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Finding the Phoenix Factor

Updated: Nov 18, 2021

Recycling of Industrial Buildings

MAY 31, 2021

Last year, the Institute of Regional Development provided a grant to master's student David. Kampfner to examine how buildings where there were previously commercial activities (industrial monuments) are reused today for other activities. Examples of such buildings and changes in their operations are the herring factory in Djúpuvík in Strandir, the Nes Art Center in Skagaströnd and the Herring Museum in Siglufjörður.

The social, economic and demographic stability of Icelandic seafaring communities has been affected by the steady decline in traditional industries such as fishing and agriculture. These societies are increasingly looking to create new opportunities in the more diverse economic landscape of today.

Across Europe, industrial monuments have become an important part of rural development and economic renewal. This study examines recycled industrial monuments in Iceland and places special emphasis on examining their impact on economic, social and cultural change. Sixteen monuments in Iceland are examined, all of which are at different stages of adapted reuse, among other things with regard to preservation and interpretation. Interviews were conducted with 50 parties in two sessions from September 2019 to January 2021.

The study identifies key factors that contribute to the successful adaptation of monuments, their connections and their common characteristics in order to better understand how this heritage protection can be adapted and prioritised when it comes to settlement development, tourism development and planning issues. A policy proposal is also proposed, which includes measures to support the preservation of twentieth - century monuments, especially buildings.

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