Kivalina Community Center for Territorial Planning and Global Responsibility for Climate Displacement

For decades, the people of Kivalina have gathered in the Kivalina Community Center to play games, dance, sing, eat, welcome guests, and discuss the future. While the village’s civic and social architecture has been continuously renewed over the years, the architecture and uses of The Community have not: there is no suitable in-village space for the community to gather around contemporary concerns like village relocation; many of the building’s finishes are in disrepair; and inefficient, fossil fuel–dependent, and unsanitary building systems are incongruous with Kivalina’s aspirations for health, mobility, and locality.

Re-Locate has successfully fundraised capital costs from ArtPlace America to renew and rebuild the Kivalina Community Center. Working with families at their kitchen tables, in council meetings, and during public gatherings, Re-Locate and Anchorage architects Michael Gerace and Klaus Mayer have developed a design for the Community Center. We are now working with a worldwide team of engineers and with Kivalina community members to design off-grid, decentralized, and relocatable energy and water & sanitation systems that will be prototyped in the building.

Renovations will create an updated space for the important historic uses of the Community Center while re-centering relocation planning in the village and housing numerous platforms designed in support of the relocation process. Much of Kivalina’s relocation planning has historically been done in Anchorage and community participation in meetings and day-­to-­day planning is not always possible. Housing the Kivalina Planning Center in the Community Center brings relocation stakeholders together to meet, plan, live, and make. The space will host a range of informal to highly curated engagements centered around Kivalina’s planning decisions and their implications for climate change responses worldwide.

The Center will host:

  • A Kivalina Archive of the village’s relocation history (physical and online archive)
  • Mesh network (an Intranet to host the Kivalina Archive, local video archives, and local libraries/websites)
  • Large-scale maps, models, and drawings
  • In-­village summits and residencies with Kivalina, artists, guests, and transdisciplinary partners
  • Village workshops and community meetings
  • Office and computer workspace
  • Coffeehouse and potlucks
  • Dancing and music
  • Traditional craft and practices workshops
  • Exercise classes
  • Kivalina programming for Easter, 4th of July, and other community events
Re-Locate curator Michael Gerace and Re-Locate collaborating architect Klaus Mayer served as project architects.






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