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Landscape Atlases: I Look at the Land and the Land Looks Back

This essay deals with the concept of landscape and its utility in the development of urban design projects. The ideas explored here lay the groundwork for a perceptive approach adapted from the Italian territorialist school to the context of the development of the Northern Villages of Nunavik. The work consists in the elaboration of landscape atlases: photographic collections that illustrate the sensitive manifestations of the territory and whose content and intention can orient the actors of the planning project.

The essay thus exposes the theoretical foundations for the development of such landscape atlases; explores the modes of composition, notably by examining the relevance and cross-referencing of different types of images of the landscape; and proposes ways to integrate such exercises into participatory planning processes, applicable to the complex governance structures specific to Nunavik.

The usefulness of this reflection is twofold. First, it tests cognitive and participatory tools that have the potential to be operationalized in Nunavik as a means of local self-determination. Secondly, it is part of the discourse on landscape in urban design by attempting to specify a posture towards its nature, its modes of interpretation, and the means available to the urban designer to address its appropriate transformation in a project context.

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