zones in Breiðholt

Seven areas in Breiðholt have been demarcated as development zones where there are plans for quite substantial new construction projects 

Local plans for Arnarbakki and Eddufell-Völvufell were developed alongside the neighbourhood plan. Other approved developmen zones are Jórufell-Norðurfell, Suðurfell, Mjódd, Suðurhólar-Hólagarður and Rangársel-Hólmasel.

Local plans for Arnarbakki and Eddufell-Völvufell were developed alongside the neighbourhood  plan


The development zone covers the housing area at Jórufell and Iðufell, including adjacent parking lots and city land. During the consultation procedure when the neighbourhood plan was being developed, ideas came up about developing a new residential area there in collaboration with Félagsbústaðir (Reykjavík Social Housing), the owner of all flats in the apartment building at Jórufell. There are also plans to discontinue the kindergarten Ösp at Iðufell and merge it with other kindergartens in the area. There is now an excellent opportunity to review the land use in this area and to develop the settlement.

The neighbourhood plan report describes the main emphases that can be expected to form the basis for work on the new local plan for the development zone. It states there that the quantity of buildings within that area will be increased by constructing new buildings or with extensions to existing buildings (including upward extensions). It should be assumed that the facilities of the kindergarten Ösp will be removed but it should be determined in the local plan whether other buildings will be kept or torn down. The number of storeys will not exceed five floors. Only residential housing should be considered the area, up to 200 flats. There will be an emphasis on furnishing a well sheltered leisure area/play ground in the southern part of the area.

Request for larger family flats

During the consultation process for the neighbourhood plan it was emphatically requested that the number of larger size family flats (4+ rooms) will be increased in Efra-Breiðholt as the ratio of such flats is rather low compared with the average in the city.

That will make it easier for people to get a bigger home within the neighbourhood when their families grow and it will also make better use of the facilities of the kindergartens and the elementary schools, as well as strengthen the grounds for diverse sports and leisure activities, shops and services. A special emphasis is therefore placed on sensible family flats in the Jórufell-Norðurfell development zone.

In the development zone by Jórufell-Norðurfell, special emphasis shall be placed on affordable family apartments

Development zone at Jórufell-Norðurfell
The demarcated area is a total of 21,366 m² and covers the housing lots Jórufell 2-12, Iðufell 14 and 16 and the adjacent parking space and land owned by the city.
Illustration: City of Reykjavík.
Jórufell and Iðufell
During the consultation procedure for the neighbourhood plan, ideas came up about developing new residential housing in this area, in collaboration with Félagsbústaðir (Reykjavík Social Housing) which own all flats in the apartment building at Jórufell.
Picture: Bragi Þór Jósefsson.

Architect contest

In cooperation with the Icelandic Association of Architects, a contest for a local plan for the development zone has been outlined in order to obtain multifarious ideas regarding the development of the area. Emphasis is on informing the residents of the area about the pending contest and at the same time to ensured that the residents can present ideas regarding the contest specifications.


The development zone is located on the hillside east of Suðurfell. The area is vacant and forms the edge of the southernmost part of the area towards Elliðaárdalur valley. Peculiar for Efra-Breiðholt is a widespread settled area of scattered single family houses which forms the edge of the settled area towards the valley and towards areas for outdoors activities everywhere, except at Suðurfell. Scattered, low-rise,  individual houses in the development area at Suðurfell is therefore a logical continuation and will enclose the ring around the neighbourhood.

The neighbourhood plan´s report lays out the rough outline for the drawing up of the detailed local plan. It states that there will be up to 50 flats in the area in two-floor or three-floor houses that will be arranged according to the contours of the hillside. Each house will consist of one to four flats and the emphasis is on a larger size of family flats, as was called for by the residents during the consultation process for the neighbourhood plan. In particular it will be considered whether the plots within the development zone meet the requirements for alotment as green development plots, according to the goals of the Green Plan, the Reykjavík forward action plan until 2030.

Up to 50 apartments can be expected in the area, in two- to three-storey houses that adjoin the slope

The development zone at Suðurfell
The picture on the left shows the uninhabited Suðurfell development zone, located on the hillside east of Suðurfell.  To the right is an areal view of the development zone towards south-west.
Pictures: City of Reykjavík and Bragi Þór Jósefsson.


The planning and future development of Mjódd is outside the framework of the neighbourhood plan. This involves two development zones in the neighbourhood plan, Norður-Mjódd and Suður-Mjódd, and work on the local plan is presently being performed for both areas. When the development of these zones is completed, in accordance with a new local plan, it will be merged with the neighbourhood plan.


The area is defined as a midpoint and city sector centre in the municipal plan for Reykjavík. It is first and foremost being considered for activities that  will service the whole city sector, such as retail and services, offices and organisations as well as leisure activities and flats, in particular on the top floors of buildings. There are more extensive provisions for the operation of restaurants and clubs at midpoints than in other urban areas.

The municipal plan also defines the area as a special development sector for the densification and mixed-use development. The plan calls for more commercial buildings, 100-200 flats within the area. The need for parking will be solved by underground parking or a parking building.


New sports facilities in Suður-Mjódd
The pictures show the ÍR sports facilities in Suður-Mjódd. The multiple-purpose building, that has been built including an annex, is at the top of the illustration to the right. The building with the gray roof on the illustration,
is the so-called parquet-house. Senior citizens in nearby residential areas will be able to use the facilities in both buildings for sports activities, exercise and for social purposes.
Pictures: Bragi Þór Jósefsson and Landhönnun langdslagsarkitektar – Land Designers.


The development zone can be divided into three parts according to the defined land use in the general master plan. The north-eastern part of the area, alongside Breiðholtsbraut, and at Árskógar and Skógarsel, is defined as a residential area. Part of the area is a special development zone in the municipal  plan and development of it is well advanced. To the north-west of the residential area, along Reykjanesbraut, is a defined midpoint area according to the municipal plan.This area is still completely undeveloped but there exist provisions permitting activities, as defined in the municipal plan, comparable to those at the midpoint of Norður-Mjódd. The third part of the development zone is the ÍR sports area with facilities.

ÍR – sports area

In Suður-Mjódd, there is a defined sports area for ÍR covering over 10 hectares with sports-halls, fields and training areas. Recently, an over 4,200 m² multipurpose building with half a soccer field and athletic training facilities was opened. Connected to it is a more than 1,100 m²  annex with facilities for spectators and locker rooms, storage facilities for tools and equipment and a splendid weight lifting hall. Construction work began in 2019 and was completed in the spring of 2020. The cost was just over one billion ISK.

Presently, a sports hall of apporximately 4,220 m² is in construction adjacent to the multipurpose building. This is the so-called parquet-house where people can train and take part in various sporting events. The gymnasium will be approximately 2,400 m² on a single floor and there will be space for about 800 spectators. The sports-hall will meet the requirements for both handball and basketball sports-matches.
Construction began in 2020 and the planned completion is in the summer of 2022. The costs involved for this project is ISK 1,250 million.

In Suður-Mjódd is defined a sports area for ÍR, covering more than 10 hectares and including sports-halls, fields and training areas

ÍR sports area

Here you can see the location of the main sports facilities at the ÍR area in Mjódd:
1. The multipurpose building, 2. The parquet-house, 3. Artificial grass field, 4. Soccer training-field,  5. Athletic training field.
Illustration: Landhönnun landslagsarkitektar.


Alongside Suðurhólar there is an undeveloped area east of the lots of the kindergartens Hólaborg and Suðurborg which has been defined as a development zone for new residential buildings. A decision was made during the processing of the neighbourhood plan to expand this development zone , and have it also include the kindergarten plots and the shopping centre at Hólagarður, as well as the adjacent parking spaces.

The neighbourhood plan defines the main points of emphasis for the development and build-up of the shopping centre as is mentioned in the discussion about the strengthening of neighbourhood centres. For other parts of the development area it is expected that the Suðurborg lot will be enlarged towards the east so that its demarcation in the local plan will conform to its actual use and its demarcation as it is at present. On the undeveloped area to the east of the kindergarten it is furthermore assumed  to demarcated new construction lots  for residential housing in joint buildings, two to three floors high, a total of 40 flats. There is a soccer field presently located on this lot, and the plan is to move it into an open area which is connected with the main walking path of the neighbourhood, situated above the lots.

The present situation at Hólagarður where there are ideas involving renovation and development.
Picture: City of Reykjavík.

The entire area by Suðurhólar-Hólagarður is defined as a development zone and a special local plan will be made for it

The overshadowed field above shows the development zone which covers in total more than 35,000 m². To the right is areal view of the development zone and its surroundings.
Pictures: City of Reykjavík and Bragi Þór Jósefsson.

Rangársel – Hólmasel

Following the presentation of the work proposals for the neighbourhood  plan in the summer of 2020, where ideas for development along Rangársel and Hólmasel were presented, it was decided to make the area in question a development zone in order to better address these issues in a special local plan, both in consultation with stakeholders, residents and in line with the emphasis of the Reykjavík municipal plan.

On this website, about strengthening neighborhood cores, it´s discussed what emphases the neighbourhood plan assumes will be taken into account in the local plan for the area, e.g. the emphasis on trade and services on the ground floors, apartments on the upper floors and good connections to open areas.

The neighbourhood centre at Rangársel today.
Picture: City of Reykjavík.