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Photo: Golli.

City Planners Let Parks Grow Wild

Plans to reduce maintenance of certain green areas have proven successful, reports the City of Reykjavík.

Þórólfur Jónsson, the director of the Environment and Planning Department, introduced the matter at a departmental meeting this week and proposed new areas that would be suitable for conversion. Under the plan, areas that have previously been mown would be allowed to grow wild, both beautifying the city and increasing the diversity of plant life. The new measures could also lead to budgetary savings as well.

According to Þórólfur, promising areas for such urban rewilding include medians and sides of roads, areas with thin soil and sparse grass, and also area with pre-existing natural features, such as ponds and lakes.

City planners hope that such measures will support ecosystems within the city, potentially acting as new habitats for birds and other animals.

In addition to ceasing mowing, city planners have also discussed more active rewilding measures, such as planting more trees and wildflowers.

Such measures were first introduced in 2016. Since then, some 14 hectares within the City of Reykjavík have undergone rewilding, with plans for more to follow. Where possible, new nature areas are being connected and turned into larger park areas.

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