THE MOBILITY SCENARIO – a brief in progress

SLOW NETWORK – On the level of the plot, the neighborhood, the district – collectively or individually


The traffic network links human activities and exchange of goods.

Local and global problems/ opportunities:

In the last decades the planning of transport infrastructure has been guided by the principle of concentrating transport into large road corridors for high dynamic traffic: A fast network. Urban highways have connected high dynamic uses, such as businesses, offices, mass recreation. The corridors have become bigger and more difficult to cross.

The bulk of new commercial space, which in the Capital Area expanded by over 36% from 2002-2008, is lined up along  highway corridors. These spaces are surrounded with large asphalt surfaces (designed for parking) and many of them are not in use due to lack of business.

New residential areas were initially planned to be equipped with some local services, mainly schools, many of which have not been realized because of the meltdown. This makes it necessary for residents to also seek these services elsewhere, which due to dispersion, is difficult to do without the car and is energy consuming, expensive, time consuming and polluting.

The transport issues embedded in this throroughly planned transport system and the deadlock of the unplanned meltdown, penetrates the dynamics of the home and gender roles, as careers get defined by who has the 1st priority to which cars and who uses long hours collecting goods and bringing children to and from schools and other activities.

There is a local discussion about the opportunity to increase the diversity of transport corridors with even higher connectivity, such as trains, underground or trams which might have a fair chance of competing with motorized traffic, which integrates into the existing bus network. This has been driven by a debate on reduction of co2 and today its urgency has increased due to high cost of imported fossil fuel, and very little alternatives to individual car transport. However it is not likely to happen in any near future with the present economic situation and a political regime that is more interested in projects in the old center of town than solving problems in the more remote parts of town.

Highways in the capital area built in the time span 2002 to 2008 run for 60.8 kilometers (37.7 miles), minor roads for over 163 kilometers (101.2 miles) and 9 highway interchanges were completed. Currently (2012) here are only 1,5 km of paths exclusively built for bicycle riding, but improvement has recently entered the political agenda and budgets have been allotted.

A call for distributing individual transport in all sorts of low dynamic transport corridors could include bicycle paths, pedestrian tracks, children trails, riding paths, small boat facilities, ski-lifts like infrastructures and solutions for transporting the bikes up the hills, like bike lifts. These infrastructures are cheap to implement and use, invite to a more flexible lifestyle and the motion makes people healthier.

A mainstream use of a slow network will demand more workplaces closer to or inside the residential areas.

The slow network could go along with fine grain and land uses such as for example the protected areas, the green corridors, collective ecological gardens, streams and gentler sloping sheltered areas.

  • WHAT IF: the slow network of high connectivity could take over as a main source of transport in the Reykjavík Capital Area?
  • What incentives could support such a scenario and what sort of processes would be suitable to develop them?
  • How does the intervention contribute to the economy and comfort of the inhabitants?

Resources: Existing mobility network, the water network, the energy network, open areas.

STUDENT PROJECT (be patient, it takes a minute to download)


One Response to “MOBILITY”


  1. Scarcity and Creativity in the built Environment | - March 22, 2013

    […] MOBILITY […]

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