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How can the natural and built environment guide the planning ? 

New areas or new sites must be identified in order to build new houses and other amenities. They usually are identified on the Masterplan. These areas and sites are carefully selected according to a set of criteria. This section highlights the main criteria to be taken into account when evaluating the potentials and constraints (or the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’) of development sites. 

Here is a list of illustrated planning potentials and constraints for Inukjuak. These could also be applied to different northern contexts. 

Abandonned buildings or underused sites

Abandoned buildings or underused sites

There are many abandoned or obsolete buildings in every community. A recent map identifies abandoned or inhabited buildings in Inukjuak (see the work of Claveau-Fortin, 2016). Many are located in older parts of the village, near existing services.


By getting rid of the underused buildings and/or by recycling the materials, new development sites can be made available within or close to the village center.

Central amenities

Central amenities 

Living within or near the center of the village offers many opportunities, as access to community buildings, services and coop store is made easier, even by foot, especially when it’s cold.

Also, there are opportunities to take part in the activities and animation of the village.

Community buildings and equipments








Walking distance in summer

Walking distance in summer

During summer, walking comfortably means good, safe and levelled paths, on good soil (either slippery, nor muddy) and nice views of the landscape along the way.

In the area surrounded by the continuous red lines, distances are reached in a 10 minutes walk, which is roughly the distance separating the co-op from the arena.

10 minutes

Walking distance in winter


School and Coop Store

* The centers of theses areas are located at the arena and at the coop store. 

Walking distance in winter

During winter, walking comfortably means shorter distances from home to school, work, store or services. Shortcuts are welcome, between buildings and across larger lots, on safe surfaces.


In the area surrounded by the continuous green lines, distances are reached in a 5 minutes walk.

5 minutes


Prevailing winds

Unstable ground

School and Coop Store


* The centers of theses areas are located at the arena and at the coop store. 

Unstable ground

Source : CEN

Unstable permafrost has a great impact on the siting of houses and other types of buildings, especially with regard to their foundations.


When the permafrost melts, the ground becomes unpredictable, with potentially disastrous long-term impacts, from cracks in the walls to landslides.

The oldest part of the village is located where the permafrost has bad stability evaluation. Although, it seems, according to the work of Claveau-Fortin in 2016,  that the constructions found there are in pretty good conditions. Some other aging factors should then be taken in consideration.

Areas of stable ground (rock outcrop or stable permafrost).

Areas mainly unsuitable for construction (unstable permafrost).

Steep slopes

Steep Slopes

Inukjuak is developed on a relatively flat land, punctuated by rocky hills. As red lines show, some slopes are too steep to build with the current types of foundations on pads.


However, alternative types of foundations, like piles, combined with partial grading of rock outcrops and smaller pads offer potentially new building opportunities on steep slopes. 

Buffer zones

Buffer Zones

Buffer zones are areas around potentially polluting or or harmful infrastructures, such as the landfill, the airport and oil tanks.


No construction is usually, however, permitted within buffer zones. When there are good reasons, moving landfills in other areas outside the village may become possible in order to reuse the land for new development. 



Power plant

Sensitives sites

Sensitive Sites

The community give high value to the many natural sites within and around the village. These areas evoke past events or traditional practices. they are part of the collective memory.


Their preservation is viewed as important and as a "positive constraint" to the sustainable development of the cultural landscape.




Berry picking

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