ULI British Columbia Blog

Building Community, by Gordon Harris

Long time member and supporter of ULI BC, Gordon Harris has written “Building Community”. ULI BC is pleased to share Gordon’s background and information on his recent publication. We were delighted to have Gordon and his team lead us on a walking tour of UniverCity recently as well! Read more here…

Global News reported earlier this year that Canada is leading the charge on decreasing green house gas emissions from the oil sector with regulations which, if adopted globally, could cut worldwide oil carbon imprints by 25%. However, residential power use still accounts for 19% of Canada’s carbon footprint, followed by the utility and construction sectors, which constitute 13%.

Blueprints on how Canada can improve are already here, in British Columbia, where Harris’s landmark pre-built community UniverCity seeks to fulfill the ambitious requirements of the “Living Building Challenge”, including “net zero energy, waste and water over a minimum of twelve months of continuous occupancy.”

UniverCity master planner Gordon Harris knows how Canada can harness sustainable gains, now. As the After over 30 years as an acclaimed urban planner, Harris has learned the precise art of balancing form, function and costs when it comes to net-zero architectural practices—a goal that is now be adopted across Canada in provincial policies (Vancouver wants to be carbon neutral by 2020 through its Greenest City Action Plan, while Ontario has unveiled their own 5-year plan to reduce carbon emissions substantially.)

Lessons that can be taken from UniverCity, one of the world’s most sustainable pre-built communities. Currently home to over 5,000 residents, this full-service community features an infrastructure that will soon reduce Simon Fraser University’s greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 85%.

In his new book, Building Community, Gordon shares the journey from conception to thriving community at UniverCity, all while showing how sustainable initiatives can be profitable, too. For Harris, the intersection of environmental-considerations and revenue is an essential part of the conversation about transforming our cities’ footprints. For example, the green projects at UniverCity are expected to leave Simon Fraser University with a $90 million endowment to support research and teaching. Sustainable is also affordable. UniverCity’s townhomes are offered at 20% below market value. Winning 30 awards for its environmentally conscious design, the community’s stunning achievements could be used as a blueprint to create greener developments that work for businesses, too.

Order your copy today at Amazon.ca or at Living Future Institute’s website.

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