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Measuring Urban Sustainability in Transition (MUST)

Naryan Mar 2.jpg


The George Washington University, along with partner institutions in the USA, Canada, Russia, and Sweden, has launched a new project: Collaborative Research: NNA Collaboratory: Measuring Urban Sustainability in Transition (MUST): Co-Designing Future Arctic Cities in the Anthropocene (2021–2026). Funded by the National Science Foundation, MUST seeks to assess urban sustainability in five case studies cities across the Arctic region, collaborating with local policymakers to address the most pressing issues.

Arctic cities face multiple challenges from social and economic transformations, deteriorating infrastructure, a changing environment, and pressures on their governance systems. To respond effectively, mayors, city councils, agency leaders, local citizens and residents, and other stakeholders need a clear set of indicators to help them understand changes in Arctic conditions and provide guidance in devising infrastructure and governance strategies to achieve future prosperity and spur sustainability.


This NNA Collaboratory project assesses numerous issues of urban sustainability and compiles a set of metrics on Arctic conditions that provides data about changes in several issues, including the natural environment, energy, and socio-cultural issues. With these indicators, policymakers and stakeholders can develop effective governance systems and design and build infrastructure to meet the challenges of a shifting natural environment and economy in Arctic urban areas.

shutterstock_Tatiana Gasich_View of the winter city of Yakutsk at sunset, Yakutia, Russia.

Arctic Communities of Focus

Map U.S. Department of State. Map of the Arctic Region (n.d.).

Our Team

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