Community Development Trends Transforming The New Decade

Today, a master-planned community development offers a beautiful balance between nature, homes, shops and amenities. Thanks to this years finalists, residents are finding themselves in vibrant up-and-coming, sustainable neighborhoods with acres of green space to enjoy the outdoors or relax and watch the sunset.

“Whether you prefer to paddle on the lake, hike trails, or watch a glorious sunset from the lake club deck, the good life is right outside your door,” reads Macdonald Lakeshore Properties’ entry for its Lakestone project in the 2020 CHBA National Awards for Housing Excellence, powered by Avid Ratings Canada.

Ready for a staycation in your own community? Check out these beautiful communities developed by the finalists of the 2020 Awards program!

Doing More with Less: Sustainable Living

It’s no surprise that green initiatives are gaining momentum in the community development category as homeowners continue to tell us just how important energy efficiency is in their homes. We’re noticing the use of healthier and more resource-efficient methods of construction, renovation, and maintenance in project entries across the board.

A few popular sustainable practices include landscaping to preserve the Eco-system by using native plants (evergreens, shade trees, shrubs, etc.), and LED street lighting to conserve energy. At Lake Summerside (photo below), lakes were intentionally stocked with fish such as grass carp to help control plant growth, maintain water quality and eliminate the need for chemicals.

Community Development Award_Brookfield Residential, Edmonton, AB: Finalist, Community Development CategoryBrookfield Residential, Edmonton, AB: “Lake Summerside”, Finalist, Community Development Award

Connected Communities

A focus on arts, culture, wellness and community is a common thread throughout this year’s finalist entries. For instance, West Campus Development Trusts’ project, “University District Calgary” (photo below) features a “Discovery Centre”, community hub designed for visitors, builder partners, residents and commuters to encourage community interaction. Other programs include concerts, photos with Santa, wine tastings, and dance classes, just to name a few. As a result, these community programs encourage residents to stay in the community and offer them everything they need to live a fulfilling lifestyle. Beautifully paved walking and biking pathways connecting homes with parks and amenities remain an integral part of these neighborhoods.

Community Development Award_West Campus Development Trust, Calgary, AB: Finalist, Community Development CategoryWest Campus Development Trust, Calgary, AB: “University District Calgary”, Finalist, Community Development Award

Take the Long Way Home!

Landscapes are designed with a focus on creating a healthy balance for those who want to feel connected to the city but value the tranquility of the outdoors. We are seeing buildings with natural materials like stone, rock and wood, all carefully designed to not distract from the beauty of the lush landscapes.

Above all, all the communities offer miles of scenic pathways for biking and walking. As a matter of fact, walking and cycling paths are the highest rated community amenity, according the 2019 CHBA Homebuyer Preference Survey!

Community Development Award_Macdonald Lakeshore Properties LP, Lake Country, BC: Finalist, Community Development CategoryMacdonald Lakeshore Properties LP, Lake Country, BC: “Lakestone”, Finalist, Community Development Award

The Perfect Balance

Living in a community that’s rich in amenities can enhance quality of life and provide fun ways to develop trusting relationship with your neighbours. This year, our finalists create many gathering points inside their communities and focus on connecting residents through engaging built-in amenities. So, If stepping outside and starting your day with a round of golf, meeting up with friends for tennis, or getting your kids into volleyball, is for you, check out Brookfield Residential’s Calgary Project, Artesia (photo below). And, if outdoor sports isn’t your thing, Artesia is home to the world’s largest YMCA.

A bounty of playgrounds were built in all the communities with the intention of both adults and children having a space where they can meet and socialize with each other. Consequently, playgrounds rank high on the “must have” list for community residents in the 2019 CHBA Homebuyer Preference Survey. In addition, another desirable community feature was access to public amenities such as malls, hospitals, airports and restaurants, trending upwards by 4.5 points.

Community Development Award_Brookfield Residential, Calgary, AB: Finalist, Community Development Category

Brookfield Residential, Calgary, AB: “Artesia”, Finalist, Community Development Award

What community features do you consider a “must have” for your lifestyle? Tweet at us – @CHBANational !