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Plans For Reykjavík Ferris Wheel Unfavorably Received

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Plans For Reykjavík Ferris Wheel Unfavorably Received

Ferris wheel

Photo: David own work/Wikipedia

Reykjavík’s Environmental- and Planning Commission is against plans to build a hundred meter (328 feet) tall Ferris wheel in Reykjavík, called the Reykjavík Eye, RÚV reports.

According to the commission meeting last Wednesday, the Ferris wheel was supposed to be a new landmark for the city, akin to London’s own London Eye. Alongside the wheel would have been a two-hectare lot for an amusement park “inspired by Icelandic folklore and superstition”.

The lot was to include a two story building for ticket sales, waiting rooms, a coffee shop, restaurant, an art gallery, along with a two story underground parking lot, with all construction planned to be finished in 2019.

The plans were unfavorably received mainly due to the “negative visual impact on the city landscape,” since Reykjavík is defined by its “clear line of sight from sea to mountains” with a tall Ferris wheel supposedly disturbing the city’s iconic countenance, along with fears of it posing a danger to birds as similarly large structures such as wind turbines can do.

The four locations suggested were also a major factor in the commission’s decision, Laugarnes, Öskjuhlíð, Laugardalur, and Örfirisey.

• Laugarnes, located on the shore near the island Viðey, is an important area preserving Reykjavík’s history of urban settlement, as well as how the Reykjavík shoreline used to look before settlement.

• Öskjuhlíð, a hill in the center of Reykjavík, used to be an island about 11.000 years ago and has ancient shorelines, as well as World War II remains. According to the commission, it’s “an important link in connecting Reykjavík’s outdoor area”.

• Laugardalur, a district located east of the city center, is an area primarily focused on sports and recreational activities. No nearby buildings of a similar size would make the Ferris wheel stand out too much.

• Örfirisey, a small island located at the end of Reykjavík harbor is defined as a harbor area, and a Ferris wheel is not a suitable addition to the area.

According to Gísli Garðarsson, a member of the commission, this doesn’t necessarily mean a Ferris wheel is out of the question: “I wouldn’t rule out a Ferris wheel in Reykjavík as long as a suitable location for it is found. I hadn’t thought of a specific location myself, but if the applicants suggest a location that works then we can definitely look into that.”

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