chapter  5
22 Pages

The New Grønland

In the period 2007-10, two major new-build projects were under development in Grønland. On a set of blocks located a stone’s throw away from Tøyen Street, known as de nye Grønlandskvartalene (‘the new Grønland blocks’), several apartment towers were erected. At the lower end of Tøyen Street, towards Grønlandsleiret, a combination shopping centre and condominium apartment building, Grønland Basar, was put up by the Olav Thon Group. The new-builds were erected on land that was mainly vacant. Of the already existing buildings, a few were rehabilitated, but the majority were demolished. Alongside these construction activities, efforts to ‘brand’ Grønland intensified. Brochures, postcards and other advertising materials were displayed in the shop windows of the area’s growing number of estate agents and placed in select locations throughout the neighbourhood – on the counters of coffee bars, and among the free newspapers and leaflets distributed at clubs and pubs. As described in Chapter 3, efforts to frame and redefine Grønland were here salient, with the promotions highlighting proximity to places and functions associated with new and trendy lifestyles. Affluent residents and visitors were being invited into the city, and Grønland was theirs for the taking. As with other uses of place promotion (cf. Zukin et al. 2009), these efforts were closely intertwined with expectations of economic growth and a particular type of urban consumption.