IDEA: Considerations in Choosing Your New Environment

Options on Harbour Island, Bahamas
Liveable community options on Harbour Island, Bahamas

Liveable communities, green building codes, transport options, local character, walkability, parks and open green space and nearby recreational activities are just some of the items we need to consider when choosing a place to live.  It is these very qualities that we love and enjoy when on holiday so why not try to achieve them at home.

Green Building
Green building is gaining traction nationwide as an efficient and healthy alternative to conventional building practices, including siting, construction, renovation, operation, maintenance and demolition. Many municipalities around Australia have adopted sustainable building guidelines. These guidelines, which are intended to reduce energy costs, improve health and well-being of building residents or occupants, protect the natural environment and are compatible with nationwide building standards.
Transport Options – Think how, when, where and why
By considering existing road networks, bus/train/tram services and bicycle networks, one can make informed decisions about how to utilize existing transport and minimize your motor vehicle use and associated pollution.
Distinctive Local Character
It is important for one’s overall well-being that you are content with what makes your area and nearby places distinctive and attractive for you. This may include the community design, the commercial area, community centres, the safety or the green spaces available.
Walking and cycling benefit public health, reduce pollution and create more liveable neighbourhoods. From economic, environmental, community and public health perspectives, new developments and neighbourhoods should allow for safe and convenient walking and bicycling opportunities. Neighbourhoods that have footpaths and bike lanes encourage residents to walk or cycle to their destinations. Compact and mixed-use developments are also important components of walkability, ensuring that essential destinations are centrally located and accessible. Trail systems for school children to walk to school also provide an amenity for bicyclists and joggers.
Parks and Open Green Space
Access to parks and/or green space is important for a variety of reasons. Parks and green space are not only essential community amenities but also provide important economic, ecological and public health benefits. Access or views of nearby green space or parks can add value to your property and as research shows, are beneficial to your well-being.

At Your Front Door
Take a look closer to home.  City dwellers, are there hard surfaces in front of the property that during storms may lead to flooding with rain water rushing rushing into the streets and drains?  See what surfaces you can replace with lawn, shade trees, native plants and other nature-friendly features that will let the rain soak in and provide a welcome lift to anything growing in the area.

Jan Couper M.Ed.;M.Env.