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What Qualities for Sustainable Planning in Nunavik?

This essay proposes a reflection on the planning tools and mindsets currently used in the development of Nunavik villages. It questions the ways in which a coherent set of urban qualities derived from Inuit practices, knowledge and aspirations might guide a resilient and appropriate indigenous planning approach for these transforming environments. Thus the research is based on an informed reading of the realities in Northern contexts, on the Inuit worldview, and on the processes of urbanization that occur within these communities. It seems important to better understand the interdependent relationships between physical, social, symbolic and experiential space and, by the same token, the dynamics that are created between village, territory and community.

The cross analysis of the concepts of resilience, Inuit urbanity and relationality feeds and guides the formulation of planning principles based on desirable urban qualities for Inuit living environments. Considering the complexity of planning challenges, it is important to consider the potential of culturally meaningful and climate-sensitive planning principles as a basis for a decision support tool complementary to those already in place (masterplan, zoning regulations). Inuit planning principles (see below) also suggest rethinking planning mechanisms and imagining environments that support local lifestyles and cultural practices.

The planning principles were "tested" in scenarios illustrated in the Pinasuqatigiitsuta Community guideline planning project.

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