Reviving Reykjavík’s ‘Slum’ Skip to content

Reviving Reykjavík’s ‘Slum’

Last summer, artist Tanya Pollock, her partner Tómas Magnússon and musician Örn Tönsberg created a public leisure space between Hverfisgata and Laugavegur in downtown Reykjavík, called Hjartagarður, or the Heart Garden. They have now set their sights on one of the city’s suburbs.

Skate boarders are welcome to practice and display their skills to the more leisurely crowd watching children play or just reading a book. To see the full story about the Hjartagarður or the Heart Garden go here.

The project proved so successful, that the team is now busily working with the City of Reykjavík to improve an area in one of Reykjavík’s more run-down suburbs, Breiðholt.

Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

Breiðholt has been considered by many as Reykjavík’s only slum and Tanya, Tómas and Örn are helping to change its image and improve its environment. The group calls itself the Fellagarðshópur, or the Fellagarður Group.

The City of Reykjavík is actively involved in the project.

“We will be hosting a number of events in the neighborhood this summer. One of our regular activities will be a monthly festival we plan to name Fellafest. This National Day weekend (June 15-17) we’ll be here with hot dogs, live music and a performance at our headquarters at Eddufell 2. We will also be cleaning up the area,” Tanya told Morgunblaðið.

“We welcome everyone to join us and participate in making the area a prettier place to live,” she added.

Creative minds are encouraged to leave their ideas in an idea box located in the area, as well as drawing paper so those so inclined can sketch their ideas.

Breiðholt is one of Reykjavík’s most multicultural neighborhoods. Cultural isolation has been somewhat prevailing, but with the new initiative, the community is slowly coming together.

“All the people of Breiðholt needed were a few artists to unite them,” Tanya concluded.


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