Resilience of the Kola North cities in spatial, temporal and anthropological dimensions  

Burtseva A.V., Sharova E.N. (Murmansk, Russian Federation),  Hohmann S. (Paris, France)


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This paper reports the results of field studies carried out in November 2018 in the towns of Murmansk Oblast and in February March 2020 in the city of Murmansk. The research was aimed to evaluate resilience of the Kola North as the most extensively urbanized northern region and of Murmansk as the largest city above the Arctic Circle. The material for the paper is based on the poll data of 444 residents of Murmansk Oblast and interviews of 23 residents of Murmansk. A residence-stratified sampling model combined with sex and age quotas has been employed. On the basis of research on resilience in psychology and theory of time-space of Mikhail Bakhtin, the authors conduct analysis of the perception of the population towards the elements of urban chronotopos: time (chronos), space (topos), and human (anthropos), which either repel the population, thus weakening the resi-lience, or attract it, hence strengthening the resilience. The level of resilience of a region is firmly bound to the population attitude towards it, and apathy towards the city, let alone hatred, take a heavy toll on the resilience of the cities in the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation, instilling conditions for weakening bods between people and the dwelling and causing decay of the social climate. In this paper, we identify problematic urban areas inducing negative emotions of the population (climate, ecology, standard of living, state of the education and infrastructure, a lack of ideas and perspectives of development which are clear to the urban residents) and strong points enhancing the resilience (natural environment, social links, pace of living, frontier location, understanding of historical role and strategic importance). Models of mental behavior which have effect on the urban resilience have been identified. It is argued that temporary and shift workers have negative effect on the urban resilience, whereas positive influence comes from traditional and new nomads, innovators, proprietors and amateur researchers. Traditional nomads of the Kola North fishermen and seamen create the image and mission of the cities understandable to their residents. The model of a new nomad brings dynamics and hospitability to the region. The innovator creates new models of development of the territory, while the proprietor explores the North and looks after it. The model of special importance for the cities of the Kola North is that of exploration, characte-ristic of researchers and artists, since new values may become new ideas of the cities supporting their resilience.

Key words: chronotope, topophilia, topophobia, topos, chronos and nthropos, regions social space, migration, settledness, resilience.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Accepted: 29.05.2020

Article is published: 28.08.2020


Burtseva A.V.

Murmansk Arctic State University, Captain Egorov st., 15, Murmansk, 183038, Russian Federation



Sharova E.N.

Murmansk Arctic State University, Captain Egorov st., 15, Murmansk, 183038, Russian Federation



Hohmann S.

INALCO Centre de Recherche Europes-Eurasie, 65 rue des Grands Moulins, Paris, 75013, France