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Ecology Action Centre Conversations on Environment in HRM: Workshop 2, April 28, 2010

Natural Systems of HRM, Related to Development and Planning presented by Hugh Millward, PhD, FRCGS Professor, Dept. of Geography, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax

H. Millward, Saint Mary's University, EAC April 2010

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The Geographic Mantle and Planning: topics 

Geography here includes interplay of climate, topography, soils, vegetation, hydrology, and human occupancy/exploitation

Factors affecting climate in HRM, and the resulting climate patterns

Limitations and opportunities of geology and geography for providing a living. How did they shape early patterns of settlement and activity?

How does/should geology and geography shape local plans and development patterns? How have they been ignored?

How does/should geology and geography shape regional plans and development patterns? How have they been ignored? 2 H. Millward, Saint Mary's University, EAC April 2010


Climate 

What factors affect climate (temperatures, wind, precipitation) in HRM

What are the resulting climate patterns?

What is the significance for human use and activity?

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Factors influencing NS climate 

Latitude

Position on continent: east coast maritime

Air masses & Prevailing winds

Patterns of land and sea

Elevation 4 H. Millward, Saint Mary's University, EAC April 2010


Climate Patterns: Temperature

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Growingdegrees & Frost-free season

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Average Wind Speeds

Average Wind Speeds

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Land and Livelihood ď Ž

What are the limitations and opportunities of geology and geography for providing a living

ď Ž

How did they shape early patterns of settlement and activity?

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Hardrock: the southern interior (Meguma)

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Granite barrens, nr. Peggy’s Cove: -- glacial scour & erratics

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Soil Capability for Agriculture

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Soils & Farming Settlement 13 H. Millward, Saint Mary's University, EAC April 2010


Lawrencetown: former drumlin farms

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The Halifax Region in 1960

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Environment and Urban Development

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Local Development Patterns ď Ž

How have geology and geography shaped local plans, and thus development patterns?

ď Ž

How have they been ignored?

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Hydrology

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Millward 2006 H. Millward, Saint Mary's University, EAC April 2010

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Topography & Soils

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Land Use: Determinants & Consequences (McHarg 1969)

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Land Use: Determinants & Consequences (McHarg 1969)

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Land Use Compatibilities (McHarg 1969)

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Land Capability Analysis (MAPC)  

Used overlay mapping Technique popularized by Ian McHarg, “Design with Nature” MAPC used more complex rating method by Bibby & Mackney (1969) 3 main factors: slope, bedrock, & tree density (land cover)

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Land Capability Analysis

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Land Capability Analysis (MAPC Plan)

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Development impacts on environment

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Questions 

 

Which natural features should be considered as absolute (yes/no) constraints on development? Which are conditional constraints, and how much weight should they be given? Constraints for whom?: the developer or nature? How do we balance landowner rights against rights of the public, and of nature? What mechanisms currently impose or police constraints? What mechanisms should? Are long-term constraints the same as short-term constraints? What is the most appropriate time-frame for sustainability? 33 H. Millward, Saint Mary's University, EAC April 2010


Regional Development Patterns ď Ž

How have geology and geography shaped regional plans, and thus development patterns?

ď Ž

How have they been ignored?

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Regional Planning: Key Questions 

What locations are regionally significant to support the economy? Where should we encourage settlement areas (housing)? Where are transportation improvements necessary? How do we protect our environmental assets? 35 H. Millward, Saint Mary's University, EAC April 2010


The 1963 Regional Housing Survey (Coblentz Report)  

  

In effect, our first Regional Plan In response to dire housing conditions (1957 Stephenson study) recommended planned satellite communities Sought areas suitable for development Identified areas of deep glacial till

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Coblentz Report: Outcomes 

Identified 2 large areas suitable for development (deep till) Recommended 2 sewage treatment plants to service them Outcomes: NSHC planned communities • • •

Sackville Lakes (20,000) Forest Hills (20,000) Later, Millwood (6,000)

outcomes: STP’s • Mill Cove, Bedford • Eastern Passage

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The 1975 Regional Development Plan (MAPC) 

1969 Planning Act favoured regional planning Metropolitan Area Planning Committee formed 1969 Used a detailed environmental analysis • To protect environment • To minimize development costs 40 H. Millward, Saint Mary's University, EAC April 2010


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(mostly on-site development costs)

H. Millward, Saint Mary's University, EAC


Residential Option Areas 

 

 

Balance needs of environment and costs to developers, consumers, municipalities Minimize on-site development costs Use existing sewer & water central services where possible (remain within existing sewersheds) Minimize environmental impact Define ‘Option Areas’ in excess of forecast housing demand (to allow growth options & market competition) 43 H. Millward, Saint Mary's University, EAC April 2010


Residential option areas

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MAPC outcomes  

identified same suitable areas as Coblentz report also selected development areas to minimize costs of new roads & bridges (avoid South Harbour Br.) imposed a development boundary around the serviceable area RDP proposals embedded in subsequent municipal plans

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Urban Form map: key

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Exurban Sprawl, 1975-2001 

MAPC plan recommended strong controls outside devlpt. boundary (minm. 10 acre lots) But 1983 Planning Act eliminated primacy of MAPC plan Consequently, much large-lot (“estate”) sprawl after 1983

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How has HRM grown?

1950’s

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1960’s

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1970’s

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1980’s

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1990’s

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2000’s

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2006 HRM Regional Plan 

 

Strategies to contain Sprawl (“Smart Growth” & “Growth Management”) Intensify within currently-serviced urban areas • Encourage re-densification in low-density areas • Encourage Brownfield redevelopment • Intensify at transit nodes & along highcapacity transit routes Extend services to ‘best’ greenfield areas Limit expansion of serviced areas through urban growth boundary (UGB) 55 H. Millward, Saint Mary's University, EAC April 2010


Serviceable Area Boundaries, 2001

Beaver Bank Fall River

Lake Major Sackville

Bedford Dartmouth Clayton Park

Timberlea

Cole Harbour Halifax Eastern Passage

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Servicing Analysis: 10 Greenfield Sites

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Beyond the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) • No development on Crown & forestry lands (“open space” designation) • Encourage growth in key growth centres • Between centres, severely limit by-right development • Between centres, some encouragement for “open space design” subdivisions, where water, soil, & bedrock conditions appropriate (by DA)

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Questions 

How much planning weight should be given to economic development (=jobs) in HRM generally? How much weight in the urbanized/urbanizing central areas? How much weight on the Eastern Shore or the Upper Musquodoboit valley? To what extent must nature be used and/or abused for growth in population & the economy? To what extent should housing densities be increased, in order to foster transit and reduce overall environmental footprint? (“rabbit hutches on postage stamps”?) In rural areas, what about landowner rights? What about citizen backlash? 62 H. Millward, Saint Mary's University, EAC April 2010


References 

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Alan Evans, “Rabbit Hutches on Postage Stamps: Planning, Development ,and Political Economy”, Urban Studies, 28 (1991), 85370. Peter Hall, “Sustainable Cities or Town Cramming?”, in A. Layard, S. Dovoudi, and S. Batty, eds., Planning for a Sustainable Future (London: Spon Press, 2001) Ian McHarg, Design with Nature (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1971) Hugh Millward and Austin French, “Balancing Development and Environmental Protection in a Rural Commuter Belt: the 2006 Halifax Regional Plan”, Journal of Rural and Community Development, 2 (2007), 1-16. Hugh Millward, ‘Metropolitan Form and the Environment’, ch.21 in T. Bunting and P. Filion, eds., Canadian Cities in Transition, 3rd ed. (Don Mills, Ont.: Oxford University Press, 2006), 363-78. Hugh Millward, “Urban Containment Strategies: a Case-study Appraisal of Plans and Policies in Japanese, British, and Canadian Cities”, Land Use Policy, 23 (2006), 473-85. Hugh Millward, “Peri-urban Residential Development in the Halifax Region, 1960-2000: Magnets, Constraints, and Planning Policies”, The Canadian Geographer, 46 (2002) 33-47. 63 H. Millward, Saint Mary's University, EAC April 2010

H. Millward Presentation  
H. Millward Presentation  

Presented as part of EACs Conversations series, April 28, 2010, Halifax, NS

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