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Sustainable community planning and design : a demostration project as pathway, the case of Egebjerggård, Ballerup, Denmark Van Vliet, David R.

Abstract

Much of the sustainable community planning and design discourse has been about prescribing and defining ends. A large gap exists between goals for sustainability and the ways and means to achieve them. Multiple barriers are encountered when implementation attempts are made. The research addresses the question: In what ways can demonstration projects increase social learning of effective planning, design and policy alternatives that assist in developing sustainable urban communities? Demonstration here is an area based, site specific planning and design process and built project showing potential adopters the benefits of employing various innovations. Five fields of scholarship and research (land-use and sustainable development; planning and design participation; urban experimentation and demonstration; innovation, diffusion and social learning; action for innovation and implementation) are drawn upon to inform the objectives. An analytical-evaluative framework for sustainable planning and design is developed, then applied in a detailed case study. The case study of Egebjerggard, a 928 dwelling, mixed use neighbourhood in Ballerup, Denmark provides an analysis of how leading practice can contribute to a better understanding of the potentials and challenges for advancing community policy, design and implementation at the neighbourhood and city-wide level. The analysis enables the interpretation of the Ballerup experience and the transfer of principles to the Canadian context. Two initiatives in sustainable community development in Calgary and Vancouver indicate the issues, opportunities and the state of practice. A proposed demonstration strategy outlines possible new institutional and organizational capacities and relationships in the Canadian residential planning and delivery system. The main contributions include: i) an empirical and descriptive-analytical case study providing a detailed account of integrated planning implementation and policy development in Denmark, ii) a strategy, its structure, organization and functions to carry out demonstration / exhibition in Canadian municipalities, iii) a normative proposition for and the evidence to support an expanded notion of demonstration directing attention to their value and potential. The benefits and returns outlined serve as a general argument for proceeding with a neighbourhood scale fully featured demonstration in any city in Canada.

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