What is density?
Density refers to the number of residential units within a specified area. In Cochrane and region, density is typically stated as units per acre (upa) or units per hectare (uha).
To calculate density, the number of residential units in a defined area is divided by the net developable area. (The net developable area includes all lands within a defined boundary except protected environmental areas and provincial parks, highways or expressways, railway and commercial areas over 10 acres.)
Cochrane’s density target is eight to 10 dwelling units per hectare; current density in Town is approximately eight, but varies by area and can depend on the timing of development approval (density targets have changed over time).
What density is not
- Density is NOT the number of people within a specified area
- Density is NOT the number of schools within a specified area
- Density is NOT the number of businesses or commercial buildings within a specified area
Why is density important?
Density is important to:
- maximize the use of existing infrastructure
- minimize long-term maintenance and upgrading costs of new infrastructure
- create complete communities with reduced dependence on automobiles:
- provide jobs close to where people live
- provide recreation opportunities close to where people live
- support multiple modes of transportation, including transit, and ensure they are available and desirable to use
- reduce the environmental impact of urban living
- preserve agricultural lands
- increase food security
- ensure a thriving agricultural sector
- support diversification of the economy
- Overall Town density
Wondering about the density in your neighbourhood?