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Soft Infrastructural Systems as a Template for Arctic Urbanism

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Routledge, Architecture in Formation

Author: Neeraj Bhatia

Editors: Pablo Lorenzo-Eiroa and Aaron Sprecher

Date: 2013


“Creating a network of hard infrastructure in the Canadian north has been a difficult endeavor due to its extreme climatic conditions, immense scale, and remoteness. Presently, the north is scattered with a fragmented system of infrastructures and settlements that have taken their cues from those in the “south” — hard, permanent, and independent systems that are difficult to upgrade or alter. However, the characteristics of ecosystems — as non-linear, self-organizing, and complex feedback systems capable of juggling various forms of hierarchies and scales — provides a more sensitive template to respond to the variegated systems, climate, and cultures of the Canadian Arctic. We could describe these characteristics as “soft” in terms of their adaptability, responsiveness, immateriality, and ability to impact a territory much greater than their scale.”

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