The project’s location – Húsavík, Iceland

1. Historical context

The place of Iceland’s first discovery Iceland was the last landmass in Europe to be colonized. Husavik is where the colonizers first arrived.

Husavik is therefore the only place where the whole story of human interaction with Iceland’s environment can be told — including Gardar’s journey across the Atlantic, the moment of his first arrival, 1,000 years of settlement, and the modern-day uncertainty.

2. Geological context

It lies on a site of volcanic activity The Husavik region on northern Iceland lies on the boundary of two tectonic plates.

Iceland’s very existence results from its location on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where two huge plates continue to drift apart. Everything — from volcanic activity, hot geysers, the fertility of the soil and the island’s devastating susceptibility to erosion — is linked directly to tectonic movement.

3. Tourist destination

At the heart of many attractions Husavik is at the centre of some of Iceland’s most extraordinary natural features. And as the place of first settlement, some of the oldest archaeological remains lie on its doorstep.

These include Thingey, the site of an early political assembly, and Hofstadir, one of Iceland’s largest Viking ruins.

4. Social context

A community undergoing change The Husavik community embodies Iceland’s uncertain times, reflecting the circumstance of rural communities around the world:

  • Uncertainty in the future of farming and fishing
  • Growing unemployment
  • Population declining as people migrate to the city

A community seizing new opportunities

But members of the community, through innovation and courage, have already started to bring profound positive change, leading the way for a brighter sustainable future:

  • Successful and expanding ecotourism
  • Pioneering projects in reforestation and soil conservation
  • Groundbreaking sustainable energy use

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Personell and info

The Gardarsholm Project will become a world centre for environmental discussion and research, linking national and international learning institutions by:

  • Supporting debate, innovation and research
  • Hosting lectures, seminars and debate forums
  • Offering training and practice for nature guides
  • Providing a unique, cross-disciplinary perspective

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