Table of Contents

Settlements at the Edge

Settlements at the Edge

Remote Human Settlements in Developed Nations

New Horizons in Regional Science series

Edited by Andrew Taylor, Dean B. Carson, Prescott C. Ensign, Lee Huskey, Rasmus O. Rasmussen and Gertrude Saxinger

Settlements at the Edge examines the evolution, characteristics, functions and shifting economic basis of settlements in sparsely populated areas of developed nations. With a focus on demographic change, the book features theoretical and applied cases which explore the interface between demography, economy, well-being and the environment. This book offers a comprehensive and insightful knowledge base for understanding the role of population in shaping the development and histories of northern sparsely populated areas of developed nations including Alaska (USA), Australia, Canada, Greenland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Finland and other nations with territories within the Arctic Circle.

Foreword

Edited by Andrew Taylor, Dean B. Carson, Prescott C. Ensign, Lee Huskey, Rasmus O. Rasmussen and Gertrude Saxinger

Subjects: geography, human geography, population studies, urban and regional studies, regional studies

Extract

It is an honour to be asked to write the foreword for this book. Settlements at the Edge is all about the experiences of demographic, social and economic change in the often small and isolated towns and villages in places like the north of Sweden and our neighbours in northern Europe, Australia, Canada, Alaska and Russia. I have been asked to make this contribution in my role as the Mayor of the Storuman municipality. We are located just a few miles south of the Arctic Circle. While we are among the largest of the Swedish municipalities in terms of land area (over 8000 square kilometres), we have one of the smallest populations (just 6000 people). Our three largest towns are separated by nearly 150 kilometres, and we have a number of smaller villages with fewer than 100 inhabitants. Our municipality has both mountain and forest areas, and each part of the region has its own distinctive demographic and economic profile. While we are lucky to have very detailed information about who lives here ‘permanently’, we also have large populations of seasonal residents about whom we know very little. We also have few research methods that can help us anticipate the populations of tomorrow, and their needs for services such as education, health care, and recreation. Over the past several years, we have become increasingly involved in international research and development projects, and we have learned that we have much more in common with the ‘norths’ of even distant places like...