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2011 Planning – Co-winner 2

City of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Smart Growth Development Plan

Yellowknife’s northern geography, coupled with complex historical, political and resource-related issues, presents unique challenges for community development. With funding support from federal, provincial and municipal partners, the City of Yellowknife undertook a plan to integrate sustainable planning principles into its long-term growth and development. The creation of the plan involved extensive public consultation with over 2,000 residents, tackling such issues as urban design, land use, preservation of natural areas, transportation, economic development and energy use.

The city expects the plan and its related strategies to improve the environmental character of the community through brownfield redevelopment, protection of environmentally sensitive areas, expansion of community gardens and green spaces, implementation of green development standards and the improvement of transit and pedestrian infrastructure. The plan also supports the social and cultural fabric of the community, outlining collaborative work with First Nations. It also aims to improve the city’s economic situation through a mix of tax incentives, targeted investments and neighbourhood revitalization initiatives.


  • The plan generated a Development Incentive Program Bylaw, which encourages the construction of energy-efficient buildings, brownfield remediation, residential density and heritage preservation.
  • In collaboration with CMHC and the NWT Housing Corporation, the city adopted a non-market housing strategy to promote affordable housing.
  • LEED® Silver certification has become the minimum target for all new municipal buildings.
  • Two mine sites within city limits are being pursued for remediation and redevelopment.
  • The city is evaluating the potential for using heat from Con Mine as part of a community energy system for buildings in the downtown core.
  • The plan’s recommendations will ensure the preservation of green spaces, the incorporation of community gardens and the presence of active transportation options in neighbourhoods throughout the city, thereby improving community well-being.


Page Updated: 21/12/2015