Planning for Sustainability: An Emerging Blue Economy in Russia’s Coastal Arctic?


Gao Tianming (School of Economics and Management, Harbin Engineering University, China)
Nikolai Bobylev (Saint-Peterburg State University, Russia)
Sebastien Gadal (Aix‐Marseille Université, France)
Maria Lagutina (Saint-Peterburg State University, Russia)
Alexander Sergunin (Saint-Peterburg State University, Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Russia)
Vasilii Erokhin (School of Economics and Management, Harbin Engineering University, China)


The main research objective of this study is to examine how coastal urban communities in the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation (AZRF) organize the sustainable development (and emerging blue economy) strategy planning process. Along with this general objective, this study
focuses on four more specific questions: First, to examine whether the sustainable development and blue economy concepts are integrated into the urban development strategies and whether they are a real priority for the northern coastal communities? Second, to figure out which local government and civil society institutions are involved in the policy planning process and whether this sphere of local politics is transparent and open to public discussions? Third, to find out which specific aspects of the sustainable development and coastal blue economy concepts are given priority in the municipal development strategies? Finally, to discuss whether the AZRF coastal sustainable development/blue economy strategies aim to solve short‐term/most pressing problems or they suggest longterm policies built on sustainability principles and are oriented to solve fundamental socioeconomic and ecological problems of the AZRF coastal communities? The hypothesis of this study is that a properly designed strategy planning system would be helpful for both familiarizing northern municipalities with the blue economy concept and its effective implementation. This research is based on several empirical cases, including major Arctic coastal urban centers/ports—Anadyr, Arkhangelsk, Dudinka, Murmansk, Naryan‐Mar, Pevek, Sabetta, and Severodvinsk.

Keywords: Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation; blue economy; coastal areas and municipalities; regional and urban planning; sustainable development strategies


Tianming G., Bobylev N., Gadal S., Lagutina M., Sergunin A., Erokhin V. Planning for Sustainability: An Emerging Blue Economy in Russia’s Coastal Arctic? Sustainability 2021, 13, 4957.