Recommendations for Municipal and Civil Society Sectors
  • Involve young people in local decision making 
Example from Finland
Countrywide (municipalities): The implementation of a youth council in all municipalities.
Example from Russia
Kovdor, Kirovsk, Nergyungri and Novy Urengoy (municipalities): Encouraging young people to participate in local decision-making and improving public spaces.
Create spaces for youth to meet and ‘hang out’. More diverse options can be created by public/private partnerships. Spaces should be indoors and outdoors. In Russia in particular, there is a demand for more ‘non-goal-oriented’ ways to spend time. To realistically reach out to the youth, more supervised but free spaces should be created where young people can ‘hang around’ in a permissive atmosphere (with sofas, games etc.) and socialize freely.
Examples from Finland
Countrywide (youth centres and church facilities): These are run by the municipalities and the church and usually offer spaces for young people to socialize

Pyhäjoki (municipality): The indoor skating rink is popular among some the local youth.
Example from Russia

Apatity (Municipal youth social centre): Bigger cities in the North offer such spaces but these are still rare.

  • Support general diversity of cultural life to enhance the liveability of the cities: organize concerts, festivals and other cultural events relevant to young people’s interests. Support the initiatives of young people for organizing events for themselves, because adult-organized youth events may have little relevance to younger generations.
  • Create more diverse opportunities for young people to pursue their hobbies. This could be achieved by partnering with companies, possibly exploring options for free-of-charge leisure time activities. Collective outdoor activities could be organized to get youth out in the natural environment at home, examples being collective games, survival training, extreme sports, orienteering, off-road cross-events and mountain-biking.

Examples from Russia:
Revda, Kovdor, Kirovsk, Nizhnyi Kuranakh and Novy Urengoy (local companies and municipalities): Sponsoring of hobby opportunities. A significant positive factor in our northern case sites has been the free-of-charge or affordable hobby facilities available, for example, the sports facilities sponsored by the extractive industries;

Tiksi: Self-organized youth sports groups, art and design groups, independent seeking of sponsors by these groups.
Example from Finland
Pyhäjoki (Fennovoima): Sponsors local sports initiatives. Company-sponsored hobbies are generally viewed positively in the communities.

Kolari (Sport Resort Ylläs and Ylläs Ski Resort): Companies donate a season pass to all local pre-schoolers.
  • Support young people’s entrepreneurial activities. Provide information about opportunities, offer assistance, and/or create platforms where young entrepreneurs can collaborate and exchange ideas, experiences, contacts, services, etc.
Example from Russia
Novy Urengoy (municipality): Coordination of a young entrepreneurs’ association with regular meetings, organizing educational events, creating a platform for young entrepreneurs where they can give advice to each other.
Example from Finland:
Pyhäjoki (upper secondary school): As a business-oriented school, the school promotes entrepreneurship in Pyhäjoki through, for example, the organization of an entrepreneur fair that attracts people from all over Finland.
  • Aim to attract incoming residents (both new arrivals and returnees). Getting people to move back after getting an education may be easier than trying to stop young people from leaving altogether. Being an attractive and supportive place for young families can become a pull-factor for northern cities. Returning could be made attractive by promoting appealing aspects of the region such as safety, small and good schools for young children, affordable housing, accessible services, closeness of nature and a relaxed pace of life.
Examples from Russia:
Revda (municipality), Kovdor (EuroChem), Kirovsk (Phosagro): Provides a programme of support for young professionals/families to attract them to the region. This includes assistance with housing, resettlement and leisure activities.

Yakutia and Yamal (various industrial companies): Discounts are provided on house mortgages for young families in order to help them to establish an independent life after their studies.
Examples from Finland
Pyhäjoki (municipality): The town is planning to be more attractive by building a new community centre; Kolari, Pyhäjoki, Kemijärvi (municipalities): Expanding opportunities for outdoor recreation (mountain bike, walking and skiing trails; public fireplaces; playgrounds).
  • Support and create means of transportation for young people. In sparsely populated areas, mobility is needed for sustaining a good quality of life. In places where public transportation is not available, create better conditions for young people to acquire their own individual means of transport. Examples of such support are subsidized motorcycle, quadbike, snowmobile and moped repair shops where young people can learn to fix their vehicles themselves or get help in in doing so.
Examples from Finland
Pyhäjoki (Pyhäjoki MC Ry, church, municipality and local businesses): The motorcycle workshop offers young people the possibility to fix their mopeds free of charge. They get useful tips from supervisors on how to fix their vehicles.
Example from Russia:
Novy Urengoy (youth centre ‘Nord’): Youth can come with their own vehicles and learn to fix them. Those who are interested in racing can train behind the facility (motocross, snowmobile). There is also space to store vehicles for those who do not have garages, as well as a gym to get in shape for racing.
  • Provide counselling tailored to the needs of young people. Collect information on nationally available and remote services and systematize it to ensure access for youth in northern towns.
Examples from Russia:
Novy Urengoy (municipality): Offers a version of the countrywide ‘telephone of trust’ adapted to local needs (telefon doveriya), available 24/7 for youth and children.
Examples from Finland:
Kolari, Pyhäjoki and Kemijärvi (municipalities): Youth centres offer their local youth a ‘safe space’ where they can come and talk to professional youth workers

Countrywide (the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare): Youth telephone service where young people can call anonymously to receive support and counselling.