Complete Communities

There’s a major new trend in urban planning called “complete communities”.

A complete community is like what we used to think as being your local village — only updated to a modern context. A village is a place where you can find most everything you need, and you can walk to get there. An urban village is a vibrant neighbourhood within a city or town, and a great city is made up of many urban villages. From downtown to small town, the process of designing walkable and vibrant neighbourhoods is improving our quality of life at the same time as it is tackling major issues from climate change to transit and economic development.

Here’s the official definition of complete communities, from the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2006:

Complete communities meet people’s needs for daily living throughout an entire lifetime by providing convenient access to an appropriate mix of jobs, local services, a full range of housing, and community infrastructure including affordable housing, schools, recreation and open space for their residents. Convenient access to public transportation and options for safe, non-motorized travel is also provided.

From the biggest city, to the smallest hamlet, we need complete communities.  They give us a sense of belonging, they provide us with the amenities and services we need, and they are our local economies.

Neighbourhoods are rarely static.  They are constantly changing over the years with new development and redevelopment, and with changing demographics. Our goal is to use this growth to help build complete communities through:

  • community engagement
  • community visioning
  • community projects
  • community involvement in smart planning and development

Complete Community Examples

Roncesvalles Village, Toronto

Downtown Cobourg