New Report Uncovers Key Features of Sustainable Neighbourhoods

Re-imagining our Neighbourhoods: A vision for the future of Alberta
Nov 30, 2011 12:00 PM ET
Re-imagining our Neighbourhoods: A vision for the future of Alberta

(3BL Media / theCSRfeed) Ottawa and Calgary - November 30, 2011 - Neighbourhoods are the building blocks of society. They are the places we call home, where we live, work, and play. But what are the characteristics of a livable, vibrant, sustainable neighbourhood? A free new report released today by The Natural Step Canada and the Alberta Real Estate Foundation (AREF), Re-imagining our Neighbourhoods: A vision for the future of Alberta, begins to answer exactly that question.

A contribution to AREF’s 20th Anniversary Thought Leadership series, the report builds on The Natural Step Canada’s experience working with dozens of communities across the country to accelerate change toward sustainability over more than a decade.

Over the past few months, The Natural Step Canada engaged people in a dialogue about what sustainability means at the neighbourhood level. The new report provides a summary of ideas gathered from Albertans through a survey and an online forum, as well as from experts from across Canada through interviews.

This process addressed questions such as:

  • What are the characteristics of a sustainable, vibrant, livable neighbourhood?

  • What are the current barriers and obstacles to social, economic, and environmental progress?

  • What are the steps we might take to move toward a desired future in our neighbourhoods?

The report also incorporates research and findings from The Natural Step Canada’s Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Planning Guide, also funded by AREF and currently being piloted in a City of Calgary neighbourhood project.

Available for download and distribution for free, sustainability leaders in Alberta and across Canada are encouraged to study this new resource, share it widely, and incorporate it into their neighbourhood sustainability planning. Re-imagining our Neighbourhoods: A vision for the future of Alberta is available at

“We’re excited to contribute this leading-edge research into the sustainable neighbourhoods of the future,” said Kelly Hawke Baxter, Executive Director of The Natural Step Canada. “We extend our deep gratitude to everyone who contributed to this enlightening project, as well as to the Alberta Real Estate Foundation for its support and leadership in bringing conversations that matter to Albertans.”

“The Thought Leaders series engages Albertans in conversations around making their communities better places to live,” said Cheryl De Paoli, Executive Director of AREF. “We are proud to support the work of The Natural Step Canada in implementing sustainable and systemic solutions to Alberta neighbourhoods.”


About the Alberta Real Estate Foundation

The Alberta Real Estate Foundation (AREF) supports and originates initiatives that enhance the real estate industry and benefit the people of Alberta. Created in 1991, AREF is the result of industry leaders and Provincial government officials coming together to establish the beginnings of a fund that focuses upon the achievement of real estate excellence in Alberta. The early years of the Foundation focused upon funding initiatives related to education and training for professionals in the real estate industry. Over the years, the Foundation has evolved and expanded its focus to benefit the industry and people of Alberta. Learn more:

About The Natural Step Canada

The Natural Step Canada is a dynamic non-profit organization with over a decade of experience helping organizations and individuals understand and make meaningful progress toward sustainability. The organization envisions a sustainable world in which individuals, communities, and businesses thrive within nature’s limits. They strive to inspire, educate, and connect Canadian leaders to accelerate the transformation toward a sustainable world. Through award-winning learning programs and a unique suite of advisory, coaching, training, and process facilitation services, The Natural Step Canada translates the fundamentals of sustainability into practical steps businesses and communities can take to achieve lasting change. Learn more:

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