From Iceland — Hotel Contractors And Reykjavik City Council At Odds Over Where To Build

Hotel Contractors And Reykjavik City Council At Odds Over Where To Build

Published September 3, 2018

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Reykjavík City Council receives a new application for building a hotel every week, RÚV reports. While the city has strict regulations over where hotels may be built and how, hotel contractors have been pressuring City Council to change these regulations.

Sigurbjörg Ósk Haraldsdóttir, the chair of the city’s Planning and Transportation Council, was interviewed by radio station Rás 2 on the matter.

“We have a quota in the Kvosin neighbourhood, on Laugavegur and on Hverfisgata. In these places, hotels cannot comprise more than 23% of the total square meterage of the area,” she said. “We also have changes made to the main planning platform, that forbids changing apartments or offices into a hotel.”

She says that applications for permits to build new hotels come to City Council at a rate of about one per week, representing hotels of various sizes and types.

While recognising that hotels can add to the liveliness of downtown life, the city would like to see more hotels built in the outskirts of town, or even in the suburbs. In conjunction with this, mass transit will need to be built up and improved, in order to prevent a large influx of car drivers in the capital area.

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