Greenfield development refers to development on land that has not been built on before, occuring on a cities’ urban fringe.
Urban sprawl and greenfield development share only one common trait – they both occur on the outskirts of urban areas. Unlike urban sprawl, where there is little or no suburban planning, greenfield development is about efficient urban planning that aims to provide practical, affordable and sustainable living spaces for growing urban populations. The planning takes future growth and development into account as well as seeks to avoid the various infrastructure issues that plague existing urban areas.
Regina City Council approved the City’s Official Community Plan (OCP) in 2015. The OCP shapes the way future growth will unfold.
As the Association that represents the creators of these future communities and the businesses that will build our future homes, we have a lot at stake in the Official Community Plan:
- Growth needs to include both infill development, as well as greenfield development;
- As valuable and important as the Downtown Plan is to anchoring our city, our real destiny lies in the design of new neighbourhoods that lie outside the downtown core – new neighbourhoods that arise out of greenfield development;
- Our new neighbourhoods will become the prime building blocks of urban growth for the future;
- New neighbourhoods are becoming more sustainable by taking inspiration from more compact community designs like in the Cathedral and Lakeview areas;
- Although greenfield development will not get rid of cars, we have great potential to build communities that are less dependent on cars, by utilizing these compact designs;
- Incremental changes and a “gentle urbanism” can bring out all we want to achieve to make our new communities more sustainable, and our Community Developers are embracing this approach in their new community designs;
- New neighbourhoods can deliver on sustainability and be warmly received by consumers by adopting a gentle approach to creating greater density;
- Housing affordability needs to be an important consideration in any policy decisions that impact infill and greenfield development in our city.
Community Developers and City Planners in Regina are embracing these ideas in their new community designs. Adding to the OCP, Regina’s new Zoning Bylaw, which supports many of these principles. We need to be cognitive of other regulations and public policy decisions that can stifle growth and make it increasingly difficult to build some of the types of ideal sustainable communities that people desire.
We love our City and want to get it right.