Oslo’s long-standing culture of citizen-government interaction can help to put the city on the front foot as it emerges from the pandemic. Before the pandemic hit, residents had high confidence in local authorities, and felt able to contribute to local decision making and provide feedback on local government projects. Perceptions of corruption remain very low by regional and global standards.
On the other hand, new data has exposed gaps in the perceived agility of city leaders to respond to and tackle civic problems. Emerging data suggest that before the outbreak of Covid-19, residents felt less able to access and understand information on local government decisions and priorities, and less satisfied with the time taken to solve local problems. It remains to be seen what impact the swift and decisive approach taken to the Covid-19 pandemic may have on these perceptions, and, in turn, as Oslo’s reputation as a place in which to build a career and to live over the long term.
Figure 26: Oslo’s performance across perception measures of resident relationships with government
Long known as a city leading the charge towards more sustainable mobility, Oslo retains its status as a world leader for the uptake of electric vehicles, and also is fast emerging as a capital of green finance and green business tourism.
Oslo’s all-round environmental friendliness remains very high by global standards, and now benefits from more appetite among residents to trial new ways of living and moving around the region. This could be of great benefit in a post-Covid world, as attention turns towards the environment and a good quality of living.
However, new data suggests that Oslo has not been as good over the long term at protecting its urban greenery relative to other regions, and that urban forests are not as ecologically healthy as elsewhere. There are also signs that others are moving faster than Oslo on green buildings and managing waste. This raises questions about how the region can become a true sustainable city, beyond its early trendsetting in two areas (e.g. electric mobility and green finance).
Figure 27: Oslo’s performance compared to peers across the main sustainability metrics