Development areas

In Háaleiti-Bústaðir some areas have been demarcated as development areas where extensive development is planned. It is better to develop and define such areas in a traditional local plan that can later be combined with the neighborhood plan of the neighborhood in question

A number of larger building plots or development areas in district 5 fall, by definition, outside the scope of the neighborhood plan. Here, the plots that are most advanced in development are briefly introduced, as well as new interesting development areas that are the result of the work of the neighborhood planning consultants.


To better ensure safe connections between neighborhoods and at the same time make the eastern part of Bústaðavegur more attractive, the neighborhood planning consultant proposes making the area from Grímsbær to Tunguvegur a special development area where services and residential areas will be strengthened, while the street will be turned into an urban street. This is part of the public consultation with residents about the future role and arrangement of this great transport artery in the district, which are thus taken out of the framework of the neighborhood plan.

It has already been decided to lower the maximum speed on Bústaðavegur to 40 km/h. and by making it an urban street, an opportunity is also created to increase the number of apartments there, in the opinion of the neighborhood planning consultants, and to create a comprehensive street view with increased traffic safety, for the benefit of residents, pedestrians and the environment.

Increased bustle and better land utilization

If these plans become a reality, it will lead to increased bustle in the area and better utilization of land that is now dedicated to a road consecration area and an unused peripheral area. The aim is to increase the number of housing opportunities and increase the diversity of apartment types in the area, and to have retail and service spaces on the ground floors mixed with residential housing. Thus, the proposal provides for an extension south of Grímsbær, where, for example, a café could be established, but many residents called for such a service in the previous public consultation process of the neighborhood plan

The neighborhood planning consultant’s proposal is that the area from Grímsbær to Tunguvegur will be a development area where both services and residential areas will be strengthened.

Bústaðavegur by Grímsbær
Idea for altered zoning.
Photos: Jakob Jakobsson architect and Tripoli architects.

New houses would take into account the existing settlement

If the authorizations proposed in the work proposals of the neighborhood plan are utilized, the number of new apartments can increase significantly within the densification plots along Bústaðavegur. It is expected that the new buildings will take into account the existing settlement, be woven into the urban pattern, as well as creating sheltered garden and outdoor areas. Thus, 2-3 floor multi-unit buildings could be arranged on either side of the urban street Bústaðavegur and form a comprehensive street view. Blue-green surface water solutions would be used, and the slope to the south would open up the possibility of having a garages and rooftop gardens in the new buildings. Apartments would vary in size and type and could be suitable for all groups, such as students, young people and first-time buyers, who could access most of the daily necessities within the neighborhood.

Miklabraut over Háaleitið

Possible development at Miklabraut and Háaleitisbraut
Ideas of the neighborhood planning consultants for further development of the urban street Háaleitisbraut and Miklabraut as a boulevard with Borgarlína.
Drawing: Jakob Jakobsson architect.

When the neighborhood planning work was launched, ideas were presented for densifying the settlement along Miklabraut by allowing the construction of multi-unit buildings in vacant areas on the development plot by Miklabraut and on the corner of Miklabraut and Háaleitisbraut. Along with such densification of the settlement, there would be scope to strengthen services and activities even further than is the case in the area now, so that most residents would be a 15-20 minute walk from the most diverse services and shops.

These ideas were generally well received by the residents of Háaleiti-Múlar at review meetings and therefore the neighborhood planning consultants have continued working on this idea which also relates to plans to change Háaleitisbraut into an urban street with green areas that intertwine like a “scarf” with the public space of the street where it will also be possible to offer street art, services, shopping and environmentally friendly means of transport, both for the benefit of residents, pedestrians and the environment.

The neighborhood center Miðbær would also benefit from this development with the associated strengthening of retail and other local services within walking distance.

Other advantages of such a densification are also numerous. These include social progress and a positive impact on the ecosystem, increased shared use of infrastructure, such as road and utility systems, schools and public transport, and thus better utilization of resources for all. It is also interesting to note that in the public consultation process with residents and stakeholders at the beginning of the neighborhood planning work, ideas were put forward that the area along Miklabraut could be used for construction, among other things to improve acoustics!

Safer connections between neighborhoods and districts

The neighborhood planning consultant’s proposal for Háaleitisbraut as a green urban street over Miklabraut is also a part of safer connections, both between neighborhoods and districts. The proposal also assumes that Miklabraut will be turned into an attractive boulevard on this section with Borgarlína and less traffic than at present, which would be positive for both the development of services to the local area and the increase in the number of apartments in the area.

There are ideas to allow the construction of multi-unit buildings in vacant areas on the development plot by Miklabraut and on the corner of Miklabraut and Háaleitisbraut

Ideas for an urban road tunnel on Miklabraut
No work has been done in the neighborhood planning work on ideas for laying an urban road tunnel on Miklabraut to Grensásvegur, as they were presented in the first public consultation process. These plans are outside the scope of the neighborhood plan and marked as a development area on the community policy map for Háaleiti-Bústaðir.
However, it should be emphasized that Miklabraut, between Snorrabraut and Háaleitisbraut, runs through a neighborhood with around 17 thousand residents and if this part of the street to be tunneled in the future it would be possible to connect the neighborhoods in question much better than now.
Image: Reykjavíkurborg.


The Kringlan area is a development plot outside the neighborhood plan. Reitir, in collaboration with the City of Reykjavík, is working on the development of a city center with a mix of apartments, shops, services and entertainment on the basis of a framework plan approved in 2018.

Framework plan for the Kringlan area
The framework plan provides for a subdivision of plots that fits in well with the city’s traditional urban pattern and creates a strong whole.
Image: Kanon arkitektar.

It is estimated that development can begin within a few years and estimates assume that the entire area will be developed in 10-15 years. The first phase is expected to include 350-400 apartments and over 50,000 square meters of new structures. Borgarlína stations will be located by Kringlumýrarbraut and Miklabraut and will serve the Kringlan area and nearby settlements in the future.


Reitir and the City of Reykjavík have in collaboration expressed their willingness to develop the so-called Orkureitur, on the corner of Suðurlandsbraut and Grensásvegur and up to Ármúli. The plot is outside the scope of the neighborhood plan, but plans assume that development can begin in the year 2022.

ALARK Architects’ award-winning proposal in the zoning competition for the plot in 2019 assumes about 450 apartments as well as about 6,000 m² of commercial housing.
Image: ALARK Architects

The plot is around 26,000 m² and it is expected that a low-rise outbuilding in the middle of the plot will give way to 4-8-floor new structures in a city-centered zoning, where the old Rafmagnsveituhúsið will have a place of honor on the plot. The development will be in the spirit of the City of Reykjavík’s housing plan and the area is well located with regards to the proposed Borgarlína.