The Langstaff Gateway project will demonstrate the dramatic gains in sustainability that can be achieved by combining higher residential densities with integrated transit infrastructure in a mixed-use state-of-the-art ecologically designed community. It is only at these larger increments of development that sustainability systems like cogeneration, anaerobic digesters and personal rapid transit (PRT) systems become viable and effective. And only a concentrated residential population can support shops, offices, and civic services (such as schools) that make a community balanced and livable.
Langstaff is designed specifically to be such a balanced and livable community. A linked network of parks and open space runs the length of the site and functions as the backbone of the new neighborhood. Small, walkable urban development blocks face on to the linear park system and their buildings frame this iconic public space. Buildings that face the central park have the highest residential densities and are mixed–use, with ground floor retail, office, and civic uses to animate the most public areas of the neighborhood. Buildings that sit further back away from the linear park are more residential in character and have lower densities.
Most of the streets in the Langstaff Gateway project are designed to be pedestrian and bike-oriented while still accommodating the needs of cars. The streets that define the edges of the linear park at the center of the project, however, are reserved exclusively for transit, bike, and pedestrian traffic. Frequent curb bulb-outs, bike lanes, street tree planters and mandated setbacks all work to insure that the neighborhood streetscapes are attractive and encouraging of public activity. The Langstaff site enjoys an unprecedented level of planned and existing transit service, a level unique perhaps to non-downtown North American urban areas. This local and regional connectivity will provide future residents of the Gateway with access to all the services, amenities and attractions of the Greater Toronto Area. The various transit services all converge on the Transit Hub, a multi-modal transportation facility that will span the highway to connect more directly with development in both Markham and Richmond Hill.