Demand High for Housing in New Eco-Friendly Neighbourhood

An environmentally-friendly housing development still in the planning stages has received overwhelming interest and around 700 applications, Vísir reports. The new neighbourhood is to be located on Gufunes peninsula in eastern Reykjavík, and will feature 130 prefabricated wood apartments, community gardens, and rideshare cars. It’s the largest project within the City of Reykjavík’s initiative to build 500 affordable apartments for young people and first-time buyers in the coming years.

The apartments in the new Gufunes neighbourhood are expected to be high-quality, environmentally friendly, and affordable. Þorpið vistfélag is the real estate company behind the development, which will be designed by Yrki Architects. Þorpið has requested authorisation to plant a forest above the neighbourhood in order to offset emissions created by the transportation and assembly of the homes. The organisation has also asked the City of Reykjavík for permission to use the neighbouring green area for vegetable gardens and chicken coops. Residents of the new neighbourhood will also have access to electric cars for short-term rentals.

Plans for the development show a dense neighbourhood of two- to four-storey buildings around a common square facing the sea. The area will feature pedestrian-only streets to prioritise foot traffic. Due to the number of applications, Þorpið vístfélag plans to draw names in order to allocate the apartments.

Iceland’s Second Warmest Spring

Locals and tourists across Iceland have been enjoying a particularly warm spring. The Icelandic Met Office reports that in Reykjavík, Akureyri (North Iceland), and Stykkishólmur (West Iceland), this spring was the second warmest since record-keeping began. Egilsstaðir, East Iceland, experienced its ninth-warmest spring on record.

After last year’s unusually cold and rainy spring and summer, locals are no doubt relieved to be receiving quite pleasant weather in Iceland this year. Temperatures this April and May were well above average in many parts of the country, particularly the West and Southwest. In Reykjavík, temperatures were 2.5°C warmer than the average between 1961-1990 and 1.8°C warmer than the average of the past ten years.

In Akureyri, temperatures were 2.8°C warmer than the 1961-1990 average and 1.8°C warmer than the average of the past decade. In Stykkishólmur, temperatures were 2.7°C warmer than the 1961-1990 average for April and May, and 1.6°C warmer than the past decade’s average. In Egilsstaðir, they were 2°C warmer than the 1961-1990 average and 1°C warmer than the average of the past decade.

The past month has also been sunnier than average in Southwest Iceland. Reykjavík area residents enjoyed 236.8 hours of sunlight in May, which is 44.8 hours more than the 1961-1990 average. Most of the country has enjoyed drier weather than usual in May.

Locals Repair Off-Roading Damage by Mývatn

Extensive damage left by a tourist’s off-road driving in North Iceland was repaired yesterday by the members of a local 4×4 association. Volunteers from Ferðaklúbburinn 4×4’s Eyjafjörður division repaired the deep tyre tracks left near Mývatn, North Iceland by a Russian Instagram influencer who bragged about the incident.

The repairs were carried out in collaboration with the landowners, who were very grateful to the club members for their help. They showed their thanks by treating the volunteers to a trip to Mývatn Nature Baths. “It’s safe to say that everyone was left satisfied after this job well done,” says a notice on the club’s online forum.

Russian Instagram influencer Alexander Tikhomirov sparked outrage among local and foreign nature-lovers when he posted pictures of himself on social media three days ago, posing and smiling at the scene of the crime with the caption “Congratulations, today I got a big fine.” Off-road driving is illegal in Iceland, as the sub-arctic landscape is fragile and takes decades to recover from damage. Tikhomirov paid an ISK 450,000 ($3,600/€3,200) fine for the incident.