There were lively discussions about challenges and opportunities in population development at a symposium about the project ‘Wind of Change’ held in Iðnó and the Gasstation by Hlemmur on 24 May. The first propositions of four interdisciplinary project groups were introduced. They were chosen to develop ideas about the future opportunities for Icelandic urban areas. This includes a residential area in Skeifan, illuminated interior gardens by open sea, quality square meters in the sacred spaces of the private car and a whole area that links together the Háaleiti residential area, the Múli industrial area and the green areas in Laugardalur.
Thereafter there were debates where the ideas of the groups were discussed in connection with the ideological and systematic challenges and hindrances in residential- and regional development. In the symposium were the following: Eygló Harðardóttir minister of social affairs and housing, Jón Gnarr mayor of Reykjavík, Björn Karlsson head of Iceland Construction Authority, Gunnar Ó. Haraldsson head of the Institute of Economic Studies of the University of Iceland, Ólöf Örvarsdóttir division manager of Traffic and planning of Reykjavík, Ríkharður Kristjánsson PhD civil engineering. Sigrún Birgisdóttir head of the division of design and architecture at Iceland Academy of the Arts facilitated the discussions.
Various interesting ideas came up in the discussions such as from Eygló Harðardóttir minister of social services and housing. She emphasised the importance of checking right from the start the price of a residential house and its operational form. </br>Jón Gnarr pointed out that green projects were no longer special projects but that all projects had to be environmentally friendly. He considered Skeifan a good example of an area that had the potential of changing into a residential area and he quoted Einstein: “If at first an idea isn’t absurd, there’s no hope for it”.