Department of Environment & Planning

The Department of Environment & Planning (USK) is built on an old foundation. The Department officially took up its duties in January 2013 with the merger of the Department of Environment & Transportation, Department of Planning & Construction, and the Construction Division of the Department of Construction & Properties.

About the Department

The Department of Environment & Planning (USK) works on diverse projects that enhance the quality of life in the city. It collaborates with elected representatives on policy making in environment, planning, transportation, and urban design. The Department manages operations and maintenance, covering general activities in the city such as gardening, mowing, snow clearing, and cleaning.

Mandatory tasks of the Building Commissioner, Planning Officer, and Reykjavík Public Health are part of the Department. Reykjavík Waste Collection, Reykjavík Parking Service, Reykjavík Botanic Garden, and the cultivation center in Fossvogsdalur are a part of the Department. The Municipal Plan of Reykjavík and commitments in climate change issues guide all the Department's work. The Plan until 2040 sets the groundwork for the city's most significant period of development, which is currently underway. The focus is on sustainability, both environmentally and socially.

The staff of the Department of Environment & Planning possesses unique expertise in its areas of responsibility and plays a key role in making Reykjavík an even better city with outstanding services. The Department is environmentally certified, and the staff is committed to providing good services to city residents and other customers.

The Department Office is in Borgartún 12-14.

The Director is Ólöf Örvarsdóttir.

Director - Municipal Planning and Climate Change Issues

The Director oversees policy making in the areas of responsibility of USK and ensures consistency within the City. The Director is responsible for long-term policy making, development, and analysis, as well as guiding development through municipal and regional planning, and communicating outcomes and policy priorities. Climate change issues, the Green City, and other projects fall under the Director's jurisdiction.

Office of Service and Communication

The Office supports the Department's offices in providing outstanding services in line with the City's Service Policy. Its staff supports the development of services and digital transformation in collaboration with managers, assists in creating marketing and promotional materials, manages and follows up on communications, and disseminates information and news about the Department's projects. Furthermore, the Office provides practical information useful to staff and residents on the City's websites.

Geospatial Information

Geospatial Information oversees all databases containing land-related information, focusing on accurate and current information based on a solid foundation. The main tasks are the acquisition, maintenance, processing, and delivery of geospatial information. The Division is also responsible for the management and operation of geospatial information systems, City Viewer, Zoning Viewer, land surveys, locating plot boundaries, and issuing maps, measuring sheets, and yard plans.

Office of Administration & Quality

The Office of Administration & Quality oversees central services, general operational services, and support services for the Department. The Office is responsible for services to the Planning & Transportation Council and the Environment & Health Council, administrative issues, legal services, quality and safety issues, and supervision of building, usage, and development permits. Management of funds for contracts related to cemeteries and highways in urban areas falls under the Office of the Director. It also manages affairs and communicates with B operations, companies, committees, and boards.

Human Resources Service

The Human Resources Service of the Department of Environment & Planning advises managers on human resources matters such as hiring, labor issues, rights and obligations of employees, teamwork, and supervision where applicable. The Human Resources Service manages career development, training, and education, and offers advice and support to managers and workplaces on communication issues.

Project Office

The Project Office of the Department of Environment & Planning oversees the project management of larger investment projects across the Department's offices, handling projects and project portfolios from start to finish. The Project Office aims to enhance and improve project management, reduce waste, and increase quality, providing support to managers and staff in project management. Furthermore, the Project Office offers education and advice to all Department staff.

Finance Division

The Finance Division of the Department of Environment & Planning oversees the Department's finances and provides advice and assistance to staff regarding financial matters. The main tasks of the Division include budgeting and payroll, five-year planning, financial and operational accounting, billing and collection, cost control, and monthly and quarterly settlements.

Transportation director and urban design

The Office of the Transportation Director & Urban Design works on urban design and transportation development based on the approved policy direction of City authorities. The Office is responsible for the detailed policy direction, planning, and preparation of projects in these areas for the coming years.

The Office's projects include transportation planning in new and old areas, implementing the City's Public Transportation and Biking Plan, designing squares and summer streets, designing open areas in the city center, preliminary studies on changes to the street system, traffic counts, traffic signal management, traffic safety, energy transition in transportation, and acoustics related to traffic. The Reykjavík Parking Service falls under the Office of the Transportation Director & Urban Design.

Building Commissioner

The Building Commissioner works according to the Building Act 160/2010 and Building Regulation 112/2012, approves permit-requiring construction projects and their plans, issues building permits, and oversees that structures are built in accordance with approved documents, plans, laws, and regulations.

The Building Commissioner is also responsible for the registration of structures, overseeing maintenance, verifying property transfer declarations, handling fees, and the recording, preservation, and dissemination of information about structures.

The processing of permit applications is online. At the Service Center at Borgartún 12-14, open every weekday from 8:30am to 4pm except Fridays until 2:30pm, there is also the reception and delivery of documents that have been processed on paper. Copies of plans can also be obtained there, while existing digital plans are accessible on Reykjavík City's Blueprint Archive.

Planning Officer

Under the planning matters section, you can find minutes from the Planning Officer's office proceedings, matters on public display at the Service Center at Borgartún 12 - 14, such as changes to the municipal plan, new land-use plans, changes to land-use plans, matters in the hearing notification procedure, matters in process, new and recently approved land-use plans, and an overview of Reykjavík's Municipal Plan 2010-2040. Also available here are the Regional Plan for the capital area and the Development Plan for the city center. Additionally, there are guidelines for the creation of land-use plans for planning consultants, and a map for building preservation in Reykjavík.


Office of Construction & Maintenance

The Office manages major projects for Reykjavík City and oversees all maintenance of Reykjavík City's property portfolio, including buildings, transportation structures, and open areas. The Office has four divisions: preliminary structure assessments, construction division, street division, and open areas division.

The Office conducts preliminary studies for construction projects as well as preparatory and analytical work. The Office prepares cost and progress estimates, handles tendering and contracts, oversees design and project execution, and monitors physical construction. The Office also takes care of all maintenance for the City's assets.

Office of City Land

The Office of City Land manages all daily operations and maintenance of city land, acting as the road maintainer in Reykjavík. The Office's tasks include operating district road stations and horticulture workstations.

Main tasks include winter service, horticulture, managing the boundaries of Reykjavík, mowing, cleaning city land, traffic lights, traffic signs, street lighting, operating city-owned bus shelters, caring for open areas, issuing usage permits for city land and supervising them, street and square sales, and road maintenance for city land events.

Office of Environmental Quality

The Office has two units: nature and gardens, and environmental and waste management. The Office works on policy making, preliminary studies, and preparatory work regarding gardens, green areas, vegetation, and playgrounds.

The Office of Environmental Quality focuses on environmental and nature conservation and works on environmental management in the city and City operations. The Botanic Garden, School of Work, Reykjavík City Waste Collection, Reykjavík City Nursery, and Green Steps in Reykjavík City operations fall under the Office's purview.

Reykjavík Public Health Authority

Reykjavík Public Health is an independent administrative institution responsible for public health, food, and pollution control within Reykjavík's jurisdiction, according to Act No. 7/1998 on Hygiene and Pollution Prevention, with later amendments, Act No. 93/1995 on Food, with later amendments, and regulations set according to them.

Reykjavík Public Health, under the authority of the Public Health Committee, handles administrative matters of dogs and dog ownership within Reykjavík's jurisdiction, as per Act No. 7/1998 and the Regulation on Dog Ownership in Reykjavík City, and enforces them under the authority of Reykjavík Public Health Committee.

Public Health issues licenses for all businesses requiring a permit and conducts regular inspections, takes care of registration and supervision of businesses that must be registered, receives notifications, and oversees businesses that must declare their operations. Reykjavík Public Health is divided into the Food Inspectorate and Environmental Inspection departments and a monitoring unit.

Organization Chart