Neighbourhood Design Options Study
Client: City of Saskatoon
When: 2002 to 2004
The City of Saskatoon directly develops approximately 50% of all new residential land in the city through its 70 year old land banking program. This study was undertaken to review existing City of Saskatoon neighbourhood design standards and to recommend new standards that are consistent with the City’s desire to encourage sustainable growth, establish sustainable neighbourhood design and facilitate diversity of design. The report was received and endorsed by City Council in November 2004.
The Study considers not only land use and urban planning issues, but also the social and economic context in which neighbourhoods are developed and redeveloped. In particular, the study points to the need for defined objectives and goals against which development approvals and build-out can be measured.
The study challenges conventional development practices not through esthetics, but through economic and social sustainability. Current development practices are imbalanced and fragmented, and have largely been able to ignore the outcomes and effects of development, in part by shifting some of the costs to other areas of the public economy.
The design options considered are not prescriptive, but are based on putting the pieces back together - building whole communities that are responsive to and supportive of the complexities of human needs and wants. A subsequent New Neighbourhood Design project based on this Study was started in February 2006. The project will develop new criteria for more flexibility and choice, guided by more rigorous evaluation and monitoring of outcomes.
The report and technical background are available from the City of Saskatoon at: