Master's defence in Planning – Halldór Jón Björgvinsson

Master's defence in Planning – Halldór Jón Björgvinsson

Halldór Jón Björgvinsson will defend his master's thesis in Planning, "The Bridge on Skeiðarársandur and Other Unusual Recreational Areas" at the Faculty of Planning and Design at the Agricultural University of Iceland. 

Halldór Jón's supervisor is Dr. Sigríður Kristjánsdóttir, Doctor in Planning and a freelance researcher, and his co-supervisor is Sverrir Örvar Sverrisson, Planner at The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration (IRCA). 

The examiner is Dr. Bjarni Reynarsson, Doctor in Geography and Planning. 

The master's defence will take place on Monday, May 27, 2024, at 3:00 PM in Sauðafell, 3rd floor in  Keldnaholt, Reykjavík, and on Teams. The presentation is open to everyone. 



Abandoned transport infrastructure can be found in many places and it is not common for them to be given new functions. However, there are some well-known examples of this, and they can be found in many parts of the world. The High Line in New York is an old train track that has been given a new role today as an outdoor recreational area that runs along the old train tracks in the middle of Manhattan. The Promenade Plantée is an old train track in the middle of the city of Paris that now serves as a walking and outdoor recreation area for the residents of the metropolis. Shops and services have also flourished under the old train tracks which were built on an elevation above the city streets. The former international airport Tempelhof in the city of Berlin is used today as a large outdoor recreational area in the center of Berlin. The area is huge, and the runways and roads have not been demolished and today they are used for outdoor recreation of various kinds, as there is enough space for everyone. Here in Iceland, there are no abandoned train tracks or airports to turn into outdoor recreational areas, but there is a remarkable structure that completely changed transportation in the country not so many years ago. It is the bridge over Skeiðará, which has now completed its purpose. Changes in the climate and the melting of glaciers have meant that this longest bridge in the country is now standing on dry land and hopefully another purpose can be found for this structure in the future. 

These foreign examples of unusual outdoor recreation areas will be examined in the paper as well as exploring the history and possible new uses of the bridge over Skeiðará in the future, with the aim that the bridge will gain a new purpose as an unusual recreational area. 


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