Keldur Development Area in Reykjavik

Strategic Urban Development Plan – Competition

The development of Keldur is a collaborative effort between the City of Reykjavík and Transport for the Capital Area (TfCA). Both parties are the contracting authority in an international competition that is held in two stages.


Up to 5 first stage entries will be invited to participate in the second stage, where all participating teams will receive EUR 50,000 to elaborate their strategies. A winning proposal will be selected to receive an additional EUR 50,000 award.


The contracting authority expects to negotiate a consultancy contract with the winning team once the competition ends. Consultancy involves continued elaboration of a development plan and spatial plans in accordance with a later decision, to the extent that the team’s expertise is of use to the contracting authority and with the condition that the contracting authority can reach an agreement with the winning team.


The contest begins in January 2023 and submission deadline for the first stage entries is April 19th. The second stage begins in May and the final submission is in August.


Registration and access to formal documents is through the City of Reykjavík tender’s portal. Participants must register on the tender’s portal to make sure that they receive all information regarding the contest. The Competition Brief is available here.


About the Area

Reykjavík, Iceland is the northernmost capital in the world, characterized by a mix of pristine nature and vibrant urban life.


The City of Reykjavík participates in the Horizon Europe Cities Mission, determined to set an example for other cities when it comes to sustainability and quality of living. For this to be achieved, setting new standards in urban development is imperative. Keldur will play a huge part in that mission. The development of the Keldur area is also a major stepping-stone in creating a contiguous urban fabric throughout Reykjavík and accommodating future housing and businesses in the city.


At 116 ha in size, the Keldur area is large and rife with opportunities while also presenting interesting challenges. The development area is part of a corridor of the dense, mixed-use urban core that runs the length of the city, from the old city center to the eastern edge. The aim is to build an exciting, modern urban quarter for at least 10,000 residents and 5,000 workplaces, focused on eco-friendly transportation and land use as part of a carbon-neutral urban environment.


Keldur and Borgarlína BRT

This project is part of a transportation agreement from 2019 between the government of Iceland and the municipalities of the Capital Region. It aims to expedite the development of the Keldur area and the construction of the Borgarlína, a bus rapid transit (BRT) system, which will run through the area.


The Borgarlína BRT service is a major prerequisite for transforming Keldur into a mixed urban area with apartments, services, and commercial properties. The aim is to begin the BRT service at the same time as the first 100 apartments are delivered. The estimated travel time between Keldur and downtown Reykjavík will be approximately 20 minutes.


Land value and Quality

All profits from the development and sale of the land will go entirely to transportation projects in the Capital Region. The land value created by the development strategy is important. The challenge is to maximize the value while also achieving premium urban quality, as set out in the objectives of the competition.