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Icelandic proposal Spot On Kársnes wins the Nordic Built Cities Challenge competition

The proposal Spot On Kársnes by Landscape architect Dagný Bjarnadóttir, andscape architect Anders Egebjerg Terp, and architect Gunnlaugur Johnson has won the Nordic Built Cities Challenge.

Their winning proposal is a plan for the Kársnes area in Kopavogur, part of the greater capital area close to Reykjavik. It includes a swimming pool, two bridges, canals, a marina and and a car free island.

The Nordic Built Cities Challenge consists of six independent competitions, in which six Nordic cities are looking for innovative and multidisciplinary solutions to urban challenges connected to a specific urban space.

The competitions were launched 7 October 2015 and the deadline for submitting solutions is 17 December 2015. Hereafter, local juries will select up to four finalists from each competition that receive 300.000 NOK and the possibility to develop their solution further in collaboration with the project owner. The Nordic winner receives a prize of 500,000 NOK.

In addition to the monetary prize, the Nordic winning teams and the Nordic finalist teams will get the benefit of widespread promotion and communication in the Nordic countries and beyond.
The winning proposal.

According to the jury,

The proposal's strategy is both bold and dynamic, responding well to the challenge, with respect to connectivity within the capital region, the accessibility of Kársnes and quality of life within the new neighbourhood. The overall strategy is furthermore strengthened with a variety of interesting and innovative elements that make the area attractive, memorable and livable. The scheme adapts well to the existing buildings and streets. It is robust in the sense that it remains strong, even if some of its features are not realized.

By proposing two bridges, connectivity for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport within the entire capital area is radically changed. Each bridge is also supported and justified by a strategy that expands its role. The bridge across Fossvogur becomes part of a swimming pool, uniquely placed among the many swimming pools in Iceland. The other bridge, across to Bessastadanes, is part of a car-free island that would be a novel addition to the capital area.

Density, especially at the western end, is fairly high, which raises concerns about increased traffic to and from Kársnes. However within the scheme, priority is given to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport instead of private cars. The mixed uses and new connectivity options are conducive to good social integration.

The harbour area is well thought out with diverse spaces for a variety of activities. The pedestrian walkways from the harbour to the north side of Kársnes, over the canals and between buildings with mixed uses, make a pedestrian's journey both interesting and diverse.

This proposal presents a strong and strategic vision for the future development of Kársnes.

See a video that explains the proposal here:

Read more (in Icelandic) here: