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 acre; 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?