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When a great deal of effort and thought are put into a policy document, there is a collective sigh of relief when it is complete. Something excellent and clear has been crafted out of chaos and good intentions, and it should be honored and utilized. However, it should also continue to grow and change as it is applied.

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Over the last 18 months the City of Calgary has been conducting engagement sessions to explore a new concept in zoning and transit oriented development for implementation of a Main Streets approach to growth and development. Under the Main Streets initiative, the City is working with residents, business and transit users to explore the impact this approach will have on development of areas identified as Main Streets.

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The call to ‘get greener’ is getting louder, however incremental changes, although more implementable and digestible, are not adding up to the solution that is needed. With carbon impact to date being irreversible [1], what we do today when building new structures and communities will affect every generation that follows. The need to change is weighty and imminent. Builders and developers have a unique opportunity to impact communities, the environment and generations to come with the buildings they design and build. Few other things are intended to last 50, 100 or more years and interact with citizens throughout that time. What an excellent foundation for change!

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