Neighbourhood Lifecycles

The lifespan of a community is a constant cycle of growth and change for both its infrastructure and its residents.

Neighbourhoods are not static – all communities progress through lifecycles, where the population changes and character evolves to reflect shifts in demographics, preferences, demand and a variety of other factors. As neighbourhoods evolve, buildings need to be maintained so they remain safe and continue to meet the needs of a changing population.

Some buildings may be restored to preserve the history of a neighbourhood, while others may be replaced if critical parts are beyond repair or the property owner would like to build something new. Updating or replacing buildings helps maintain property values and creates a variety of quality housing. This reinvestment in neighbourhoods encourages current residents to stay in their communities longer and inspires new families to move in, allowing schools to stay open and community businesses and services to remain vibrant and strong.

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When making changes to mature communities, the City must consider the evolving housing needs of our residents and how those needs are reflected in the housing market. What was a desirable home at the start of a neighbourhood’s lifecycle, may no longer suit the demands of today’s buyers. For example, many older homes do not have features that are popular in today’s newer homes, such as multiple bathrooms, full height basements, and open floor plans.

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We want to hear your thoughts on how new housing can be welcomed into our mature communities without losing the qualities that make each community special and unique. The City is hosting public engagement events on May 18 and 28, 2016, to gather feedback from residents on what defines neighbourhood character, and how to improve Edmonton’s mature neighbourhood development regulations.

The events are part of the City’s review of the Mature Neighbourhood Overlay (MNO) – a set of 24 development regulations that help ensure new housing in mature neighbourhoods remains sensitive to the surrounding community. The goal of the review is to make it easier for builders and landowners to build housing in the mature areas of our city, while ensuring new development integrates in a way that supports the unique features of these communities.

The MNO review is action 17 on Edmonton’s Infill Roadmap, the City’s two-year work plan for advancing infill in Edmonton.

For more information on the MNO review and how to get involved, visit

This video and blog post is the fourth in our five-part Mature Neighbourhood Overlay (MNO) series. The series showcases the role zoning and the MNO play in shaping Edmonton’s mature neighbourhoods.


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