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City Profiles

Reykjavik - Iceland

Climate change impacts

Climate forecasts show the probability of increased flooding and sinking of land in the Reykjavik area. This can lead to sea level rise up to 6 meters.

Main motivation for taking adaptation action

Reykjavik City is located by the sea (making it vulnerable to rises in sea level) and surrounded by an unbroken strip of forest and open areas. Furthermore, recent research show that there are signs of increased acidification of the sea which could affect Reykjavik's fisheries. It is also expected that climate change can have an affect on biodiversity, agriculture and forest, and tourism.

Adaptation strategy

Have you already developed an adaptation strategy?
No, Mayors Adapt is the first example of my city considering adaptation and we will develop an adaptation strategy
Name of the strategy/ plan (If adopted)
Reykjavik Municipal Plan 2010 - 2030
Date of strategy/plan approval
24 Feb 2014
Summary of the strategy/plan
The Municipal Plan proposes a policy for the future development and urban planning of the Reykjavik. The new Municipal Plan covers the period from 2010 to 2030 and emphasises sustainable planning, sustainable transport, and sustainable use of land.

Planned adaptation actions

One of the goals of Reykjavik's Municipal Plan is to make a climate change adaption strategy, for which a team will be formed in 2015. The city's risks and vulnerabilities have partly been evaluated in relation to the making of the Municipal Plan but will be assessed in more detail in the new strategy. Participating in Mayors Adapt is a valuable first step towards the creation of an adaption plan.

Good practice / spotlight item

Wetland Restoration in Úlfarsárdalur Valley
The City of Reykjavík has mostly focused on forestry and planting of trees in urban settings as a way to increase natural capture and storage of carbon. However, restoring wetlands can be an even more effective method as wetlands function as very efficient carbon sinks. Úlfarsárdalur Valley, an area that was drained for agriculture in the 20th century and was recently on track for residential development, is now being evaluated by scientists for a scheduled large-scale wetland restoration. In addition to improving the valley's ability to act as a carbon sink, the restoration should benefit the health of the Úlfarsá River ecosystem as well as provide a habitat for native biodiversity.
Reykjavik
Reykjavik is restoring the wetlands in the Úlfarsárdalur Valley.

Climate change impacts

Key vulnerable sectors

  • Urban

Mayor

Dagur B. Eggertsson

Population

120000 inhabitants

Contact person

Hronn Hrafnsdottir
Project Manager

Email

upplysingar@reykjavik.is
Website

Mayors Adapt signatory

Date of officially joining Mayors Adapt

03 Oct 2014

Last Update

07 Jul 2016

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