Special thanks and credits for the logo image painting “Winter Cities”, courtesy of Kean Leathem, Whitewood SK, Canada Special thanks and credits for the logo image painting “Winter Cities”, courtesy of Kean Leathem, Whitewood SK, Canada
About Winter Cities Institute
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The Winter Cities Institute was organized to carry on the work of the Livable Winter Cities Association (WCA). 

From 1982-2005, the WCA organized conferences, published books and the quarterly magazine “Winter Cities”.  Much of this historical work is still of relevance and is posted on this website, including articles and conference proceedings. 

Please browse the information available here and consider joining the Winter Cities Institute.

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Northern communities or “winter cities” have great opportunities to mitigate negative effects of the winter season while reinforcing the many positive aspects to create a vibrant, sustainable and livable environment for a prosperous future. 

Our mission is to provide information, resources and networking opportunities for those who desire to make northern communities more livable and sustainable. 

The goal of the Winter Cities Institute is to be the best source for information, research, reports, plans and news from around the northern world, focusing on how to make the best of the winter season.  

Our membership includes architects, planners, engineers, elected and appointed city officials, economic developers, and community activists interested in learning new approaches and exchanging success stories.

This site offers a vast collection of materials about winter cities. Aselection of resources is provided at no cost, however, membership provides access to the large library of the Winter Cities Institute.


Quote by:
Ralph Erskine, Architect, Sweden

“Here houses and towns should open up like flowers to the sun of spring and summer, but also, like flowers, turn their backs on the shadows and the cold northern winds, offering sun-warmth and wind protection to their terraces, gardens and streets.  They should be most unlike the arcaded towns and matt-shadowed streets of the south Europeans and Arabs, but most similar in the basic function…helping people to maintain their skin at a comfortable 35 degrees C.

When studying the beautiful towns of the south, whether old or new, it is not the forms themselves which should interest us, but the inventiveness and artistry with which people solved their needs which were peculiar to their situation and time, the comfort and beauty which they created.  Only by such methods can arise a personal and indigenous Alaskan, Canadian, Scandinavian or North Russian tradition.” 

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The Michigan Municipal League Magazine An entire issue devoted to winter cities.

The Michigan Municipal League Magazine Jan-Feb issue was just published. An entire issue devoted to winter cities.
Click to read this issue (4.4MB pdf)

Books on Winter Cities Design and Planning 


Look north more often
Go against the wind
You’ll get redder cheeks
Find the rugged path
Keep to it
It’s shorter
North is best.
Winter’s sky of flames,
Summer nights’ sun miracle
Go against the wind
Climb mountains
Look north
More often
This is a long country
Most is north

Poet:  Rolf Jacobsen
(translated from Norwegian)
Commissioned for the Winter Cities Forum, 1990
Tromso, Norway


For information contact: Patrick Coleman pcoleman@wintercities.com