WP 1 The processes and practices of land use planning concerning mining activities

Combining land use planning and mining projects is a challenging act because of both the long timespans and uncertainty. The advancing and actualisation of a mining project can be either very fast or it can take years. Land use planning and zoning also take their own time. The project and related activities of mining should still be taken into consideration when planning both local and regional land use. How are habitation, services and traffic connection and technical infrastructure organised so that they function even after mining activities have ended? In a study by the Department of Architecture at the University of Oulu, land use planning practices, such as zoning, included in the land use planning system of the mining projects of Hannukainen, Kevitsa and Suurkuusikko, are studied. What kind of ways of actions do municipalities, provincial councils, representatives of the environmental administration of the state, and mining companies have? How do the processes of land use planning combine with other processes that occur in tandem (such as EIA). In the study, for instance theme interviews are conducted with different stakeholders.

Case studies are compared also with international experiences concerning earlier northern mining projects mostly in Nordic countries and Northern Canada. Responsible for this part of the task are the Oulu University Cultural Anthropology subject and the Thule Institute where the work is connected with Professor Mark Nuttall’s FiDiPro research program “Human-Environment relations in the North”. The program belongs to the collaboration between the Universities of Oulu, Finland and Alberta, Canada. This part of the project focuses on collecting international lessons concerning the sociocultural sustainability of mining activity on the part of mining projects that are in different phases of their life-cycle from planning, actualisation, shutdown, reopening or after-use for instance as a tourism resort. It is important how mining activity that is international in nature is affected by previous experiences, and how the actualisation of local mining projects differs depending on the context. For instance, how societal and corporate responsibility policies are done in practice and how they integrate as a part of the local planning of mining activity. International lessons are collected both as scientific publication as well as to be put to use in the project end product, a guide book for developing multidimensionally more sustainable mining activity.

Contacts in the University of Oulu
(firstname.lastname at oulu.fi)

Prof. Helka-Liisa Hentilä and doctoral students Helena Illikainen and Leena Soudunsaari.
The department of architecture, urban planning.

Prof. Hannu I. Heikkinen and Dr Élise Lépy
Cultural anthropology and Thule-institute