Iceland far below the OECD average

Iceland is far below the OECD average when it comes to urban green areas. Only 3.5% of urban areas are organized as green areas in Iceland compared to the OECD average of 17%.

This was revealed in the Minister of Energy, Environment and Climate, Guðlaugur Þór Þór Þórðarson’s response to a question from Independence Party MP, Diljá Mist Einarsdóttir, in Reykjavík, the Icelandic parliament, in Alþingi, Iceland, yesterday. The minister referred to a recent OECD review of the housing market in Iceland.

In particular, Einarsdóttir wanted to know how access to green areas was internationally compared to the population in Reykjavík and whether green areas were impacted by the current Reykjavík structure, including by the urbanization policy.

In this case, she specifically wanted to hear Þórðarson’s opinion on the proposed landfill in Skerjafjörður, where the city plans to build.

Heading for a major environmental disaster

Þórðarson said that there is a large number of green areas in the capital area and outside the urban area. However, Icelanders’ access to green areas is not good compared to the other OECD states.

He made it quite clear that green areas would be disrupted by the plan for the densification of the settlement in the city, and he mentioned, amongst other things, the construction plans for Elliðaárdalur and Laugardalur.

As for the landfill in Skerjafjörður, the minister was unimpressed, saying that the city was heading for a major environmental disaster with these plans.


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