Towards sustainable arctic living
Nancy Couling (APP)
Eva Kun (DAV)
Longyearbyen, Svalbard is a small town on Spitsbergen Island, Norway. It is one of the places on earth where the effects of climate change are more extreme and are already showing. The housing situation in Longyearbyen becomes uncertain because of the permafrost thawing and the ongoing landslide risk.
What does it mean to inhabit such a changing condition? Inhabitants have to adapt their habits because of the climate change situation. What will be the new model for inhabitants a strategy? of integrated safety and technology to decrease the rate of climate change?
Could a new habitat typology be a role model for living sustainability globally while adapting to local climate conditions? Does extreme climate make a lot of difference to other places in terms of living conditions and activities?
The current shift in Longyearbyen is a plan to stop the coal mining industry and move to other professions. At the same time, to seek new building techniques for houses threatened by the permafrost melting. The town needs to rethink lifestyle habits and to become more environmentally aware. Including the consideration of the use of materials, energy, and protection from landslides. Nevertheless, reconsidering different habits, needs to take account of the social aspects and to value and maintain local knowledge. The shift in strategy is also to restrict the growth of tourism to the available existing facilities and to promote the support of a more permanent population working in research, conservation and improving quality of life.