Posted on January 11, 2015

Urban Densification Helps in the Fight Against Climate Change

Projects Like Station Square Save Residents Money in the Long Run.

As Metro Vancouver builds upward instead of outward – something that is under way in earnest with projects like Station Square at Metrotown – the world’s top organization on climate change says the practice could be a key strategy in fighting global warming.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report that provides a current overview of global warming and discusses preventative measures, including intelligent urbanization.

IPCC panel members say building density around transit hubs reduces energy consumption and produces less carbon. Experts also recommend cities adopt mixed-use zoning and allow for the “co-location of jobs and homes” wherever possible.

“A project like Station Square exemplifies intelligent urban planning,” says Houtan Rafii, Beedie Living’s Vice President of Residential Development. “It is a master-planned, mixed-use community that allows people to ‘live, work and play.’”

Living in a home at Station Square will cost residents less in the long run. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation says compact communities require shorter distances to connect sewer, water and electrical lines, therefore, infrastructure replacement, plus operating and maintenance costs are cheaper. Also, city services like police, fire, and snow removal are cheaper.

According to the IPCC, enforcing existing building codes and imposing sustainable standards on new projects is also crucial. The City of Vancouver’s Greenest City 2020 Action Plan demands all new buildings be constructed with LEED design standards. The City of Burnaby has also implemented a ‘green development’ strategy, which Station Square will implement in the entire project.

Next week, we look at how the City of Coquitlam is adopting intelligent densification with the arrival of the Evergreen Line.