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Yakutsk Conference Participants Evaluate Urban and Territorial Development Prospects of Arctic

27 May 2022
Участники конференции в Якутске оценили перспективы развития арктических городов и территорий

Participants of the Arctic: Territory of DevelopmentConference on Ensuring a Comfortable Urban Environmentwhich took place on 2225 May in Yakutsk, discussed the development of the urban Arctic environment, the creation of master plans for northern cities and the tourism industry, and the implementation of the Arctic Hectare programme. The Conference took place as part of main events being organized by the Roscongress Foundation for Russias chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 20212023.

The Conference was attended by representatives of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and the Arctic, the Far East and Arctic Development Corporation, companies and regions in Russias Arctic zone, and leading experts.

Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic Alexei Chekunkov and Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials andAmbassador-at-Large for Arctic Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Nikolay Korchunovaddressed Conference participants with welcoming remarks. 

The role played by industrial enterprises in the development of settlements predetermined the approach taken towards the urbanization of Arctic zone territories. Historically, the creation of reference points of industrial development led to the cities being tied to industrial facilities and designed as urban areas with this principle in mind. At present, integrated development of Arctic settlements can be facilitated by urban master plans. A total of 25 such documents are to be developed in the Far East, one of which is the master plan of the Arctic city of Anadyr. First Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) Kirill Bychkov said that master plans were in the works for six cities in Yakutia in 2022: LenskMirnyNeryungriOlekminskTommot, and YakutskIn addition, similar documents have already been developed for the three Yakut Arctic settlements of Olenka, Tiksi, and Chokurdakh.

Experts pointed to human capital aa key element of Arctic territorial development. In 2022, the Far East and Arctic Development Corporation will be launching a programme aimed at developinghigher education in the Far East that will also affect the Arctic territories. In addition, Deputy Minister for Arctic Development and Northern Affairs of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and the Russian Chairmanship Special Envoy for Indigenous and Regional Cooperation Mikhail Pogodaev spoke of a plan to launch an Arctic Startup Expedition training programme aimed at searching outpromising startups and training citizens in technological entrepreneurship in each of the constituent entities of Russia’s Arctic zoneWe are working together with the Yakutia Venture Company and plan to launch the large-scale project this year to identify initiatives for the development of IT and the creative industries among young people, Pogodaev said.

The Arctic Hectare programme, which kicked off in August 2021, has also been contributing to the development of human capital in the Arctic. According to Director of the Industry of the FutureStrategic Initiatives Support Agency Ivan Stepanov, the programme looks first and foremost at the interests of local residents, who were given the chance to choose the most attractive sites while other Russian citizens had to wait another six months following the launch of programme, until February 2022, for an opportunity to obtain land in the Arctic zone. Since the amendments to Federal Law No. 119-FZcame into force and separated the Far Eastern and Arctic hectares, more than 8,500 applications have been submitted for land in the Arctic with contracts signed for 2,078 applications, according to First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic Vyacheslav Loginov.

At the Conference, the Government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), the Far East and Arctic Development Corporation, the Odununsky Nasleg Municipal Entity, and the Industry of the FutureAutonomous Nonprofit Institution signed a cooperation agreement for the implementation of the Micropolis  Territory of the Futureproject. The project involves the creation of a new-format village for a population of up to 10,000 people in the Gorny district of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). The project is planned to be completed by 2035.

First Deputy General Director of the Far Eastern Development Strategy Elvira Nurgaliyeva spoke of the collective development of the ‘hectares’ as one of the most important trends and vectors of the state programme at present with promise for improving the living standards of northerners and residents of the Far East. We have moved to a new stage in the development of the state programme in the Far East and the Arctic. This year, plots in the Arctic became available to residents of the entire country. Now we are focusing on development and support measures for the collective development of plots. This includes infrastructure support for agglomerations and the development and support of teams and communities which have decided as initiators of the Micropolis to form and develop a cohesive agglomeration on the basis of a concept and idea. Another vector of development is the opening of buffer territories, with ready-made spatial planning documents for their development, which will reduce at least two more administrative barriers standing in people’s waysThe Micropolis is the first though by no means the only project and initiative aimed at collective development. We are working togetherwith other projects of different scales and at different stages of development. In several regions,


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