Several are well established in the United States, but the concept is relatively new to Canada. We are referring to sustainable communities. A sustainable or green community is built to maintain and promote sustainable living. These communities focus on environmental, economic, and even social sustainability.
Recently Huddle, the online magazine featuring entrepreneurs, highlighted Dobson Landing, Atlantic Canada’s first “smart energy community”. Still in development, Dobson Landing to be built in New Brunswick’s Riverview district will consist of 260 units made up of family homes, condominiums and retail space that will combine smart technology and energy efficiency solutions. The builders contend that all the structures will use at least 50 percent less energy than minimum code-built homes and will be filled with various smart energy accessories.
Reports suggest that the interest in Dobson Landing is “overwhelming” with people from across Canada and the United States inquiring about the development and wanting to come visit the site.
The interest is not surprising. We know that AARP, the U.S. Based non-profit interest group did an extensive survey not long ago and found that both GenX’ers and Boomer’s interest in sustainable living is increasing.
In the United States there are several ecovillages and while many perceive them as a place for radicals or long-haired nonconformists, the reality is from the outside the make up is much like any other community, except the tend to be powered by solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal or other energy saving technologies – and they manage their water, sewage, waste and food sources. There are such communities in rural areas in California, North Carolina, and Oregon to name a few places.
Just on the outskirts of Charlotte County, Florida there is a new green development that is getting a lot of attention. Called, Babcock Ranch, the 18,000-acre sustainable community in the making, is set to put this sleepy part of Florida on the map. The Babcock Ranch Solar Energy Center is at the heart of the new town. It came online in January 2017 and generates enough energy to serve the town and provide excess power to flow back into the main power grid, providing renewable energy to other Florida power customers.
Today there are about 400 eco-friendly communities worldwide, but with interest in fully sustainable communities on the rise, it is likely we will be hearing a lot more about eco-conscious development.
Closing the environmental loop through sustainability sits at the core of Sparta’s value proposition. The growing suite of technologies in the Sparta family is designed to work synergistically to protect and enhance the environment in which we live – and nothing demonstrates that more than in an eco-hub. In fact, Sparta’s biomass/waste conversion division, ReECO Tech, is keeping a close eye on sustainable community developments across North America, as they scout out opportunities to put the Corporations own green community plans into action. The Sparta team is currently looking at preferred locations and at potential development partners for future investment in green communities in Ontario. The demand is there – we just need to provide the eco-friendly products that meet the needs and desires of today’s growing number of conscientious consumers.