"The search for a climate-adapted northern urban form, embodying 'genius loci' attributes, is gaining momentum rapidly throughout Canada, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Iceland. Rather than importing classical designs derived from more southerly regions, an attempt can be detected which is generating a genuinely 'northern' built form language and expression. Two case-studies -- Skarpnack (Greater Stockholm region) and Malminkartano (Greater Helsinki region) -- will be analyzed in terms of urban design concepts and theoretical foundations as they relate to climatic determinants and socio-cultural requirements. Both are considered significant large-scale projects incorporating the latest climate-responsive thinking. Design elements seen in these projects can be interpreted as leitmotifs for a humanistic northern urban form. They test innovative ideas and serve as emerging prototypes for northern habitats. These communities combine technological know-how with vernacular tradition fusing the lessons of history with modern construction and design expertise. They mirror progress in design ideology and practice of recent decades which have witnessed colossal intellectual debate and probing criticism of a "winter cities" nature. On the whole, these examples try to respect the exigencies of "harsh" climate and to transform "space" into "place", demonstrating a provocative interplay of "built" and "natural" forces. These case-studies give climate a mediating role in planning and design to a degree which has thus far been neglected where extreme, winter conditions prevail."