Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Sustainable Housing Hits B.C.!

The City of Vancouver is finally taking steps towards developing homes that consume less energy on smaller plots of land.

These new ‘eco-density’ housing developments will, hopefully, have solar technology, perhaps geothermal units, natural lighting inside the homes to save on hydro and energy efficient appliances and lighting.

Above all, eco-density homes will be located close to major centres to encourage people to leave the family car at home when going to work or picking up groceries.

This, eco-density proponents say, will result in fewer cars on the road, saving the environment from countless tones of fossil fuel emissions each year.

In theory this sounds great, but...What are the chances that people will choose to walk instead of drive?

And, how do you ensure that people will choose to live close to where they work?

The eco-density plan seems hopeful, and I would love to see fewer cars on the road and an average ecological footprint per-person in Vancouver of below eight hectares.

But, who wants to see, or live in for that matter, more overcrowded apartment and condo complexes where people practically live on top of each other?

Realistically, eco-density homes seem to be heavy on the ‘density’ and lower on the ‘eco.’

Nevertheless, they are a step forward, and I would like to see more improvements in a similar direction.

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