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