The Infill Challenge Best Practices Summary from the City of Kelowna provides an analysis of leading edge policies, processes and projects in infill housing, and gives us the opportunity to learn from them.

Key insights:

The Best Practices Guide is intended to provide leading edge examples of infill housing from across Canada in the areas of process, development, and policy and regulations. The key lessons from each of these areas can be used to inform the Infill Challenge project as it unfolds in Kelowna.

Samples include:


  • Engage stakeholders early
  • Follow an objective, transparent process
  • Use data and research to clarify needs and objectives


  • Encourage the use of place-based design
  • Ensure that lane access and a grid network are in place
  • Require that front doors face the street, where possible

Policy & Development:

  • Use clear language (no jargon)
  • Support the process with strong visuals
  • Consider context-based zoning regulations and guidelines

When it comes to managing space, less isn’t always more.

“Kelowna has lots of lots with just one aging home and empty space that could be used differently – like a swimming pool, restaurant or stadium that is far under capacity, these large lots could accommodate more people than they do now.”

As part of its Infill Housing initiatives, the City of Kelowna produced a number of visual resources to capture how existing single family zonings were leading to significant inefficiencies that were undermining the wellbeing of the broader community.

These resources, available to view on their dedicated homepage to infill development, are a simple but effective example of public engagement materials that can help local planners in their efforts to win support for gentle density housing initiatives.

Key insights:

The City of Kelowna is one of Canada’s fastest growing cities. Infill housing has emerged as a significant piece of City’s overall growth strategy and supports many of the housing goals established in the 2040 Official Community Plan.

Historically, zoning has been the biggest barrier to building much needed housing supply. To address this barrier, the City is focusing on expanding permissions, unlocking land for building infill, and streamlining development processes to create more homes more quickly.

Focusing on promoting and encouraging new forms of infill development, City staff hosted the Infill Design Challenge Competition (IDC 1.0) in 2015-16 and Infill Design Challenge Competition 2.0 in 2021. This Small Housing Case Study explores Kelowna’s Infill Housing Program, the key actors driving it, the lessons learned, and anticipated next steps.

Overview of municipal resources pertaining to gentle density and broader planning materials.