Iceland is a sublime and beautiful country and a wonderful place for all that love outdoor activities. Even in the centre of the capital the natural green areas can be easily accessed like Elliðaárdalur valley. But despite of the beauty the weather is not always ideal for outdoor activities, especially during the winter season. Many – but not all individuals – stop outdoor activities during the cold and dark season. That’s unfortunate, because during the winter season we are most vulnerable for mental illness like anxiety and depression.
The most common cause of death in Iceland are noncommunicable diseases that could be prevented by improved lifestyle, i.e. healthier food consumption and increased activities. According to the Icelandic Directorate of health, 27% of the Icelandic nation is overweight and a quarter of all young people experience anxiety in their life and 6% of them serious symptoms. It should also be noted that seniors in Iceland that are forced to sedentary lifestyle because of bad weather conditions have solved that by visiting the malls.
A GREEN NATURE YEAR AROUND
Doctors and lifestyle consultants are increasingly recommending the ‚green prescriptions‘ for their clients i.e. exercise in the nature, hence number of research have proved the positive influence of such activity for the health and wellbeing. Green nature improves wellbeing, creativity and efficiency.
ALDIN Biodome, a biophilic garden under dome shaped roofs will be constructed by Elliðaárdalur valley, north of Stekkjarbakki, connecting people with nature in a new way. ALDIN is based on sustainable urban farming and offers a healing experience in emerging and diverse’ plants all year around. ALDIN aims to invite visitors time and space to reconnect with their inner self, meditate and enjoy the nature.
Urban farming supports shorter transportation of products to customers and decreases the carbon footprint of the food. Increased supply and consumption of vegetables and fruits is also an important factor in improving health and wellbeing. Inside ALDIN Biodome diverse employment opportunities will be created in the field of cultural activity, horticulture and varied services and education. The operation will support and crate economic growth for the community and the city and improve sustainability.
CONSTRUCTED ON NEGLECTED AND UNUSED TERRAIN
Lively discussions have been about the construction on this area north of Stekkjarbakki – but ALDIN Biodome is just a part of that development – and this discussion should be celebrated. The more it is and different points of views are involved, the better the final implementation will be. The scheme has been redesigned already, because of the public remarks. On the other hand, it is not and can’t be the role of the signed, to answer questions regarding the site-pan, hence ALDIN is as has been explained before only a part of the total plan for the area. Some facts have however been rooming that I do think is important to clarify.
The area that the biophilic garden will be constructed on is mostly neglected and disturbed. There were mines for a period of time and there were also small illegal farms for a long period time. The area is outside of the valley and the area that is defined as protected as such, according to the master plan, and in fact the master plan assumed an increase of two lanes to the road to create a highway of four lanes through the area in question.
WILL NOT DISTURB ELLIÐAÁRDALUR VALLEY
All the design work of ALDIN Biodome aims to set the buildings into the landscape in a moderate and nice way with respect to the valley and neighbouring residential districts. The buildings will partially be dug down and will not rise higher than 9m at the most. For comparison the trees at site are up to 14m high. Moreover, the biophilic garden will strengthen the valley as outdoor recreational area, hence at site there will be facility for people that are heading towards the valley. Vegetation at the site will be protected as much as possible and new areas grown.
ALDIN Biodome will not disturb Elliðaárdalur valley, on the contrary it is the developer’s vision to do good for the environment and the community. The development of ALDIN will make it easier for people to enjoy nature in the valley both during summer and winter.
I believe that the citizens of the city will see that this moderate development is a progressive step for the area and the ALDIN Biodome development team are looking forward to welcome you when we open the doors.
The author is the founder and CEO of ALDIN Biodome