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Ottawa's Maturing Neighbourhoods


Our vision for where our maturing neighbourhoods are heading is based, first and foremost, in what we all love about them already.  Then guided by the 5 goal (Walkable, Socially engaing, Diverse, Environmentally Responsible, Affordable), the following vision for our neighbourhoods comes into focus:

Intensification of well serviced streets. This would reduce environmental impact and contribute to building with civic economic responsibility.

  • Multi-unit buildings of increased population density and smaller dwelling units. This would significantly reduce the environmental impact of housing by reducing the physical footprint of homes, and sharing walls to reduce heating and cooling needs.

  • Multi unit 'missing middle' wood framed buildings are most affordable to construct and maintain, if they can be freed from regulations that are cost prohibitive (such as Site Plan Control and Development Charges).

Transition maturing neighbourhoods from auto dependence to being delightfully walkable by filling in the missing pieces necessary for walkability, one neighbourhood at a time.

  • Smaller scale commercial is a missing component in most neighbourhoods. Increased population density would support the sustainability of new shops and services integrated into neighourhoods in walkable locations.

  • Putting a stop to large format retail developments within maturing neighbourhoods and within 10min driving distance of maturing neighbourhoods. These business models depend on regular household car use. Smaller format retail lends itself to walkabiltiy but this business model cannot survive in competition with large format retail.

  • Temporary parking must be provided during the transition to walkable neighbourhoods.

  • Neighbourhood parking lots must be established.

Diversification of housing stock for a diversity of households and a diversity of incomes.

  • Diversity of housing includes dwelling units of varied size, from very small to very large (as per Canadian statistics), with a mix of units having ground oriented access to dedicated outdoor space.

  • More rental housing must be provided.

  • Dwellings must be designed that draw right-sizing Boomers out of family sized homes into dwellings that allow safe wintertime lifestyles.

Integration of natural and built space elements carefully and strategically to maximize their impact.

  • Natural elements should allow residents in their lived experience of their neighbourhood to appreciate gardens, parks and foliage from windows, porches, terraces, walking and biking paths.

  • Yards cannot be paved-over for parking and must be soft landscaped to absorb rain water and provide activity and social spaces.

  • Roofs must be planted or clad in light colours.

Enhancement of existing valued neighbourhood characteristics.

  • Elements of built space and the spaces between buildings (volumes or voids that can been seen when standing on the street or experienced when looking out a window) must be regulated as they are character defining elements.

  • The width of streets, volume, placement and spacing of building facades, trees, porches, terraces, windows, doors and gardens is critical and must be regulated so that neighbourhoods become more socially dynamic and enjoyably walkable.

This form of intensification could all neighbourhoods to increase in density in proportion to forecasted population growth over the next 20 years, without a significant increase in the number of construction sites. For example the rate of new development within the fabric of Westboro would not need to increase, but what is being built would be different.

Neighbourhoods need increased density in order to become more walkable and need walkability to attract increased density. We need transitional solutions (such as transitional parking spaces and parking lots) in order to achieve this goal.

Each neighbourhood within Ottawa should retain it's unique character, a character that is nurtured and matures into fullness.

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