Andrey N. Petrov

This paper lays the ground for re-tracing and re-examining the 20th century discourses of regional development in the Russian and Canadian North. Comparing development paths of the two Norths in the 20th century, it is appropriate to ask whether these distinctions and commonalities stem from similarities and differences between development discourses in these regions. The paper explores the history of the 20th century development ‘projects’ in Canada and Russia/USSR focusing on the relationship between state-promoted modernization discourses, power, and development. In doing so, it also investigates the link between social construction and material production of the North. It argues that both development trajectories bear a considerable level of similarity attributable to the types of discourses that empowered the development policies in the 20th century. At the same time, it identifies differences which led to the divergence of development paths of the Canadian vs. Russian North.

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Maxwell C. McGrath-Horn & Ryan R. Uljua

For the last decade, while annual sea-ice has declined and economic activity has increased, many observers have eagerly described the Arctic as the world’s next “emerging market.” While emotively compelling, this popular claim is founded neither in theory nor quantitative analysis. In this paper, we attempt to more thoroughly answer the question “is the Arctic an emerging market?” After discussing the prominent frameworks and assessing available data we find that by most customary metrics the Arctic is not a traditional emerging market. However, using a new framework put forward by emerging market theorists Khanna and Palepu of Harvard University, which describes an emerging market as a transactional arena characterized by institutional voids which inhibit buyers and sellers from easily coming together, we argue that the Arctic can in many ways be considered an emerging market (Khanna & Palepu, 2010). Ultimately, we propose a new way to think of the ‘Arctic economy’ in the global context: as a nascent transactional arena largely nestled inside of stable, highly developed economies where buyers and sellers nonetheless have difficulty in conducting transactions, particularly in capital markets.

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Jessica Metuzals & Myra J. Hird

After nearly eight years of formal environmental review, in July 2016, the Canadian federal government rejected the French multinational AREVA’s proposal to construct a uranium mine 80 kilometers west of Qamani’tuaq/Baker Lake, a small inland and mainly Inuit hamlet in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut. The decision not to grant a license for resource development based on a technical uncertainty (AREVA was not able to provide a start-date for the mining project due to a depressed uranium market) underlies a far more complex and ongoing negotiation with uncertainty. Sites of uncertainty are spaces — physical, temporal, emotional, material, discursive and so on—that are occupied by a state of not knowing. Based on recent qualitative fieldwork in Baker Lake, this paper will identify key sites of uncertainty where AREVA, government officials, Inuit organizations, and community residents constructed, negotiated, expressed, transformed, experienced, and responded to uranium mining as a resource development controversy. Our analysis reveals how AREVA understood uncertainty as the “disease that knowledge must cure”, that is, the view that uncertainty is something to be reduced through the acquisition of increased expertise (Jasanoff, 2007: 33). This paper will demonstrate how this epistemological approach resulted in claims to certainty that were deeply contested and deconstructed when positioned against the contextual and relational knowledge of local residents. It will conclude by detailing how local residents’ calls for improvements in education can be understood as a strategic intervention, one that is reflective of an intermeshing of Inuit and western epistemologies.

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Alexander Sergunin

Russian Arctic cities acknowledge the need to build sustainable development strategies (SDSs) to ensure their long-term socioeconomic and ecological viability. They try to create proper conceptual, legal and institutional settings for the development and implementation of such strategies. First and foremost the Arctic cities aim to create and develop an efficient strategy planning system which is seen as a necessary precondition for successful urban SDS. This paper aims to discuss possible indicators to evaluate the SDS planning process in the major industrial cities of the Russian Arctic). The following indicators will be discussed:

  • Ability to acknowledge the need for SDS planning.
  • Integrated/comprehensive nature of planning.
  • The existence/non-existence of a planning office in the city.
  • Clearly defined goals, outcomes/expectations, implementation strategies, including indicators and benchmarks.
  • Quality and accuracy of assessments (whether it is based on science or wishful thinking).
  • Coordination with the regional and federal SDS.
  • Transparency of the planning process.
  • Public input/community engagement (opinion polls, public discussions in the media, hearings in the public chambers, NGO’s role).
  • Ability to take into account private and public interests.
  • Centralized or indicative planning.

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David Chapman, Kristina L. Nilsson, Agatino Rizzo & Agneta Larsson

This study explores urban design principles for winter settlements to identify climate-related conditions that affect soft mobility (walking and cycling) in these communities. Winter communities have evolved lifestyles and means suited to living and working with local conditions and seasonal variation. However, climate change will cause changes in weather that will require adaptation in such communities. These changes may present new risks and unexpected challenges to outdoor soft mobility in the community. Physical inactivity has emerged as a major focus of concern in public health policy. Winter weather has always limited outdoor soft mobility in winter settlements. In particular, outdoor activity in winter can be reduced by inclement weather and fear of accidents. People’s understanding of the barriers to and enablers of soft mobility are also often based on experience and ability to detect environmental clues. To help winter communities maximise the opportunities for outdoor soft mobility and the associated wellbeing benefits, built environments must be designed with an understanding of climate change.

This study explores barriers to and enablers of soft mobility in winter and discusses them in light of climate change and human wellbeing. It is argued that established principles of urban design may require re-evaluation if we want to increase outdoor soft mobility in winter. Increases in physical activity could help reduce costs and pressures on health services by creating safer and more walkable communities. The paper concludes by suggesting that communities should focus on more context-based winter urban design principles that account for ongoing climate change.

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Jørgen S. Søndergaard

The words used control the discussion, which means that something important can be forgotten. The discussion of Sustain-able Development was derailed using the words “economy”, “social” and “environment”. This also applies to Arctic socie-tal development. The article is based on the definition of the Brundtland Commission and shows that the understanding of the sustainability concept consisting of three dimensions: an economic, a social and an environmental, as it was usually defined in the years after the UN Conference in 1992, originating in the 1990s implementation discussions in the UK. The Earth Charter was an initiative that wanted to bring the concept of sustainable development back to the right track so that all elements of the Brundtland Commission's definition were included.

The discussion in Greenland has been focused on the exploitation of the living marine resources, which is reflected in the way the concept is translated into Greenlandic. At the same time, there has been an awareness in Greenland that the cul-tural dimension is part of the discourse, although the national implementation of sustainable development initiatives still mostly is economically motivated. The Arctic Council’s Fairbanks Declaration (2017), paragraph 13 states that “the Arctic Council in promoting sustainable development through the harmonization of its three pillars in an integrated way: economic development, social development and environmental protection”. The struggle for recognition of the cultural di-mension as an integral part of sustainable development thus remains important in an arctic context. Focusing on the main points of the Finnish Presidency’s Arctic Council Program for the period 2017 - 2019, it can be concluded, that the struggle to expand the understanding and definition of ‘sustainable development’ to include the cultural dimension and thus go beyond “economy”, “social” and “environment” continues. It is important to use the right words.

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