RES-LINK: Workshop on Resources and Urbanization in the Arctic


Resource valorization and urbanization processes are intertwined, leading to the construction of cities and infrastructures as well as the extensive manipulation of the landscape. From time to time, under a market-led economic regime, cities, infrastructures and landscape are discarded with huge environmental and social losses. There is the need to better understand the so-called “resource-urbanization nexus” (Rizzo, 2018) to truly transform cities and regions and make them sustainable.

Case Studies

The Arctic is an excellent case study to unpack the complexities of this nexus. This region is going through rapid transformations that are led by the resource and logistic industries as well as intra-regional and international migration. However, this apparently peripheral part of the globe is deeply integrated with the world economy since this latter is dependent on the Arctic’s natural resources and energy. There is also the need to compare the story of the Arctic with those of other resource-rich regions in the global North and South.

DC Farming

Now researchers at Luleå Univesity of Technology want to take advantage of the waste heat generated by many industries in a better way. In a cold city like Luleå there are both heavy industries and large data centers that create large amounts of heat, which is apparent during the cold part of the year when steam rises to the sky.

"We have previously researched this with, among other things, Vattenfall and Bodens municipality. The difference this time is that we this time are going into more detail about how new types of greenhouse can be designed to utilize waste heat from data centers including lighting and humidity.

Solar City Lulea

Cities are the biggest polluters and must transform their energy systems. Researchers at Luleå University of Technology will now investigate how to support "prosumers", people who produce and consume energy, by using design thinking and participatory strategies.

Porsön district in Luleå will become a testbed for such methods. Community workshops, design thinking, and socio-economic models will be used too find the best ways to support prosumers and the city to think beyond the box.

This means that energy ahestetics will be come an important factor to drive the energy transition of cities. It will lead to reimagine the most common urban infrastructures (sidewalks, streets, housing, etc.). "It will be interesting to work with the people living and working in Porsön to co-create togheter news ways of imagining and designing the city", Agatino Rizzo and Kristina Ek, both Associate Professors at Luleå University of Technology.