The City of Markham and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) initiated the Bayview Glen Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Plan (SNAP) to generate a comprehensive strategy to enhance the overall environmental sustainability of the Bayview Glen Community. The SNAP process included a comprehensive characterization of the existing environmental performance of the neighbourhood that addressed energy consumption, bridging efficiency, stormwater management, water conservation, flooding, urban heat island effect, GHG emissions, walkability and multi-modal transport. The various strategies proposed within the SNAP were generated as a product of extensive community engagement including interviews, surveys, contact through the local schools and public meetings.
Early in the process, retrofitting of the public realm was identified as one of the key strategies that could be employed to achieve the SNAP sustainability objectives. In response, conceptual designs were prepared that were aimed at re-imagining the streetscapes, parks, school yard and other components of the public realm to integrate sustainability initiatives. Basement flooding is a common problem within the Bayview Glen neighbourhood and the concept plans for retrofitting the various components of the public realm emphasized the attenuation of stormwater runoff to alleviate basement flooding. The introduction of a network of sidewalks, trails connection and pedestrian linkages was proposed to improve walkability and enhance public safety while proposing an alternative to automobile use.
With the support of the community, the retrofit concept plan for Glencrest Park has been advanced to the implementation stage. The concept plan includes the recreation of a tributary valley landscape with integrated rain gardens that are designed to attenuate stormwater runoff prior to discharge into the storm sewer system.
In addition to the retrofit solutions proposed for the public realm, the SNAP includes recommendations to enhance sustainability for the private residential properties throughout the neighbourhood. The strategy recommends inventive programs and provides a comprehensive strategy to guide the implementation of retrofit initiatives for residential properties.
All of the recommendations that comprise the SNAP were generated through a process of rigorous technical assessment and evaluation in order to ensure that the solutions proposed will be effective in achieving meaningful change.
The Bayview Glen SNAP sets out a practical yet innovative strategy to facilitate the retrofitting of a typical suburban community. Components of the SNAP could be applied to the typical decade-old suburban residential landscapes that are prevalent throughout Canada. The Bayview Glen SNAP can serve as the prototype to affect significant positive environmental change.