The cultural heritage is rooted in the colonial period as well as in the Inuit culture end even further back. It is constantly affected by human activities and the course of nature – not least climate changes and the perceptibly higher temperatures. However, physical planning is an important tool for actively safeguarding the cultural heritage and sites worthy of preservation at the towns and settlements and in the open country in Avannaata Kommunia.
For the Town Plan, cultural heritage and sites worthy of preservation were systematically reviewed and incorporated, including preservations in force, listed and preservation-worthy buildings etc. Protected areas are shown on the overall main structure map, while listed and preservation-worthy buildings are shown on the main structure maps for each town and settlement.
A side effect of the preservation efforts is the obvious tourism potential. For instance, the development of an actual visitor centre, the Ice Fiord Centre, at the Ilulissat Ice Fiord, which is classified as a protected area and included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. From the visitor centre, the storytelling of the ice, the unique nature and the early settlements will be communicated. Another example is the preservation planning in Ilimanaq, which focuses partly on the cultural heritage values of the settlement, including any preservations in force – partly on the development of related tourism facilities, e.g. hut areas etc.
One of the stipulations of the nomination of Ilulissat Ice Fiord as a World Heritage Area was that an urban buffer zone between the already developed parts of Ilulissat and the World Heritage Area was to remain unbuilt. Subsequently, the steering group for the administration of the World Heritage Area decided to supplement the urban buffer zone with a landscape buffer zone around the entire World Heritage Area. UNESCO defines a buffer zone as an area that surrounds a property/location and that considerably impacts the physical state of the property/location and/or the way in which the property/location is perceived.
Other planning preservation efforts are related to the rehabilitation and new building in the towns and settlements of the municipality. The efforts are partly regulated by the general provisions, partly by overall or detailed provisions to secure and continue or to further develop the cultural heritage of buildings.