Perceptions about how we build our cities are changing. Increasingly, the financial, environmental and social challenges associated with traditional patterns of suburban development are being recognized. To minimize these challenges in the future, the importance of designing neighbourhoods with a priority placed on sustainability is gaining greater focus.
Clarington will experience significant growth in the coming years. Recognizing this pressure and the significant neighbourhood development that will occur, the Municipality has launched PRIORITY GREEN Clarington, a “Local Planning for Global Stewardship” initiative.
PRIORITY GREEN Clarington aims to set a new standard for residential development that prioritizes sustainability, promotes innovation and improves the community’s quality of life. It embraces the important role that municipalities can play in advancing the opportunities associated with “green home” and “green neighbourhood” design and construction practices. “Green” homes and neighbourhoods use products and design approaches that contribute to community benefits, such as energy efficiency, water conservation, improved air quality, resource conservation, and land preservation.
The greening of homes and neighbourhoods in Clarington is an important part of locally addressing climate change and infrastructure challenges, protecting the environment, and improving our health as we plan our community to the year 2031. PRIORITY GREEN Clarington will result in making green development proposals the preferred type of residential development in the Municipality.
To achieve this vision, PRIORITY GREEN Clarington involves:
- Identifying goals, targets, and guidelines for green homes and neighbourhoods within both new neighbourhoods and existing areas in Clarington;
- Reviewing current land development application and permit processes, policies and guidelines to identify opportunities for supporting green homes and neighbourhoods;
- Collaborating with Municipal and Region of Durham Staff, green design and building specialists, and the land development and building community to define specific criteria for what qualifies as a “green application”;
- Considering a variety of potential incentive mechanisms to encourage the voluntary adoption of these criteria;
- Contributing to the growing collection of knowledge about the opportunities and challenges associated with green home and neighbourhood practices through the execution of a demonstration project; and
- Ongoing engagement of the community, ensuring effective two-way communication.