KITCHENER-WATERLOO SHOULD WEAVE SUSTAINABILITY IN FUTURE ZONING BY-LAWS AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
We often think of making homes more energy efficient. We often suggest that we should amend the Building Code to improve insulation, more energy-efficient heating and water conservation.
Putting the environmental fixes right into the Building Code is efficient. Individuals need not self-study in order to make their surroundings more efficient. Environmental technology and implementation are now the responsibilities of those technically qualified to handle it (architects and home constructors). Although the buildings will cost more, a capital investment increases the value of the home by decreasing monthly expenses.
We can apply similar reasoning and solutions to the urban planning and zoning by-laws of the Kitchener-Waterloo area.
You can find out local best practices here.
As you can see, environmental considerations are starting to enter into urban planning in the K-W area. There is specific mention to the LEEDS ND system. ND stands for Neighbourhood Development. LEEDS stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. This organization is developing guidelines and a rating system that can be implemented in the design of individual building and, in this case, whole neighbourhoods.
In North America, we focus too narrowly on energy sources and transportation technology when we attempt to address environmental concerns. The design of our homes and neighbourhoods, however, is a significant factor in “greening” our environment that must, and will, become a greater factor in our struggle for a more sustainable K-W and Canada.