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Outdoor life, nature experience, and sports in Norway (2019)

Gurholt and Broch investigate the debate that occurred in Norway between 2008–2009 following the national government’s proposed Markaloven, an Act of Parliament aimed at protecting Oslo’s urban forests (i.e., Marka) from development. The legislation reflected the concept of friluftsliv, “a core political, social and cultural value in Norway, rooted in the democratic principle of free public access to uncultivated public and private land” (p. 574). The authors conduct a media analysis in the period between the release of Markaloven’s initial draft in June 2007 and the date it came into force, 1 September 2009. Their analysis illustrates the manner in which public and private support of (and opposition toward) Markaloven evolved. One central controversy was desire by the Conservative and Progress parties to expand existing sports facilities in Marka. The proposed legislation inspired rich debate among local stakeholders, including journalists, skiers, Marka residents, environmentalists, and politicans. Gurholt and Broch highlight the power of the media in “producing a simplified and polarized worldview” (p. 586) of a complex and multilayered issue.

Cite: Gurholt, K.P. & Broch, T.B. (2019). Outdoor life, nature experience, and sports in Norway: tensions and dilemmas in the preservation and use of urban forest. Sport in Society, 22(4), 573-588.


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