Our city of the future – Reykjavík

While urban planning is always an exciting and enjoyable task, developing plans for capitals and key areas inside them is more than just exciting and enjoyable – it is an exceptionally demanding challenge for any ambitious society. Reykjavík is certainly an ambitious city comprised of an equally ambitious society, striving to ensure that its built environment be organised so as to provide the inhabitants with a high quality of life. In addition, residents are characterised by a strong general interest in urban and regional development.

Most everyone living in Reykjavík would no doubt agree that Vatnsmýri is one of our dear city’s key areas. Whether we are of the opinion that this area should continue serving as an airport or not, we can all agree that this important tract of land, situated so centrally, ought to be shown special consideration and must be planned as a whole that can contribute even further to the community. This principal has indeed guided the competition for ideas for Vatnsmýri on which this book is focussed. Another principle was that planning Vatnsmýri provides a unique opportunity in developing Reykjavík – an opportunity which is unavailable to other capitals and which coincides with other challenges facing residents at the outset of the new century.

Although we politicians must shoulder some of the responsibility for shaping the urban environment that will frame daily life in 21st-century Reykjavík, that is a task which cannot be fully accomplished without the assistance of top-notch experts and as much of the populace as possible. Such assistance has certainly benefited the entire competition. The panel of judges was comprised of outstanding professionals to whom I would like to extend my thanks for their work with us and for their invaluable contribution towards the evolution of Reykjavík. I would also like to thank the many talented individuals who submitted their proposals to the competition. Congratulations are due not only to the prize winners, but to all the citizens of Reykjavík – congratulations on these promising, intriguing and exciting proposals for our very own city of the future, Reykjavík.

Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir
City councilor

Reykjavik City Planning Committee