Preparing the Future Urban Planners of the Arctic
Building smart, sustainable cities requires the collaboration of many stakeholders including local governments, architects, environmental safety experts, meteorologists, social scientists and community members. Urban areas must be accessible and user-friendly, whilst taking into account the health and wellbeing of its citizens. They should also use new technological developments to use energy and resources effectively. The Arctic has additional challenges including poor infrastructure and harsh climatic conditions. But that is not unique to the Arctic. Many developing countries also face the similar challenges.
This is why it is important to provide interdisciplinary education and out-of-classroom experiences for future urban planners. Between October 31st and November 3rd, 25 students were joined by professors and experts in Sommarøy and digitally, as part of the Ursa Major Young Scientist School. The students, from eight different countries, were tasked with developing sustainable cities in both Alaska and India – from an interdisciplinary perspective, and by sharing experiences from across the two regions.
As part of the Young Scientist School, the students used Virtual Reality tools, which are now used to engage local communities in projects. The students also experienced the beauty of northern Norway with field excursions, and the Northern Lights put on a show for them.
Urban Sustainability through Jointly Organized Research Schools
The Young Scientist School was organized as part of the Ursa Major project, which aims to educate the next generation of sustainable urban planners through a series of workshops, schools and access to new digital infrastructure. Arctic Frontiers is a project member, along with our partners UiT- The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, the University of Bergen and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Read more about the project here.