Outdoor life, nature experience, and sports in Norway: tensions and dilemmas in the preservation and use of urban forest
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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- Artikler / Articles 
Original versionSport in Society. 2017. doi: 10.1080/17430437.2017.1390938 10.1080/17430437.2017.1390938
How should contemporary societies promote physical activity in nature and preservation of the natural environment? Outdoor life occupies a central and contested position on this question in the Nordic countries. In Norway, a 1957 Act of Parliament took a major step by guaranteeing free public access to both public and private uncultivated land. This article explores the media debate that raged in 2008–2009, when the national government proposed new legislation intended to promote outdoor life, sport, nature experience and urban forest preservation around Oslo, Norway’s capital. Applying narrative and discourse methodologies, this case study reveals how the media debate evolved from an initial cacophony of voices into a schism between advocates of nature preservation and advocates of sport. The controversy explored here is increasingly relevant throughout all of Europe: how to encourage urban active living, sustainable recreation and democratic citizenship that embody distinct social practices, identities, emotional bonds and symbolic meaning.