Two Thirds of Reykjavík Residents Support Pedestrian Streets Skip to content

Two Thirds of Reykjavík Residents Support Pedestrian Streets

By Yelena

pedestrian street Laugavegur Reykjavík
Photo: Reykjavíkurborg. Pedestrian street Laugavegur in the centre of Reykjavík on a busy summer day.

There is growing satisfaction of pedestrian streets among Reykjavík residents, according to a survey commissioned by city authorities last month. Those who use pedestrian streets expressed more support of them than those who did not. The closer residents lived to the pedestrian streets, the more positive they were toward them. Reykjavík has been expanding pedestrian-only areas in the city centre in recent years and there are plans to continue to do so.

A total of 67.2% of Reykjavík residents are positive toward its pedestrian-only zones, compared to 64.5% last year. Of those who visit Reykjavík’s pedestrian streets on a weekly basis, 82% expressed support of the initiative. Those who oppose the initiative decreased from 20.3% in 2019 to 16.1% in 2020. Those who feel pedestrian-only areas should be enlarged increased from 19.3% to 23.6% between years, despite the fact the area was actually enlarged between the two surveys.

There was a big difference in support of the initiative between neighbourhoods. Those in Vesturbær, near downtown, were the most supportive, at 89%, while those in Gravarvogur, much further away, were the least supportive, with 26% having a negative perspective on pedestrian-only streets in the centre. Young people tended to be more supportive of pedestrian streets than older people.

“It’s great to see this positive development,” stated Sigurborg Ósk Haraldsdóttir, chairperson of the City of Reykjavík’s Planning and Transportation Council, “especially in light of all the changes that society has gone through this year.” Sigurborg says city staff worked hard to adapt the city centre to pedestrians this year with plants, increasing the number of oudoor benches and tables, and organising events. “It is clear that the people of Reykjavík want pedestrian streets and we are certainly making an effort to bring them to them.”

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