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Enhancing the Adaptive Capacity of Arctic Cities Facing the Impacts of Climate Change
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Project description

The proposed project will be a pilot project for the new Global Sustainable Urban Development Network (SUD-Net) and a flagship project of UN-HABITAT’s Campaign on Sustainable Urban Development
Location: Number of Arctic cities and towns
- UN-Habitat Brussels Office
Partner: Government, Local Authority, Civil Society, Private Sector, United Nations, Research Institute, Inter-Governmental Organization
- Environmental Sustainability
Budget: USD 10,000,000

Focus Area(s)

- FA1: Effective advocacy, monitoring and partnerships
- FA2: Promotion of participatory urban planning, management and governance
- FA4: Environmentally sound basic urban infrastructure and services


The Arctic region is no exception to the climate change regime. Arctic settlements are experiencing the melting of permafrost soils. New research argues that the increasing intensity of North Atlantic hurricanes is due to global warming.  According to UNEP’s “Global Outlook for Ice and Snow”, rising temperatures and the thawing of frozen land or permafrost are triggering the expansion of existing—and the emergence of new—water bodies in places like Siberia. Permafrost or frozen ground is important for the stability of buildings and infrastructure. These soils also contain large quantities of ancient greenhouse gases, which could be released into the atmosphere as a result of widespread thawing.  Models indicate that continued climate change might change the timing and magnitude of spring melting affecting spring “ice jam” flooding in communities. Climate change might actually reduce these dramatic events in the far north, but this could lead to extensive wetlands on Arctic river deltas drying out and turning to shrub land. There is also concern over the impacts on fish and other biodiversity and links between transport and indigenous peoples. Currently many remote communities use frozen lakes and rivers as routes to traditional hunting, fishing and trapping areas or for accessing larger human settlements


The project aims to advise and support Arctic cities and towns prone to the different impacts of climate change by offering innovative approaches and solutions for urban, regional and national development planning. This is to contribute to the overall aim to achieve livable, productive and inclusive cities, towns and villages that are people centered and embrace social harmony, economic vitality and environmental sustainability. The project will lay emphasis on planning for the economic sustainability and adaptation of the many indigenous and often marginalized communities of the Arctic region.

 Target Group

 Groups and cities vulnerable to the impacts of Global Warming 

If you may be interested in funding this project, please contact us: info.rmu@unhabitat.org
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