March 16, 2022: Infrastructural legacies and post-Soviet transformations in Northern Sakha (Yakutiya), Russia

The town of Tiksi came into being in the 1930s, when the Soviet Union intensified its efforts to industrialize the Arctic. A critical element of that policy was to make the Northern Sea Route a viable Arctic shipping lane and Tiksi, located where the Lena River meets the Arctic Ocean, became an important transportation hub on that route. Post-Soviet transformations led to a rapid decline in population numbers and economic significance of the town, while climate change opened up new opportunities for shipping and mammoth tusk collecting. Today, the situation seems to have stabilized but the promises of a bright future pronounced in strategic papers by the government are yet to be realized. The article explores the socio-economic, infrastructural and environmental changes of recent decades in order to explore future development prospects for Tiksi. The infrastructural legacies of the Soviet past, combined with the environmental conditions of the region, result in the intertwined material dependencies of built and natural environments. Still, these material dependencies are neither straitjackets nor unchangeable. It is the interplay between global climate change, national policies, and local initiative that will challenge the material dependencies of the past and present.

Published in “Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning”, March 16, 2022

Full article as PDF

CfPs at InfraNorth events at VANDA 2022

ERC project “InfraNorth” (“Building Arctic Futures: Transport Infrastructure and Sustainable Northern Communities”) https://www.infranorth.eu/ will hold two events at the conference Vienna Anthropology Days taking place in Vienna on September 26-30, 2022. Please, feel free to submit your papers to the panel “Infrastructure and the Built Environment in the Anthropocene” and your expressions of interest to […]

March 26, 2022: Workshop on Arctic infrastructure and climate change

The community workshop on Arctic infrastructure and climate change “RATIC meets T-MOSAiC”, co-organized by Skip Walker, Peter Schweitzer and Olga Povoroznyuk at the Arctic Science Summit Week, from 14:00 – 18:00 CEST in Tromsø, Norway and online: https://www.assw.info/sessions/ratic-meets-t-mosaic Meeting Announcement PDF Please, join us – online participation is free!