Land Use Planning / Development
Salisbury, SA assists residential land division applicants with a series of instructional videos
City officials worked the Click Films on a series of four videos clarifying the subdivision process. Each video lasts less than three minutes and includes relevant steps, links, and tips for successful applications. The series includes a process overview, a review of allotment requirements, and two frequently asked question videos on topics from flood risk to lot size. This project improves applicant experiences and reduces staff time spent on common questions.
Paris, IDF converts industrial wasteland into its first zero-carbon district with Linkcity
Buildings in the 1.3-hectare Îlot Fertile feature rooftop solar panels, recycled stone facades, and heat recovery systems. The district's design encourages low-emission transportation with a last-mile delivery center and the absence of parking. Biodiversity components include birdhouses built into building facades, a public garden, and green canopies. Îlot Fertile houses an incubator for sustainable construction startups and a sports complex built into the existing landscape.
Rochester, MN undertakes Accessory Dwelling Unit Pilot Program amidst housing market constraints
City officials approved a $60,000 pilot fund for fee and indirect cost reimbursements on qualifying ADU projects. Successful applicants qualify for up to $20,000 in funds for ADUs on their properties. New structures must be built on permanent foundations and contain kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms. The pilot requires either the owner or the renter to earn 80% or less of the Area Median Income. Renter-qualified ADUs must include guaranteed fair market rents for three years.
Toronto, ON Housing Data Hub monitors the city's progress toward affordable housing goals
The HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan calls for the approval of 40,000 new affordable apartments by 2030. The new hub features an Affordable Rental Housing Map with filters for approved, under construction, and completed units. A Housing Data page visualizes social housing waitlists and the rental housing pipeline over the past six years. The Subsidized Housing Listings section presents average wait times and a searchable map for applicants.
Portland, OR turns underutilized office buildings into new apartments with conversion incentives
Portland faces a shortage of approximately 20,000 housing units based on current demand. The approved incentive package waives System Development Charges (SDCs) on office-to-apartment conversions. This waiver covers up to $3 million in SDCs and lasts through 2027 or as long as funds are available. The Portland City Council also changed seismic improvement standards on eligible projects to meet life safety performance levels at lower costs.
Sturgeon County, AB supports economic development with site selection and market research tools
Sturgeon County introduced an interactive site selection map for businesses seeking new properties. Each pinpoint opens a profile with photos, zoning information, square footage, and contacts with the county's Economic Development team. The Market Research site connects users to profiles of the six advantages of doing business in Sturgeon County. For example, the Logistics profile visualizes broadband connectivity, major road networks, and freight lines.
Sturgeon County, AB
London Borough of Barnet, GB introduces BarNET ZERO campaign for a net-zero borough by 2042
BarNET ZERO began with a five-week advertising campaign about co-design opportunities. An online portal, a Citizens' Assembly on climate change, and a newsletter continue community engagement on sustainability. Borough officials advanced Europe's largest air-source heat pump project for 6,700 new homes at the Brent Cross Town development. A £9 million Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, 510 new EV chargers, and council building improvements contribute to BarNET ZERO's goals.
London Borough of Barnet, GB
Louisville, KY Property Reunification Program trials outreach to next of kin for vacant properties
Louisville maintains 1,500 vacant lots per year including 300 vacant for at least three years. The program streamlines the process for claimants to confirm their connections to deceased landowners. An online form supports the necessary information for review by the city's Real Estate Coordinator. A four-day clinic at Portland Community Center provides in-person claim research and reviews. Pilot success would reduce public funds spent on private properties while bringing lots back into use.
Sheffield City Council, GB Shared Ownership Scheme expands first-time buyer access to homes
The Shared Ownership Scheme allows new home buyers to acquire as little as 10% of newly built council homes in Owlthorpe. Participants apply for mortgages on their shares and pay subsidized rents on city-owned home shares. The program allows owners to increase their shares up to full ownership. There is a 10-year warranty on external and structural repairs along with a £500 annual reimbursement for qualifying internal repairs.
Sheffield City Council, GB
Stirling, WA expedites residential development applications with its Fast Track assessment process
Stirling Fast Track reduces paperwork for a majority of residential development applications. This seven-step process applies to 12 development types including single-family homes, garages, and patios. Planning staff provides advice on expedited reviews during pre-lodgement reviews. An online tool helps applicants determine potential snags in their paperwork early in the process. Eligible applications without the need for outside agency review are evaluated within 28 days of pre-lodgement.
Vancouver, BC streamlines building permit applications with its Permitting Improvement Program
The PIP reduces time spent by applicants and city planning staff on building permit applications. Vancouver implemented ePlan for entirely online applications and payments for residential permits. This system reduced building plan reviews from 12 weeks to under three weeks. A Tenant Improvement Program offers two-week turnarounds on applications for basic commercial building renovations. City officials are also testing an online permit process for home-based businesses.
Nottingham City Council, GB combines GIS data and 3D modeling technology with site assessment pilot
Nottingham received free access to GIS software and one-on-one assistance as part of a pilot with Esri UK. This collaboration resulted in a site assessment prototype incorporating GIS data into an interactive 3D map accessible from any browser. Planning officials and developers consulted the tool for visualizations of potential constraints created by neighboring lots, conservation areas, and other considerations. Future uses of the technology may include VR consultations with the public.
Nottingham City Council, GB