Innovation in Sustainability: Livable Communities

How efficient are you getting to and from your home? If you’re within close walking distance to a transit station, with plenty of business, retail and residential around it, then you likely live in a Transit Oriented Development. Why does it matter? Well, happiness can be tied to location-efficient communities where residents can walk, bike or take transit for the majority of their daily trips.

Take it from Kurt Borth. Kurt is finishing up his PhD in location efficiency research at the University of Alberta and lives in a Transit Oriented Development. You could say he knows more than most about the importance of building around transit.

By increasing density, rejuvenating existing communities and making neighbourhoods more location-efficient, we are allowing our city to grow up and in. Transit Oriented Development makes for more walkable neighbourhoods, closer to grocery stores, work, parks and our neighbours. TOD also supports the goal to have all citizens living within a five to 10 minute walk of a transit station, providing more eco-friendly transit options to be accessible to everyone.

When complete, Blatchford will be a leading example of a large-scale Transit Oriented Development that has been designed to provide residents with multiple alternatives to driving. Pedestrian comfort and safety will be prioritized through custom designed streets, sidewalks and boulevards. Key destinations and activity centres, such as schools, parks, restaurants and stores, will be within walking distance of residential areas and linked by pedestrian and cycling routes.  And with two planned LRT stops in the community and transit stops within walking distance of services and activities, public transportation will be fully integrated into the community.

By designing the community for pedestrians, cyclists and transit first, many residents will need to drive less and may choose to own one car instead of two. Building communities like Blatchford means reduced greenhouse gas emissions, safer streets and healthier people.

In the video below, hear Kurt discuss why transit and neighbourhoods are so crucial to each other, and how Blatchford will be an ideal example of a location-efficient development.

This video is the fourth in our “Innovation in Sustainability” series which will be running throughout October. The series showcases Edmontonians sharing their stories about how they are living the City’s “The Way We Green” initiatives.



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About the Author
Maya Filipovic
Maya Filipovic is a Communications Advisor for Edmonton Fire Rescue Services.
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