Arctic Resilience Cities Network
The effects of our changing climate are arguably more visible in the Arctic region than anywhere else on earth. Rising temperatures, shifting weather patterns and intensified natural hazards are already altering the living environment, economic basis, values and mind-sets of arctic populations. Models suggest that these trends will only intensify over the coming century.
Frozen lakes and rivers used as transport routes by indigenous communities are melting; earlier Spring thawing is altering fishing and other natural cycles upsetting hunting and trapping traditions; the Northern Sea Route will be navigable 120 days/year (currently 30); and by 2100, summers in the Arctic will be largely ice-free.
If well-managed, these challenges can bring fresh opportunities to the region such as increased trade and access, new investments in infrastructure, the opening of new markets, and the threats can be mitigated. However, as urbanization and climate change are already taking place, the communities and inhabitants of this extreme region need to act now to ensure that they are adequately prepared to withstand, continue, and adapt.
An Arctic Resilience Cities Network
Collaboration between Arctic cities, their local governments, and cultural heritage leaders is required now more than ever. Sharing knowledge, experience and practical tools on addressing key challenges can save time and resources and build solidarity among communities. At national and global level, collective lobbying can help ensure equity, safety, resilience and sustainability in the villages, towns and cities of the Arctic. To facilitate this coordination and provide impartial advocacy and convening support, UN-Habitat is proposing the Arctic Resilient Cities Network (ARCN).
We are calling for expressions of interest from Mayors and local Leaders in designing and operating this platform for knowledge exchange, access to resources and communities of practice, solidarity and global engagement on the challenges and opportunities of engaging in building more resilient towns, cities and other human settlements. For those interested in the ARCN concept please send a short message identifying: your settlement, community, town or city; your role; and contact details to the UN Habitat Urban Resilience Programme directly via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org