Reykjavík City Pond to Get Four More Islands Skip to content

Reykjavík City Pond to Get Four More Islands

By Erik Pomrenke

Tjörnin Reykjavík Pond
Photo: Golli. A child feeds the birds at Tjörnin.

The Reykjavik City Planning and Environmental Council introduced proposed changes to the Reykjavík City Pond (Tjörnin) yesterday, June 22, which include the construction of four new islands.

Proposals for renovating the existing islands and constructing new islands in Tjörnin were presented at the Reykjavik City Planning and Environmental Council this week. It is currently planned to build four new islands in the pond. Currently, Tjörnin has two islets. The larger, northern islet is more visible from downtown. It is around the smaller, southern islet that the proposed new islands will be clustered.

The larger island will also be enlarged and renovated with new gravel, as it has shrunk due to erosion. The changes are intended to benefit bird life in the pond.

Tjörnin is a part of a larger wetland area, consisting of the pools and ponds stemming from the Vatnsmýri marshlands. A stream initially connected Tjörnin to the sea, and this was mostly left untouched as Reykjavík grew in the later part of the 18th century and into the 19th century. In 1911, the city was built over the stream, using it instead as a sewer system.

The latest planned additions to the city pond will not be the only modifications made to it. Over the years, city planners took steps to turn the pond into the modern Tjörnin. In 1913, locks were installed in the pond’s outlet to prevent seawater from surging into the pond. A pedestrian bridge was erected in 1920, cutting the pond in two. The bridge was widened and reinforced to support vehicles during the Second World War.

The project is still in its planning stage. More information can be found at the Reykjavík City website.

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