Thursday, March 15, 2007

Your Ideal Neighbourhood

A unique opportunity has presented itself. A representative from the developer who is designing the West Hills community in Langford is seeking the input of the readers of this blog. They are interested in knowing what your ideal community / neighbourhood would look like. They don't want West Hills to necessarily be like every other new development. They are thinking outside the box, and for this they are asking the public what they want. My hat's off to the developer for this. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with this development, or any other new development, I think it is commendable for a developer to be willing to try something new.

This post's purpose is to stimulate a conversation on what an environmentally friendly, ecologically sound, affordable, family oriented neighbourhood should look like. Please post your thoughts on what a developer can do to do it right and what developers are doing wrong these days. Topics to think about and comment on include the following:

- How important is your car to you? With adequate public transportation, would you be willing to give it up?

- Would you like to see a car-free neighbourhood?

- If you couldn't live without your car, could you live without a garage? Would you be willing to park in a community parking lot and walk half a block to your home?

- Do you like lots of big, wide streets? What should the street grid look like?

- How would you make homes more affordable?

- Would you mind living with less square footage?

- How about a house with a 2nd floor that is not finished when you acquire ownership of it? Is sweat equity something you have time for and be willing to provide?

- How would you create a neighbourhood with people from all incomes?

- What existing neighbourhood / development is, in your opinion, close to ideal? What is the poorest neighbourhood design that you have seen?

Any other suggestions on how to make a community greener, more livable, more environmentally friendly are welcome. What would you want to see that would make you say "That's where I want to live!"

The developer is appreciative of all comments, thoughts, and ideas, both positive and negative. Another thing that the developer would be interested in knowing, if you are willing, is to have an idea of what your demographic situation is. But only if you are willing. No pressure. Thanks for your help, and for the great conversation as of lately.

I'll be working out of town for the next week, so I'm taking a little break from the blog. Hopefully, conversation on today's post will carry on until I'm back. Next post will be Saturday, March 24.