Norilsk could become Russia’s official Arctic capital – by Polina Leganger Bronder (The Barents Observer – May 31, 2021)

The city was built from the mid-1930s by Norillag prisoners forced to work in the mining and metallurgical copper and nickel plants under harsh climate conditions. In recent years, Norilsk is mainly famous for its devastating environmental situation with huge air pollution and oil spill to the tundra river systems.

Norilsk is part of Krasnoyarsk Krai, whose governor Aleksandr Uss now proposes the city should get the official status as Russia’s Arctic capital.

His proposition is part of a larger strategic plan, which is intended to be completed in the next few months. The plan’s main aim is to develop Norilsk. Once the plan is set in motion, it is expected the governor and his team will present the project to President Vladimir Putin.

An “flexible development plant” and ”allow the city to preserve its uniqness” are among the statements used by Governor Uss when he describes what could lay ahead for the town located on the northern tundra of the Taimyr Peninsula.

“We must create the most flexible development plan and propose a choice of directions for the city’s development, which will shape Norilsk’s ability to adapt to new challenges and at the same time allow the city to preserve its uniqueness,” Aleksandr Uss said according to the Krasnoyarsk Krai’s official portal.

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