Melissa Jane Kenny
Urbanization is not the most common concept associated with the Arctic. Nonetheless, climate change, growing industrial activity, and increased levels of accessibility all suggest that the region is likely to become more urbanized. As these significant changes, environmentally, socially and economically provide both opportunities and threats to the Arctic, there is a critical need to plan for and anticipate these changes to ensure that existing and developing Arctic cities are resilient to the future, both physically and as a social structure. Although Arctic cities exist as hubs of activity within the region, often acting as economic, governance and social centers, urban planners have yet to focus comprehensively on the region. Furthermore, the use of urban planning as a facilitator of urban resilience is a growing concept that is relatively new to the Arctic. Planning can be used to respond to and manage changes to the built environment, increasing the capacity of cities to absorb shocks and changes to the urban fabric. Urban planning as a form of resilience could become a key concept within the urbanization of the Arctic. This paper will take an analytical approach, firstly undertaking a brief investigation into the history of urban planning within the Arctic. In addition, case studies where urban planning has attempted to provide resilience will be discussed and finally the potential for urban planning to contribute to a resilient future in the Arctic in the future will be highlighted.