Zooming in on Arctic urban nature: green and blue space in Nadym, Siberia

TitleZooming in on Arctic urban nature: green and blue space in Nadym, Siberia
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsFedorov, R, Sizov, O, Kuklina, VV, Soromotin, A, Prihodko, N, Pechkin, A, Krasnenko, A, Lobanov, A, Ezau, I
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters

Urban landscape combines built-up areas with strongly altered natural (green and blue) and other open spaces. Voluminous literature examines urban socio-environmental interactions in tropical and temperate cities, whereas high-latitude cities are rarely considered. Here, we create a historical perspective on urban green (vegetation) and blue (water) spaces in a sub-Arctic city ofNadym in Russia. Our study explores a novel way to combine quantitative information from satellite imagery and biometric studies with qualitative information from interviews with stakeholders and residents. Such a joint analysis helps to understand dynamics of the urban green and blue space as well as its value for society. Furthermore, we propose objective indicators reflecting societal values of spaces in connection with recreational and ecological services. By contrast to temperate city studies, we found that green space is less used in summer, but still highly valued, deep lakes are used and valued more than warmer shallow lakes, and winter white space do not shrink but enhance the urban public space. Satellite images reveal inevitable loss of green space to urban construction and its remediation by artificial plantings (almost by 30% at present), whereas less valued blue space decreased almost three-fold. Interviews reveal that shallow lakes have reduced recreational values due to ice bottom and algae bloom. High values are attributed to deep artificial lakes, which are more than ten times deeper than natural lakes and do not freeze throughout in winter. Our biometric studies show that trees in urban environment are significantly taller than in the corresponding undisturbed areas. Since majority of the Arctic cities are built using very similar planning ideas and technologies, our findings shall help objective appreciation of green and blue spaces in other settlements. 1.

Refereed DesignationRefereed
Author Address