From Car Park to Park

Stikkord: Areal og transport, arealbruk, parkering, bilbruk, Drammen

In Drammen city centre the riverbank used to be full of parking spaces. Now, the area alongside the river has been turned into parks, riverside promenades and restaurants.

In Drammen city centre the riverbank used to be full of parking spaces. Now, the area alongside the river has been turned into parks, riverside promenades and restaurants.

Until 2002 the main road to Kongsberg and western Norway went through Drammen city centre, along the riverbank. This area was also full of parking spaces jammed between the river, road and residential areas.

When the diversion tunnels opened in 2001 and 2002, the area around the river was developed. The Municipality took action and the car park closest to the city centre was exchanged with riverside promenades and two restaurants.

From Scepticism to Support

In the beginning the business community in Drammen were sceptical towards the effect the removal of the parking spaces would have on the city commerce. This scepticism has changed into a joint understanding that an attractive urban environment attracts people to the city centre too.

Further downstream the park area Bragernes Beach has been developed. The car park that used to be located by the main road has been transformed into an urban street with an «avenue look», and there’s much less traffic than before.

For the Inhabitants

Bragernes Beach has become a popular public area, and has given Drammen a whole new façade towards the river. The paths along the beach are part of a major walking path system along the riverbanks on both sides of the Drammen River.

The beach at Bragernes was awarded «Hagekulturprisen» (The Garden Culture Prize), a prize awarded by the Norwegian Garden Association, and is part of the area that was awarded the «Beautiful Road’s Prize» of 2004 by the Road Director.