Assimilating the North

30.05.2013, 09:34
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Russia is the Shore of a Frozen Ocean.

The Arctic, as an environmental and climatic zone, accounts for one fifth of Russian territory. As a social and economic region, it covers a quarter of the nation. And thanks to the national geography — as a rule the further east your go the further north you get — fully half of the country can be said to lie in the North. Three quarters of Russia’s oil reserves and almost all its gas are concentrated in or around the Arctic circle. The North is home to 2.5 million people, including 40 indigenous ethnic groups.

The frontier of development in the Arctic, which reached at the end of the last century to the northern shores of Eurasia, is now in retreat. But the gigantic northern cities are not emptying as quickly as might be expected, and plans for development of the northern regions are becoming if anything more adventurous. Everything here, from the climate to migration, cities, and human capability, is a matter of extremes.

Is there such a thing as a special northern urbanism? What can Canada learn from Russia? Why are more and more northerners showing up in government? What is the future for developed Arctic regions? And why is climate change unwelcome in the region? All these and many other questions will be answered at a new series of discussions at Strelka Institute – “Assimilating the North.”