Luis Suter, Carrie Schaffner, Carlson Giddings, Robert Orttung & Dmitry Streletskiy
This article describes the preliminary results of an effort to produce an Arctic Urban Sustainability Index that will have applications for researchers and policymakers. The project aims to help policymakers define and implement sustainability policies by measuring progress towards sustainability, compare across cities, and trace development over time. Existing studies within the region provide little analysis specifically addressing urban development. This study, under the auspices of the National Science Foundation’s Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) project, aims to fill this gap in Arctic research by promoting urban sustainability, with a focus on optimal city planning and management to ensure the interests of future generations. Collecting the data to prepare the Index has proven challenging across a number of dimensions and efforts to address those challenges are discussed. While the Index described here remains a work in progress, we believe the process of thinking through issues related to measuring sustainability systematically will ultimately deliver useful results for researchers and policymakers.