It’s been suggested that the mixed-use community of Dockside Green in Victoria, British Columbia may be “the world’s greenest neighborhood.” Sustainability is truly built into the neighborhood; many of the buildings are certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Platinum. Features include biomass heat generation, onsite stormwater and sewage treatment, water-efficient appliances, and using environmentally-friendly and low/non-toxic materials like paint, carpets, and salvaged wood products.
Alternative transportation options are plentiful, and include a car share program, bike trails and racks, and accessible public transit – plus the community is walkable. Non-residential components include offices and locally-owned services and shops. Resident activities such as community yoga and rowing are also offered.
While the community’s design has gained worldwide recognition and its triple bottom line is admirable, building has not come without some problems. Like White Flint, development at Dockside Green has and will continue to come in phases. However, the market collapse in 2008 has slowed development, causing missed build-out targets. Perhaps because the project has yet to be fully built out, some have said that the community feels more walkable internally than externally, contributing to a feeling to isolation.
Dockside Green illustrates that while development will always be susceptible to market conditions, we can and should strive to create more sustainable, healthy communities.