The conference includes special Arctic Cities Panel. The panel is organized in cooperation with the Arctic Centre at the University of Lapland and the City of Rovaniemi.
Confirmed Invited Experts:
- Senior Research Fellow, Dr. Rasmus Ole Rasmussen, Nordregio (Nordic Centre for Spatial Development)
- Director, Dr. Aileen A. Espíritu, the Barents Institute, University of Tromsø
Cities are the key to the Arctic because outside the cities and towns it's hard to attract new settlers and make business. The Arctic is a sparsely populated region, but it is in general also increasingly urbanized due to industrialization, migration and other processes. There are no megacities in the region, but the importance of Arctic cities is not related to a large number of inhabitants. Many Arctic cities – which would be called towns elsewhere – play a major role in regional development and they have to face unique city planning challenges due to unique and harsh environment.
Moreover, Northern cities experience in a particular way the consequences of Arctic change and its main drivers: climate change, globalization, modernization and economic incentive. Arctic cities have a lot in common, host most of the Arctic population, and have a lot to say. It is important that cities take an increasingly active role in the Arctic international discourse, development and co-operation.
Arctic Cities Panel offers a unique opportunity to discuss these questions. The researchers and other stakeholders participating to the conference will inspire the city leaders into a fruitful discussion about the future of the circumpolar Arctic.
Photos: Arktikum building in Rovaniemi in Winter; Murmansk (Image credits: Kamil Jagodzinski)