Sustainability is about meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their subsequent needs by balancing the three pillars of sustainability - social, environmental and economic spheres of influence - into the decision-making progress. 'Smart Growth' practices translate the goals of sustainability into the urban development process. 'Smart Growth' enhances quality of life in communities, complements the ecosystem and uses tax revenues wisely. The concepts of 'Smart Growth' and 'Complete Communities' are often used interchangeably.

The challenge of the 21st Century is to help set in place the foundation upon which to build new, meaningful patterns of sustainable development. Groundswell understands that responsible mixed-use development is one tangible solution to meet that challenge.


Mixed use is characterized by a mix of shops, offices, apartments, and homes on site. Properly conceived, strategically placed mixed-use development can serve as catalysts of responsive change, allowing 'cities at their best' to prevail. More buildings, residences, shops, and services closer together for ease of walking allow a more efficient use of services and resources, and create a more convenient, enjoyable place to live. In addition to increasing the urban vitality of a neighborhood mixed use also presents opportunities for energy efficiency, building efficiency and sustainability. Vertical mixed-use facilities can lead to greater return on investment as they reduce long-term maintenance costs of individual buildings. By stacking apartments over retail or office, property owners are able to share expenses between two uses. Mixed-use is a key component to many current development trends, including Transit Oriented Development (TOD).


TRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT is the exciting new fast growing trend in creating vibrant, liveable communities. Also known as Transit Oriented Design, or TOD, are urban villages where residents live within a 5-10 minute walk of quick efficient public transit and can live, work, play, shop and learn in a pedestrian friendly environment. This makes it possible to live a higher quality life- one where the automobile is an option, not a necessity.