Wednesday, February 17

 3:30pm - 5:00pm

Planning with Communities – Planning for Climate Change

Developing hazard mitigation strategies to prepare for the impacts of climate change on Northern infrastructure and communities.

Venue: Artist Studio

Moderator: Margaret Kralt  RPP, MCIP - Community Planner, Dillon Consulting Limited.

Wednesday, February 17, 3:30 - 4:00

Planning for Change: Hazard and permafrost adaptation tools for northern communities

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Permafrost thaw threatens community infrastructure and is already affecting buildings and houses across the North. We have developed community-scale hazard risk maps integrating vulnerability assessments, permafrost studies, hydrology, surficial geology, and climate change considerations. Hazard risk maps portray the relative risk of landscape processes that affect terrain stability in a community. The maps support community-based, future-focused adaptation planning, and have been used to site small-scale infrastructure projects, guide land planning processes, and assess suitability of land development applications.
 
However, assessing risk is only one step in integrating the implications of permafrost degradation and landscape change in community planning. Hazard risk maps in some communities may portray the bulk of community lands as medium or high risk, in particular in areas with ice-rich permafrost. Housing and building adaptations can allow for development in areas classified at a higher hazard risk. By assessing the costs related to addressing vulnerabilities and implementing adaptations, hazard risk maps can more fully enable community planning. We are conducting an economic analysis to reveal the financial costs and benefits of infrastructure adaptation choices in Arviat, Nunavut and Old Crow, Yukon. With this information, we will generate Cost-of-Adaptation maps and related products that can be used by community planners and decision makers to guide future infrastructure decisions. Our goal is to provide maps that help community decision-makers in Old Crow and Arviat, and ultimately across the Arctic and sub-Arctic, in making effective and sustainable planning and infrastructure choices in the face of climate change.

Wednesday, February 17, 4:00 - 4:30

Integrating Climate Change Hazard Mapping into Community Plan Policy in Nunavik, Québec

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Northern Canada (north of 60°) has warmed at a rate approximately 2½ times the global average since the late 1940s. This accelerated warming has repercussions for the land, its ecosystems and the arctic communities whose sustenance, health and identity are intertwined with the land. Increases in temperature and changing precipitation patterns have led to a wide range of impacts such as changes in timing and amount of surface water availability, increased depth and extent of permafrost thaw, shorter seasons, flooding, and shoreline erosion.

In most Nunavik communities, there is a lack of information that community planning processes can draw upon to identify areas safe for land development. However, in the northern villages of Akulivik and Salluit, where evidence of permafrost degradation was causing significant community concern, permafrost and hazard mapping was undertaken to better inform community land use planning as well as adaptation guidance for municipal decision-makers. This presentation will explore how the hazard mapping work was integrated into the community planning processes and what has been learned to inform future processes.

The work undertaken in these communities will be jointly presented by Marie-Pierre McDonald, a Land Use Planner with the Kativik regional Government and Michelle Armstrong, Community Planner and Principal of Northern Futures Planning.

Co-speaker: Michelle Armstrong MCIP., RPP – Principal & Senior Planner, Northern Futures Planning

Wednesday, February 17, 4:30 - 5:00

Planning for Climate Change in Nunavut

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Changes in permafrost stability are greatly affecting Nunavut’s communities.  Adapting to these impacts is becoming more apparent at the community level.  Due to the rocky landscape and poor drainage systems in Cape Dorset, maintaining current infrastructure and planning for future development is proving to be challenging. In the summer of 2015, the Climate Change Section of the Government of Nunavut hosted community climate change engagement activities in Cape Dorset to collect and share information around a map that shows suitability of land based on ground movement. 

Getting feedback on the map will ultimately ensure that it is developed at a level that is both user-friendly and practical for all. General discussions throughout the week focused on how infrastructure is affected by changing permafrost and how these changes influence current and future development in the community. These activities included meetings, site visits, school activities, and community-wide events and engaged members of the community, including the Hamlet of Cape Dorset, the housing sector, elders, youth, and the general public.  The week’s activities fostered collaboration between the various groups, and it was encouraging to see information being shared between the research world and practitioners at the municipal and territorial level. Other examples of partnership building including community based monitoring initiatives and participating in local radio evenings.These and other engagement activities are an excellent example of different groups coming together to discuss climate change adaptation in unique and engaging methods.

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