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2014 Neighbourhood Development Plan

City of Iqaluit, Nunavut

Iqaluit Sustainable Community Plan

Population:  Project duration:  Total project value:
8,000 2011‒2013 $380,000


Developed in close consultation with the local community, the Iqaluit Sustainable Community Plan redefines sustainability in a dynamic, relationship-based approach that puts people at the centre. Reflecting Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit — the wisdom and values of Inuit society — the plan frames the three pillars of sustainability in the context of the people's relationship to the environment, to social and family wellbeing, and to a productive society.

The city reviewed hundreds of studies and reports on Iqaluit, hosted over 200 sessions with the community, and consulted municipal staff. Findings were summarized in three documents: What We Heard, a summary of past voices; What We Have, a list of community assets; and What We Feel, a summary of residents' feelings about the community.

The resulting plan guides decisions and priorities based on the community's 50-year vision. With no relevant or reliable indicators for Iqaluit, the city will monitor progress through a qualitative approach that includes an annual progress report on actions and a five-year comprehensive review.

This project received support from FCM's Green Municipal Fund (GMF 10389).


Environmental Economic Social
  • Increased waste diversion and water conservation

  • Reduced energy consumption and GHG emissions

  • Upgrades to water and solid waste infrastructure

  • Improved, green building design and construction

  • Improved economic growth and self-sufficiency

  • Improved communications technology

  • More life-long learning opportunities

  • Improved mobility of people and goods

  • Better awareness of social and health programs and services

  • Increased use of the Inuktitut language and understanding of Inuit culture

  • Greater food security through existing services and sharing circles for locally harvested food

  • More and better housing


  • The community feels disconnected and needs new ways to communicate, connect and embrace all members.

  • Iqaluit continues to experience rapid social change, rooted in its recent colonial history and resulting in pressures and needs that challenge sustainability planning.

  • The community's infrastructure has gaps, needs upgrades, and must be adapted to climate change.

  • The city has limited opportunities to generate additional revenue to meet program and infrastructure requirements.

Lessons learned

  • Listen to residents and develop relationships that support meaningful conversations throughout the planning process.

  • Review existing research to get a deeper understanding of the community and set the context for relevant, rigorous sustainability planning.

  • Use other sustainable community plans as inspiration, but develop a local framework.

  • Use outside consulting services only as needed; keeping the local municipal coordinator at the centre of the process ensures good local communication, day-to-day coordination and strong relationships. 

Page Updated: 27/04/2018