Lichen / Biomonitoring System


Luigi Valente
Design Team:
Cristian Farinella, Lorena Greco, Anna Luzi
Oslo, Norway
City of Oslo

Grønmo lies roughly 12 km south of Oslo city centre. The site is situated at the end of Sørliveien, with no access to public transportation. The walking distance to the nearest metro station is 3 km. The nearest bus stop is at the Sørlieveien entrance 1 km away. To be able to accommodate larger flows of people, the transformation of Grønmo must begin first of all with its infrastructural network. The existing street network has been maintained and upgraded with the construction of new roads and intersections near the new cultural center, the recycling station and the two new gas regulation stations. We have introduced changes to the landscape that don’t compromise in any way the functionality of the current operating systems and we have redesigned the grounds with variances in height in order to direct surface water into the existing structures’ drainage and collection systems.
The incineration plant and the gas regulation stations have been preserved: two new gas regulation stations are located near the new roads that are proposed in the project. The new recycling station is placed on site B on a flat plateau; the project is divided into three distinct areas with three groups of eleven garbage containers and a space in front for the collection of the other types of material for recycling. A parking area for the site of Grønmo is located behind the stationary units with separate traffic flows. The existing composting facility above Sørlimosen retains its current function and location.
In order to work with the lichens, it is necessary to add only a thin layer of soil above the geo-textile membrane that covers most of the landfill area; the maintenance costs are very low. Lichens, in fact, are present in Norwegian territory in various forms and colors, and because of this represent a landscape intervention that is respectful of existing physical and climatic characteristics.
Lichens are a stable union between two different organisms, a fungus and an alga, and therefore their physiological and ecological characteristics are good bio-monitors of air quality. Due to their high surface / volume ratio; their particular vegetal structure (symbiosis); their simple anatomical organization and the absence of cuticle, these organisms have the ability to accumulate a range of the xenobiotic substances that they come into contact with. Their use as indicators of pollution levels present in a site has already been extensively, successfully tested across Europe in urban and suburban areas. 
The cultural center, located far from the hazardous waste area, will be built with local materials. Finally, the totems we propose to construct will be made with recycled metals and will function as street furniture and mechanisms for monitoring and confirming pollution levels. The biogas from the waste products is to be reused as fuel for power generation.

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