Tunnelling the peninsula of trolls: A case study of road infrastructure improvement and demographic dynamics in Northern Iceland

Thoroddur Bjarnason*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Geographical isolation is closely associated with rural population decline and policies for regional and rural development frequently emphasize better transportation infrastructure improvements. Although poor access to jobs and services may lead to negative rates of net migration and skewed age and gender distribution in rural and remote areas, research on the association of road infrastructure improvement with rural demographic dynamics remains sparse. The current study adds to the understanding of these issues by examining the effects of a large-scale road tunnel project in Northern Iceland. The results suggest that improved road infrastructure coincides with a break in long-term population decline through parity in net migration and positive changes in the composition of the population of sparsely populated areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-387
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Countryside
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Thoroddur Bjarnason, published by Sciendo 2021.

Other keywords

  • coastal communities
  • demography
  • Iceland
  • Tunnels
  • Rural communities
  • Regional development
  • Transportation

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