Friday, December 4, 2015

Creating Sustainable Neighbourhoods

A neighbourhood with sustainable features is one that meets your needs while protecting the environment and leaving an affordable legacy. This type of neighbourhood offers homes that are located near shops, schools, recreation, work and other daily destinations. Like a village, these places are a pleasant, convenient and safe walk, cycle or bus ride from home. This helps you reduce driving costs and enjoy the health benefits of walking and cycling. Land and services, like roads, are used efficiently. Old or new, they also feature a choice of homes that you can afford.

Did you know…?

·         The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada recommends at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, like walking or biking, to reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease and stroke. Where homes are within walking distance of stores and other services, people are 2.4 times more likely to meet the 30-minute minimum than those in homes that are not within a convenient or pleasant walk to stores/services.
·         The average annual cost to own and operate a car in Canada is $9,000+. If you can eliminate the need for a second car, drive less or avoid having a car at all, that’s money in your pocket.
·         A two-storey detached home loses 20% more heat than a semi-detached one, and 50% more than a middle home in a row of townhouses of the same size with the same heating system, insulation and windows.

  • Trees shading your house can make it feel cooler in the summer. Healthy trees also increase your property value. They intercept rainwater, improve air quality, and make streets and public spaces more comfortable and attractive.
  • Asphalt surfaces, like parking lots, can make urban areas hotter than the surrounding countryside in the summer. With less asphalt surface, neighbourhoods are more attractive and land-efficient. In mixed-use neighbourhoods, fewer parking spots are needed because places with high daytime needs, like offices, are close enough to share parking with places that need more parking at night, like homes and restaurants.
  • Cars are a major source of smog in urban areas, so driving less helps everyone’s health, particularly children, the elderly and people at risk for cardio-respiratory problems.
  • Half of the greenhouse gases from energy use by individual Canadians come from passenger road transportation, like cars. In the Toronto area, greenhouse gases from weekday passenger travel generated by people living in mixed-use, pedestrian and transit-friendly neighbourhoods near the urban core are about 1/3 of those by people living in dispersed, strictly residential neighbourhoods on the urban fringe.

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