solbu Trætteberg Senior Research Fellow PhD +47 920 54 308
Astrid Espegren
Eugene Guribye
Tags: Civil Society
Published June 23, 2020 1:45 PM - Last modified May 19, 2021 2:09 PM