Introducing InfraNorth - An ERC Advanced Grant Project

20 February 2023 | 18:15 - 20:00 (GMT+1)

Open Session - IN-PERSON


Room: Seminarraum 2


Session Conveners: Philipp Budka & Peter Schweitzer (University of Vienna, Austria)


Session Description

The ERC Advanced Grant Project “Building Arctic Futures: Transport Infrastructures and Sustainable Northern Communities – InfraNorth” invites to a Community Meeting to share information about the project and to talk about Arctic transport infrastructures in general in a relaxed atmosphere with drinks and snacks.
The “new Arctic” is attracting global attention because of geopolitics, (re-)militarization, resource extraction, tourism, and calls for environmental protection in the face of rapid climate change. Many of these activities necessitate the construction or upgrading of transport infrastructures. InfraNorth, which is realized at the University of Vienna (2021-2025), focuses on how local residents of the Arctic engage with these infrastructures, and examines the intended and unintended consequences these projects have on their lives.

The challenge is to understand whether existing and planned transport infrastructures will support permanent human habitation and sustainable communities in the Arctic, or whether they will strengthen a trend of substituting permanent residents with “temporaries” like shift workers, tourists, and military personnel. Or put in another way: What is the role of transport infrastructures in sustaining arctic communities?

InfraNorth adopts a relational affordance perspective, which documents the entanglements of local residents and transport infrastructures. Our approach combines ethnographic fieldwork with mapping and scenario exercises as well as archival research. Quantitative population data are used to upscale to the regional level, and regional patterns are contrasted and compared to reach conclusions on the pan-arctic level. In doing so, InfraNorth contributes locally informed results to critical conversations about arctic futures.