How can we build our homes and communities so that they co-exist harmoniously with Nature? What does it mean to create a sustainable house, a sustainable community, a sustainable city? For each additional day that we live, design and build unsustainably, we pull another fibre out of the fabric of Earth’s ecosystems.

Bamberton Site Planning


The Bamberton site is 1560 acres on the east slope of Mount Jeffrey and the Malahat Ridge, at the southern end of the Cowichan Valley Regional District. There is no regional planning in B.C., to make it possible to plan Bamberton within the context of overall regional sustainability goals. The land is unsuitable for agriculture, and has been heavily logged in many places. The abandoned cement works and quarries occupy a central, heavily scarred 60-acre area. Biodiversity studies showed that the steep area around McCurdy Point to the south of the cement works contains oldgrowth coastal douglas fir, garry oak, and several rare species of grass and plant. 3.5 km of coastline and 300 acres have been set aside for protection in this area. The other steeper areas, 3 major ravines, and a 1.5 km strip of steep land 40 metre wide right along the waterfront to the north of the cement works have also been set aside. In the northern portion of the site, west of the highway, an area of black cottonwood also requires protection. Taking these factors into account, the planning process placed the densest development in the town centre at the site of the abandoned cement works, and the neighbourhood areas on the flatter and less ecologically sensitive areas of land. Detailed tree protection regulations will ensure that the visual image of the site continues to be dominated by its trees. See also under Ecological Protection. Bamberton's perimeters are to be surrounded by an urban containment boundary, which will create a protective green belt around the town.


1. Old cement works/Town Centre

2. Old Town Village/neighbourhood

3. Park Village

4. Cottonwood (Uplands) Village

5. South Slopes Village

6. 300-acre park

7. Waterfront no-build strip

8. Ravines (protected)

9. Provincial Park

10. 70-acre Environmental Tech Park

11. High School

12. Elementary Schools

13. Old Quarry

14. 50-berth Marina

15. TransCanada Highway

16. Highway underpass

17. Malahat Nation Reserve

18. Mt Jeffrey/Malahat Ridge

19. McCurdy Point

20. Bamber Creek

21. Black Cottonwood 22. Garry Oak bluffs

23. Oldgrowth Coastal Douglas Fir 24. 5-10 minute walking distance


Bamberton's urban design involves a series of distinct Villages, linked by road to the town centre. In each Village, most houses will be within a 5-10 minute walk of the Village centre, making it easy for people to walk, and leave their cars at home. The waterfront town centre is planned as a colourful marketplace for businesses, homes, restaurants, shops, arts activities and social gathering, with higher density to encourage a traditional European town centre atmosphere. There is a 70-acre Environmental Technologies Park by the highway for larger businesses needing more space.


The town will be built in 3 phases over 20 years. Phase 1 will consist of the Old Town and Park Village. Phase 2 is the Cottonwood (Uplands) Village, and Phase 3 is the South Slopes Village. Progress on the town centre will continue throughout the whole period. Every step of the development will be governed by Development Permits, which will only be issued by the Regional Board when they are satisfied that the plans either meet or exceed the mandatory terms and guidelines listed in Bylaw 1500.