Great Places to Live, Work and Play
Better quality of life in complete communities.
Smart growth refers to development practices that enhance quality of daily life, curb unnecessary expansion, preserve the natural environment and save money over time.
The key? Concentrate growth in hubs, slating land for a variety of uses and diverse dwellings. Design homes and streets on a human scale, not on a car scale. Allow people to live close to where they work. And plan for active transportation like biking and walking, as well as proximity to mass transit.
These are called complete communities, and it’s not a new idea. Many of Calgary’s older neighbourhoods, like Kensington and Inglewood, and more and more newer developments like Garrison Woods and McKenzie Towne boast an impressive mix of commercial, residential and recreational spaces.
Complete communities meet people’s need for daily living throughout an entire lifetime. Imagine living in a community with options for everybody:
- Housing style and affordability
- A mix of jobs
- Appropriate schools
- Outlets for recreational activity
- Proximity to transportation
- Choice in shopping
- Shops for everyday tasks
- Ample opportunity for community engagement
- Public spaces
Calgarians, city planners and the development industry have a renewed desire for these types of communities. The benefits are staggering. Study after study shows intelligent urbanization leads to better health, stronger economies, more safety, less pollution, more local food sources and improved social and family ties.
“Many health objectives, such as physical fitness and community cohesion, are affected primarily by the amount of non-motorized travel that occurs.”
Smart Growth BC report: Promoting Health through Smart Growth
A significant indicator of our health is tied to transportation. A report by Smart Growth BC explains how our built environment shapes out transportation choices, and in turn, human health.
Today’s new neighbourhoods have been conceived as complete communities. Seton, in south Calgary, is an example of this. It’s compact and walkable, with a mix of housing, shops and restaurants all centred around the economic activity generated by the South Health Campus. Other innovative development projects include Currie Barracks, Walden and the University’s West Campus.