how do you live in a city without a car?

10.07.2018 / Ole Kristian Rønning

Earlier, most were pleased if they had a roof over their heads, but now the needs are far more varied and complex. It is our generation who must find the best solutions for future transport solutions, homes and cities.

To me, civil engineering was a natural choice when I started my studies. It enables me to help handle tomorrow's challenges and gain insight into how the world around me works and is put together. As a building and environmental engineering student at NTNU, I have learned a lot about structures, what one must consider when building, and how we can make the construction industry more sustainable.

Since the dawn of time, man has needed a place to live and this will not change for the foreseeable future. The major changes are in human needs and how they are met.

The Plus City innovation project

COWI has this summer given us a comprehensive project based on the Sollihøgda Plussby (“Plus City”) project. Together with my innovation group, and with the help of our partners, we will look at how to make it possible to live in this city without a car. We need to find solutions that make public transport more attractive, adapt the area so that residents can walk and make it easy to get to and from the city.

In order for people to want to get rid of private cars, alternative transport should be the most effective solution. Sollihøgda Plussby must offer transport methods without too many delays, so that users do not perceive public transport as ineffective compared to private cars. The goal must be that the Plus City becomes a place where people want to live and stay. By making transport to external destinations easy, with good infrastructure for public transport, pedestrians and cycling, we are already well on track to achieve this.

It is incredibly cool and inspiring to influence a project of this size, especially when it is so close to where I grew up. I think the future will be formed by this kind of project and innovation. That we as summer interns get the opportunity to gain insight into one of the world's first smart cities, gives us invaluable knowledge of the challenges and solutions of the future.

The innovation project is both exciting and challenging. The task my group and I will solve is in many ways outside my field of study, which gives me even more interdisciplinary learning and new experiences. Probably, we will soon use autonomous vehicles, and using these will also require tomorrow's urban planning solutions. I particularly look forward to learning more about these solutions in combination with MaaS (Mobility as a Service).

The summer program COWI Try is a unique opportunity for me to learn more about how to work as a consulting engineer and the kind of people who work in COWI. They have an inclusive working environment that allows you to grow, both within your field and as a person.

Read more about the COWI Try programme

Ole Kristian Rønning

Ole Kristian Rønning

22 years

Bærum, Norway

Building and environmental technology specialising in structural engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

COWI department:
Buildings and Structures