RMIT’s Centre for Urban Research and Global Compact Cities Programme invites you to hear  Massimo Santanicchia, Assistant Professor in Architecture at the Iceland Academy of the Arts, present on Urban Tales from Reykjavík.

The lecture focuses on the small city of Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland. It investigates how the planning system is trying to build a new urban strategy, different from the world city model which was in place until the banking collapse of 2008.

The lecture reveals that the city is going through a cultural renaissance animated by a multitude of small events, enhancements of the public realm, grassroots initiatives and a more fruitful collaboration between planning authorities and citizens. At the same time the new Reykjavík master plan currently under discussion is prioritising growth scenarios affiliated with big, iconic developments.

The ultimate conclusion is that the planning system needs to support a more responsive, integrated and holistic urbanism at a regional and governance level. It should support a politics of small things, protecting the human scale, the sense of place, and diversity, by enhancing the endogenous resources and developing processes of participation in city making which are the basis of the reconstruction of trust, self-confidence and citizenship.

Download flyer here.


Council Chamber, RMIT University Building 1, Level 2, Room 17 124 – 126 Latrobe Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Friday 12 December