The Evolution of Infill in Edmonton
The City of Edmonton’s Executive Committee met in early December to continue progressing associated plans, policies, and strategies—and the objections associated with infill. This continues to build on the Infill Roadmap—a work plan for the City that supports more and better infill throughout its mature and established neighbourhoods. The roadmap contains 23 actions to improve how the City communicates and collaborates with residents, builders, and stakeholders, to expand the knowledge base among stakeholders, improve opportunities for infill through changes to rules and processes, and in so doing, remove existing barriers to infill.
What exactly is residential infill? The City of Edmonton defines this as the development of new housing in established neighbourhoods. This new housing may include single family homes, secondary suites, garage suites, duplexes, semi-detached and detached houses, row houses, apartments, and other residential and mixed-use buildings.
Enabling opportunities for new housing development in established neighbourhoods creates efficiencies through the use of existing infrastructure (roads, water, and sewer lines), while supporting local amenities—like schools, which are often in jeopardy of closing in older neighbourhoods, as well as local shops and services. The diversity in housing product may also lead to more affordable housing. Simply, infill encourages the revitalization of existing, mature neighbourhoods, accommodates growth without adding to existing urban sprawl, and increasingly is recognized as a sustainability initiative, given its reuse of infrastructure. City Council’s vision is to sustain great neighbourhoods across the city; and therefore, support for this is seen in a number of the City of Edmonton’s strategic plans.
While this is a key priority, and the related benefits are irrefutable, change is often met with resistance. Residents may initially oppose new homes and/or high density projects in their community and the inconveniences associated with a build-in-progress; however, ultimately, neighbourhood revitalization benefits provide social and physical renewal; offer more housing options and the potential for increased affordability; result in economic benefits; and bring the region another step closer in realizing environmental sustainability.
Sustaining great neighbourhoods and encouraging sustainable building is where the City of Edmonton and Built Green Canada come together, working for a more sustainable future.
Built Green Canada offers builders and homeowners interested in responsible sustainability practices a means to a sustainable home through their third-party certified programs for single family, high density, and renovation projects. These programs address energy efficiency, integrating the EnerGuide label through Natural Resources Canada, and include the preservation of natural resources, reduction of pollution, ventilation and air quality, and the improvement of home durability. As such, builders and their customers get a two-in-one: the EnerGuide label and the BUILT GREEN® seal.
Plus, BUILT GREEN® builders are members of Built Green Canada and are required to meet a set of membership criteria, which includes training requirements. These are a group of progressive builders who are ahead of the code changes and are actively building sustainably, quality homes.
For a list of BUILT GREEN® builders visit www.builtgreencanada.ca/greater-edmonton. If you’re already working with a builder ask them for a BUILT GREEN® home—if they aren’t already a member, we can help www.builtgreencanada.ca/become-a-member