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.