Arctic Research Coordination Network

Arctic Research Coordination Network: Building a Research Network for Promoting Arctic Urban Sustainability

This Research Coordination Network based at George Washington University will promote Arctic urban sustainability in Russia. It is a multi-disciplinary, international effort examining the interconnections among resource development, climate change, and evolving demographic patterns with the goal of providing advice to U.S., Russian, and other policy-makers on how to develop Arctic oil and natural gas deposits and their related infrastructure in a way that produces minimal impact on the environment.

Promoting Urban Sustainbility in the Arctic (PIRE)

This project engages an international network of scientists to develop an Arctic Urban Sustainability Index. The Arctic Urban Sustainability Index will be used to measure the effects of anthropogenic expansion, inform policy meant to mitigate these effects, and assess progress towards sustainable solutions in Arctic cities that are growing due to resource development projects. The Index will address a complex set of systems unique to the Arctic with numerous important variables, including thawing permafrost, a boom-bust economic cycle, and an influx of migrant workers with the resulting increase in social tensions.  By working with international partners, our researchers will gain crucial access to cities of the Arctic outside of the United States, building relationships with local policy-makers and populations, and acquiring data most easily obtained by local researchers.


Russia’s Arctic Cities: Sustainable Development and Challenges (Murmansk, Russia), June 27-28, 2016

Arctic Urban Sustainability Conferenc (Washington, DC) June 4-5, 2015

Arctic Urban Sustainability Conference (St. Petersburg) June 5-7, 2014

Arctic Urban Sustainability Conference May 30-31, 2013




Arctic Resources


Routledge recently released Professor Marlene Laruelle’s edited edition “New Mobilities and Social Changes in Russia’s Arctic Regions.


Arctic Conference 2016 participants by the Lenin icebreaker in Murmansk.

Arctic Conference 2014 participants.

Norilsk, one of the largest and the most polluted city above the Arctic circle, is threatened by a man-made rock glacier

Celebration of Metallurgy Day in Norilsk, the largest city built on permafrost above the Arctic Circle

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1231294. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.