Over the past few years, Akureyri, a municipality located in Northern Iceland with about 18.000 inhabitants, has being establishing itself as the place for Arctic cooperation in Iceland. Now, "Arctic Akureyri" has a new website gathering all relevant information and to make the variety of Arctic related institutions and companies located in Akureyri visible and accessible.
As the mayor of Akureyri suggested, there are at least 3 good reasons for Akureyri to be the "Arctic Capital" of Iceland:
Geographically Iceland and the town of Akureyri are a part of the Arctic Region and the island of Grímsey, which is a part of Akureyri municipality, has the Arctic Circle running straight through it. That is one reason.
In my opinion it is important for municipalities in the Arctic area to take part in Arctic cooperation and Arctic discussion with the interests of their inhabitants as the main focus. The discussion should not be done by government and businesses alone. That is another reason.
The third reason is that our municipality has been an active member of the Northern Forum since 2003 and is the only Icelandic member in this association of regions and countries in the North. In the last few years Akureyri has become a centre for Arctic research institutes, activities and events in Iceland. This has been officially established by the Icelandic government and we now host a great number of diverse conferences, workshops and lectures on Arctic issues."