Greener Community Links
Community and land-use planning is integral to a holistic approach to greener real estate and is part of most green building processes. Aspects of greener communities can include:
- Walkability; that is, proximity of homes to work places, schools, shops and other services
- Efficient public transit
- Mixed land use
- Diverse housing options
- Densification; for example, EcoDensity
- Open areas and green spaces
- Low-impact waste disposal
- Recycling programs
- Overall reduced pollution from such sources as wastewater, sewage and air emissions
Smart Growth is a collection of land use and development principles that aim to enhance quality of life, preserve the natural environment and save money over time. Smart Growth organizations have been established to share the principles. Smart growth enhances and completes communities by placing priority on infill, redevelopment and densification strategies.
The Natural Step (Canada) is a non-profit organization providing results-oriented advisory and training services to help community and business leaders integrate social, environmental and economic decision making into their operations with a holistic, proven and scientifically rigorous framework. A sustainability toolkit to help homeowners understand how to apply sustainable development concepts to everyday household decisions is available, as well as a guidebook for municipalities interested in creating an integrated municipal sustainability plan.
Smart Planning is a process for envisioning and planning for the long-term well-being of communities. It builds on existing planning tools in BC, providing a framework that helps communities plan for their own needs while planning for future needs. Smart Planning emphasizes:
- long-term thinking
- broadening the scope of planning to encompass the social, economic, environmental and cultural aspects of a community
- integration of planning and decision-making processes at various levels
- collaboration among sectors
- enhanced public engagement and education
- implementation of plans
- setting targets, and monitoring and evaluating progress
The LEED® for Neighborhood Development Rating System (US) integrates the principles of smart growth, urbanism and green building. LEED® certification provides independent, third-party verification that a development’s location and design meet accepted high levels of environmentally responsible, sustainable development.
New Urbanism is an American urban design movement that arose in the early 1980s. Its goal is to reform all aspects of real estate development and urban planning, from urban retrofits to suburban infill. New urbanist neighbourhoods are designed to contain a diverse range of housing and jobs, and to be walkable.
The Post Carbon Cities program helps local governments understand the challenges posed by energy and climate uncertainty, and provides resources for elected officials, planners, managers and others to develop plans and responses appropriate to their communities.
The Relocalization Network has developed a strategy to build societies based on the local production of food, energy and goods, and the local development of currency, governance and culture. The main goals of relocalization are to increase community energy security, strengthen local economies and dramatically improve environmental conditions and social equity.