In times when the last remaining Norwegian coal mine, Mine 7 outside of Longyearbyen, is supposed to close down and be replaced by green technology – a closure that is now possible being postponed due to rising fuel prices – it is interesting to have a look at coal mining in Longyearbyen in a historical context, and critically examine the envisioned energy transition. In June, two SSSI members presented ongoing research about the history and possible future(s) of the former coal mining company town Longyearbyen.

Ulrich Schildberg made a presentation about the history of Company Towns with Longyearbyen as a case study on the conference “From boom to bust“. The conference was held at the University of Luxemburg in Esch sur Alzette. The focus of the conference was the transition of former coal-mining and steel-industry regions.

At the workshop “Histories of Exploration, Colonization & Industrial Development” by the project InfraNorth, Alexandra Meyer gave a presentation about the ongoing transition of Longyearbyen and the envisioned futures of the town.