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.
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.
Click to read this issue (4.4MB pdf)
Look north more often
Go against the wind
You’ll get redder cheeks
Find the rugged path
Keep to it
North is best.
Winter’s sky of flames,
Summer nights’ sun miracle
Go against the wind
This is a long country
Most is north
Poet: Rolf Jacobsen
(translated from Norwegian)
Commissioned for the Winter Cities Forum, 1990