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Context-based approach

A context-based approach will consider the selected areas based on their singularities. For example, a sector encompassing the Coop Store will have to be thought differently from another one including the school. These two community services are both vital, but they do not share the same roles, target users or needs. Thus, the two identified sectors should be planned according to the elements they contain and the people who frequent them.

However, amenities do not define a context alone. The number and types of houses, the average age of the residents and composition of households, and the physical characteristics of the site are other important contextual elements.

In the case of Kangiqsualujjuaq, this approach yielded three different areas showing distinct possibilities for transformation, for enhancement or consolidation, and for extension : the village center, a recently developed residential area and a possible new development zone (see Figure 1).


Fig. 1. Proposed interventions zones identified in Kangiqsualujjuaq

Residential area

In Kangiqsualujjuaq, this sector is composed of a long straight street with relatively new houses, two daycares, the Ulluriaq School and older houses close-by. Therefore, this sector has both a residential and an educational vocation. 


This means that many children are spending time in or go through this sector every day. Knowing that, the planner must think of ways to ensure their inclusion.

New development

New development typically takes root on unbuilt terrain. That said, cohesion between new and existing built environments is essential. To include or keep elements or assets already on site within the new plan (such as trees or views) is a good strategy to foster such cohesion.


New development areas afford the most freedom to the planner. They don’t have as many constraints of a "social" nature as other areas such as the village center or residential areas. They may however face environmental challenges such as fragile ecosystems or landscapes. When located sensibly, they represent a great opportunity to growth and for materializing local wishes, hopes and ideas.

Village center

The center of Northern Villages usually gathers most of the community services. In Kangiqsualujjuaq, this zone for transformation includes the Coop Store, the community center and the arena, all located along the same street. Their proximity makes this the busiest area of the village.

Yet, most of its houses are among the oldest of the village. There is almost no vacant space to build new dwellings within this relatively “compact” area with very specific features. All these elements display the very specific context of the village center. This context then has to be taken into account to make sure that the scenarios will suit the reality.


Even if the village has to be considered as a whole, one or more sectors of intervention must be identified within the village to ensure an efficient and coherent planning approach of existing and future developments. These sectors can share similarities, but they might also be characterised by utterly different qualities, opportunities and challenges. 

(Trottier, 2020)

(Trottier, 2020)

(Trottier, 2020)

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