Akureyri, Island, 2005


Akureyri is an oasis.

The project proposes two main strategical themes for the development of Akureyri: "The green town" and "the sea town"; the GREEN and the BLUE.

Identifying the natural green corridors and securing them as open spaces, in order to:
- establish structural elements that may in themselves offer various recreational programs to the different parts of the city, such as childcare, playgrounds, sports facilities or simply a street with trees in it.
- divide and connect different areas of the city, the green thus becoming a tool for organizing the programming of the town.
- slow the winds from the north and south by introducing belts of vegetation perpendicular to 'route 1' and the wind direction.
- better connect the two height levels of the town.
- maintain and possibly improve the conditions for light from the west penetrating to downtown.
- make the pride of Akureyri, the botanical gardens, visible and accessible in the townscape.
- drain the cold air coming from higher levels out to sea (without trapping it behind buildings on the lower levels, a situation making the town even colder than it needs to be).
- enhance the green arctic image, attracting tourists and students.

Defining the inner bay as a point of focus in the plan, gives a broader perspective on the town than taking present center (Ráðhústorg). Considering the position of the planned culture center on the water, this different perspective seems appropriate. The theme of water gives way to a whole new spectrum of programs that comprise social life, attractions, housing and job opportunities, which can in the future make the inner bay the essential public space of Akureyri.

The excitement that lies in the crossing points of the GREEN and the BLUE makes for a whole new town and maybe even a city.