Urban Planning as Social Policy – The Importance of Geodesign in the North

Tuesday, Febuary 16, 1:40 - 2:00 Poster Presentations

Canada’s North is an area where varying factors continue to converge daily, making it an arduous task to face environmental and social concerns in the region. Within the sub-Arctic regions of the circumpolar world we are witnessing an increased process of urbanization due to both a growth in local populations and northward patterns of migration. Developing the north provides the opportunity for planners to utilize state of the art technology and to employ techniques that encompass a holistic approach to urban planning, all in the hopes of avoiding many of the local planning failures which have contributed to the current state of the global environment. This paper discusses how the urban sphere can be used to reduce the impacts on regional environments. This paper considers geodesign as an urban planning tool rather than a regional planning tool to address local environmental and social concerns, enhancing planning in the North. We have seen geodesign used in northern regional planning as the Arctic is a sensitive ecosystem; therefore, geodesign’s importance has been recognized. If used within transparent urban planning negotiations in conjunction with community involvement, geodesign provides a method in which to manage community concerns. Through identifying valued components in a community’s direct environment, planners can then propose geodesign solutions to circumvent potential adverse environmental and social impacts. Were we to implement geodesign as a local tool we could bridge the structural gap between urban and regional planning – a separation that should not exist as it does not in the natural world.

Andrijana Djokic