Synopsis: With 16,000 residents, Akureyri is Iceland’s second-largest urban center. In response to the city’s request for plans to revitalize the urban center, we recommend an open design process that applies analytic tools and design simulations successively to illustrate Akureyri’s prospective transformation.
Detailed Description: Our initial strategy recognizes the need to increase the town center’s economic vitality. We suggest the creation of a Research Institute for Global Warming that will capitalize on the city’s proximity to the polar icecaps. We propose to attract tourists to its pristine setting with activities and appropriate infrastructure, including an improved harbor facility, botanical gardens, waterfront inns, and a marketplace, all set within its unique landscape.
Our second strategy connects the town to its natural setting through urban design. We propose transforming the harbor’s shape to strengthen its presence in the landscape and allow for tourist ships. Additionally, we suggest highlighting the Brekkan Landforms with new buildings and creating pedestrian walkways.
Finally, since the town faces north and is often shaded by southerly mountains, this design integrates electronically controlled sun-tracking heliostats that reflect light back toward the town’s frequently shaded sections. These heliostats are also welcoming iconic features, visible upon entering the harbor from the north.