A duality of local infrastructure development in the context of increasing shipping activities

Theme 2. Connectivity
Session Name 2.11 Transport, infrastructure, communication - local, regional and global scales
Presentation Type Oral
Presenter
Author(s) Grete K. Hovelsrud (Nord University, Norway), Marina Nenasheva (Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov, Russian Federation), Julia Olsen (Nord University, Norway)
Abstract text

The expansion of Arctic shipping activities is mostly felt in Arctic port-towns, harbors and coastal communities. It is generally acknowledged that one of the sufficient responses for meeting the increased shipping locally is to ‘put corresponding infrastructures into place’. Given the heterogeneity of Arctic destinations, there is a need to specify what is meant by ‘corresponding infrastructure’ in the context of destinational shipping, comprising cargo, fishing, and passenger and cruise vessels.  In addition to port facilities, transport infrastructure, buildings, waste facilities, telecommunications infrastructure are developed to meet the needs of increasing number of community visitors. However, the same infrastructure development is not necessarily perceived as viable for communities’ well-being. Moreover, such development may become a barrier for local capacity to accommodate the growth.


The study examines this duality by assessing perspectives of two local coastal communities in the Barents area: Solovetsky in Northern Russian and Longyearbyen on Svalbard.


Based on  variety of sources, including semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders, community residents and tourists, media and literature review and document analysis this paper will discuss the role of supportive infrastructure. The preliminary results suggest that infrastructure development may:   increase local adaptive capacity and have a role in protecting the fragile Arctic environment important to the communities. Although the same infrastructure threatens local values such as a sense of isolation and may pose risks for cultural and historical heritage.

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