Practices for Sustainable Communities

URL: www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca

This guidebook contains a range of best practices for overcoming barriers to water efficiency, sustainable landscaping and sustainable transportation through alternative development standards, alternative housing and xeriscaping. It also reviews a range of transportation demand management (TDM) and transportation system management (TSM) strategies, and includes a section on sustainable community indicators. A priced publication that can be ordered on line from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC.)


The publication includes a range of best practices for overcoming barriers through alternative development standards, alternative housing and xeriscaping. It also includes a review of various transportation demand management (TDM) and transportation system (TSM) strategies.

Readers with a broader interest in sustainable communities will find many other Canadian best practices described in this book not just social marketing ones. The generously illustrated, 176-page book provides practical advice backed by case studies of sustainable development from many regions of the country. In addition, the guide provides a framework readers can use to identify and create the tools, strategies and activities that build sustainable communities.

The focus of the book is the physical dimension of sustainability - including natural systems such as water bodies, woodlots and fields, and built systems such as buildings and sewers. The innovative approaches, case studies and best practices it presents appear in four sections on community policy development, natural systems, housing and built form, and infrastructure.

Each section introduces the area being discussed and the approaches to it. The case studies presented as practice summaries give examples, definitions and descriptions of the current sustainable development projects. Most sections also include:

  • an analysis of suitability, advantages and disadvantages of the practice, with a focus on the realities of carrying it through;
  • an illustration;
  • cross-references to other sections, subsections or practices in the book; and
  • other sources of information including organizations, Web sites, books and magazines.

This publication contains a section on sustainable community indicators (see also the Sustainable Community Indicators Program (SCIP) at www.ec.gc.ca/scip-pidd/Enlgish/scip_intro.cfm). CMHC and Environment Canada have developed a Web site to help you to track significant local issues. It includes a set of core indicators and supports customized indicator programs developed by the user. Indicator development guidelines are also provided.

The problem

How do we know if we are living sustainablyimproving the quality of air and wateradequately housing our fellow citizensconserving our natural areas and wildlifecreating a healthy world for our children and grand children?

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and Environment Canada have been working on the problem.

The solution

The Sustainable Community Indicators Program is Windows-based software and a Web site to help communities measure and monitor:

  • Environmental health
  • Resource consumption
  • Settlement Patterns
  • Human well-being
  • Employment and commerce

SCIP is an invaluable tool for provincial, regional and municipal planners, environmental groups, community agencies, consultantsand a teaching tool for educators.

The tool

SCIP provides:

  • An all-in-one starting-point for creating, selecting, analysing and reporting indicators
  • Comprehensive help and guidance on indicator development
  • A means to consistently document your indicators and data
  • A set of ``core" indicators that are periodically updated
  • A Web site to exchange indicators and collaborate with others

Paying subscribers are invited to take advantage of "live" assistance from the SCIP Coordinator for any questions regarding the use of the Web site. Support for producing indicator reports will also be available with tips for using desktop tools such as Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word. Or, contact the SCIP Coordinator for assistance with the development of your own customized indicator program. The SCIP Coordinator will be available during regular business hours (EST) to provide services such as instructions for uploading and downloading files and navigation of the SCIP Web site. To contact the SCIP Coordinator, simply send an email to scip-pidd@ec.gc.ca and we will respond as quickly as possible. If you prefer to be contacted by phone, please note this in your email.

You can help your community monitor its sustainability by using SCIP.

Take a vital step in making a better environment for today and the future.

Topics: Environment:, Climate change mitigation, Sustainable landscaping, Sustainable transportation, Water efficiency, Climate change adaptation
Location: Canada
Resource Type: strategies and interventions
Publisher: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Date Last Updated: 2019-04-24 02:07:02

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