An official from the Icelandic Regional Development Institute has recently posed a question regarding Akureyri’s existential state: is it a town or a city?
RÚV reports that Þóroddur Bjarnason, a professor at the University of Akureyri and chairperson of the board at the Icelandic Regional Development Institute, sent a letter to town council on the occasion of Akureyri’s 150th birthday. He asked whether or not Akureyri could consider itself a city, pointing out that there is no legal definition of the word in Icelandic, whether in association with population size or what roles the municipality takes.
If Akureyri chooses to define itself as a city, he says, and treat its surroundings the way a city does, Akureyri could conceivably receive more money from the national government, on just as Reykjavík gets a higher share than surrounding towns. In addition, Akureyri would also take on the responsibility of maintaining the upkeep of more of the northern region.
Geir Kristinn Aðalsteinsson, president of Akureyri town council, said that there are mixed feelings within the council on the matter, but that they intend to make a final decision within the next few days on whether Akureyri is a town or a city.