For more than four decades, a massive coal power plant sat on the shore of Lake Ontario in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga, with hulking towers that were visible from miles away. In 2005, the government shut down the plant to reduce emissions. Now, the area is being reimagined as a 15-minute city.
The design is centered around the 15-minute city, the idea that people should live within a 15-minute walk or bike ride from most of their daily errands.
The designers are exploring the use of a district heating system that runs on waste heat from a neighboring wastewater treatment plant, so all of the buildings in the neighborhood can be heated and cooled without gas furnaces or air conditioners. The neighborhood also may use an automated trash collection system that sucks recycling, compostables, and trash into an underground pipe that leads to a central facility. “It’s an incredibly clean, efficient way of dealing with waste disposal,” he says. The developers saw a similar system in use in Sweden, where it helped maximize recycling rates. It also helps keep streets cleaner and plastic trash out of the water, since the outdoor bins in park areas can automatically empty themselves when full.