Where Are We Going To Put All These People? - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Where Are We Going To Put All These People?

Published January 20, 2012

The population of Reykjavík is supposed to increase by thousands over the next few years, and one city councilperson wonders where the space to house them will be found.
Currently, about 120,000 people live in the city proper. The latest prediction models indicate that over the next 20 years, the population will increase by about 25,000 people.
The problem is, Reykjavík is a peninsula flanked by mountainous regions to the east. With such limited land available, city councilperson Gísli Marteinn Baldursson wonders, where are all these people going to live?
He proposes two possible areas for development: Úlfarsárdal or Geldingarnes in the east, where the land would have to be leveled for the construction of homes, on the one hand. On the other, there is the Vatnsmýri area, which is closer to downtown.
The Vatnsmýri idea is the more appealing one to the city. Already, there is an international competition regarding uses for the area, and many of the proposals include the development of homes.
It is also more appealing, Gísli points out, because the commute to downtown from areas further to the east would be long. This would also use a lot of fuel, and potentially tie up traffic.
As yet, the city has no concrete plans for where and when to develop further, but it appears to be a matter they will have to contend with in the very near future.

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