Today, close to 70 per cent of all Canadians live in suburbs. Most bought homes early in their adult life. Most raised families. And many are now living alone or with an aging spouse in houses designed for four to six people. The kids have grown and left, so nearby schools are unsupportable, too. Even the strip malls are failing as old neighbourhoods hollow out -- as young buyers head to ever-more distant points in search of the latest "cheap" development.
The children born into one of Metro Vancouver's newest communities will live and learn in homes and schools that are at least LEED Gold. Their childcare centre, part of SFU's UniverCity, celebrates its first anniversary this month, and is expected to be certified as Canada's first Living Building - which is to say, the first building with a zero environmental footprint. These are youngsters who will believe, absolutely, that it is possible to live in a sustainable world because they will have spent their whole life in a sustainable community.