Enjoying the outdoor pool in a cold climate: Appropriate technology, utilisation of geothermal resources and the socialisation of everyday practices in Iceland

Örn Daníel Jónsson, Ólafur Rastrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The article explores the significance of abundant geothermal resources Icelanders enjoy, the comfort of inexpensively heated homes and easily accessible year-round public spaces where young and old can gather irrespective of social standing, age and bodily condition. Result: In recent decades, the outdoor public swimming pool has become the most frequented gathering place nationwide. In the harsh climate of the North Atlantic, the harnessing of geothermal resources has transformed everyday practices in terms of heat and cold. But the transformation did not occur through adoption of readymade generic technological solutions but through an interplay of social, political and technological factors. Thus, the article shows how the adoption of appropriate technology, case-specific technological advancements designed in the context of utilisation, in the use of geothermal resources played central role in instigating social change. Indeed, the successful introduction of appropriate technology has had pervading social and cultural consequences, normalizing its generous use and yet in a way that is responsible in quest for the ecologically sustainable. Conclusion: The utilisation of geothermal water has come from being a response to a dire social, climatic and economic situation to contributing to issues of social welfare and overall wellness.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGeothermal Energy
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2017

Other keywords

  • Geothermal utilisation
  • Appropriate technology
  • Sustainability
  • Cultural practices
  • Swimming pools
  • Jarðhiti
  • Sjálfbærni
  • Menning
  • Sundlaugar

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