The Trust for Sustainable Development is a not-for-profit, federally chartered, Canadian land and community development corporation.
Committed to the principles of sustainability, the Trust's objective is to develop land in a sustainable way according to the United Nations' Brundtland Commission definition: “meeting the needs of the present generation without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.
Throughout North America there is a turning away from the modern practices of development and developers, particularly as they are expressed in predictable suburban sprawl. The Trust sponsors development based on the more traditional patterns of well defined towns and mixed neighborhoods. Within these patterns, a greater number of people can be accommodated in a higher quality of life, with a smaller consumption of land, a reduced demand on infrastructure and less impact on the environment and often with an improvement to previously damaged lands.
It may seem as if "community" and "sustainability" are issues beyond the control of the development industry, but developers create projects that either fosters or inhibits a sense of community and can establish precedents for destructive or friendly environmental practices. In its developments, the Trust seeks to create places that are beautiful and livable, and that enhance quality of life, respect the natural environment and reclaim previously damaged areas.
Ecological Protection and Enhancement:
- Reduced water/ energy use
- Creation and use of energy from renewable resources
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions
- Use of "environmentally friendly" building materials, locally produced where possible
- Reduced production of solid waste
- On-site reduction and management of storm waters
- Increased face to face interactions
- High 'livability' e.g. cultural activities, beautiful architecture and landscaping, etc.
- Use of regional resources and labor pools to minimize transportation needs
- Local and sustainable job creation usually equal to at least one job per household built
- Expansion of business and economic opportunities in and adjacent to the development site
Building a sustainable community is a highly complex process. Requirements include extensive research and investigation of innovative design principles and environmental technologies, such as efficient building materials, renewable energy generation and recycled wastewater effluent for irrigation. Land planning which allows for a mixture of uses, ages and incomes is essential. Reduced dependence on the automobile through increased availability of transportation alternatives, including a walkable community, is perhaps the most evident result of sustainable planning.
By building to the principles of sustainability, the Trust reduces costs and creates significant added value, and thereby provides exceptional returns for investors and significant benefits to residents and local communities.
The Trust's experience ranges from innovative infill and redevelopment projects to the creation of new sustainable communities.