While lots of work is being done at all levels to ensure that the City of Ottawa as a whole is as eco-friendly as possible, there are a few communities that are leading the way. Everyone can make a difference, no matter where you live, but these neighbourhoods were designed with the environment in mind. Each is different but all are making a big impact.
Located just minutes from the downtown core in both a scenic and historic setting, Greystone Village is Ottawa’s only public LEED-ND candidate community. LEED certification is given to projects that meet strict guidelines for environmentally friendly initiatives and this has been the focus of the design of this new community. Priorities for Greystone Village include community amenities and connectivity, walkability and sustainable energy; this mixed-use community will provide everything within walking distance and includes incredible green spaces as well. With a variety of housing options including singles, towns, and condos, Greystone Village promises something for everyone.
“The most sustainable community in Canada”, Zibi will adhere to all 10 principles of the world-class One Planet Living framework. Located on islands in the Ottawa River, Zibi will develop the region’s first zero-carbon district, prioritize waste prevention, promotes sustainable transportation, food production, and water, will use sustainable building materials in construction, and the list of environmentally friendly features goes on from there. Currently in the early construction phase, this area will one day be home to over 5000 people and over 6000 jobs.
Ottawa Community Housing, through their Eco2 plan, has taken a focus on sustainability and the green practices they have implemented have had many benefits including reducing utility costs, reducing and diverting waste, enhancing the aesthetics, improving health, conserving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. They are a great example of simple retrofit concepts and the results have been outstanding. Last year, $7M was saved by incorporating solar panels and 1.6M cubic metres of water was saved through different initiatives (enough to fill the Rideau Canal and Dow’s Lake, 4 times!) It goes to show that you don’t need to buy into a brand new “eco-friendly” community to make an impact.
Choosing to live a greener lifestyle is something that we should all consider and overall Ottawa is doing a great job at this with a constant focus on sustainability. It’s possible to make a difference, even on a small scale; what are you doing in your household?