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seek Planning and Design Centre newsletter


A great region is a work in progress. It is always in the making. Plans are the glue that bind and order public and private initiatives, budget decisions, and individual development projects. They reflect our values as a community, capture our collective aspirations, and motivate change. More than just technical documents, they can also inspire us to see beyond present conditions to future possibilities. While plans are often produced separately at different scales, all governments and sectors are interrelated and should contribute to one shared vision. The Dalhousie University masterplan, for example, is connected to plans for the new Central Library. Both of these plans are tied to the regional transportation strategies and the Halifax Urban Greenway, and each one depends on and will affect HRMbyDesign. These plans among others will determine the future of the Halifax Region. Their capacity to enhance our quality of life, however, is a function of the quality of

public engagement. People must form the basis of planning processes and practices in order to ensure that plans are connected to their larger context and everyday life. This creative and comprehensive approach helps people feel that they have a hand in making a great region. By providing a window into a few current plans, this issue of seek plays a small role in opening up the process of developing and implementing plans. It is part of a larger initiative at the Planning and Design Centre to raise the quality of dialogue about the regional landscape and make planning more engaging and inclusive.

LEARN MORE OR VOLUNTEER Planning and Design Centre

Halifax, Nova Scotia

T 902.494.3926 E I

Network of proposed active transportation routes

Procuring an Enhanced Regional Transit System Transit Implementation Strategy

Fine Strides Active Transportation Plan

Redesigned Connections Halifax Urban Greenway

Thanks to funding from Infrastructure Canada’s Transit Fund, the Halifax Region will soon see changes to its transit services. Taking a five-year approach, Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) and Metro Transit will gradually implement electronic fare collection, rural express transit, and a high-speed ferry service from Bedford to Downtown Halifax. The strategy also involves creating a Downtown Shuttle service with five hybrid buses, improving transit security, and expanding both the conventional bus fleet and MetroLink. In early May, HRM held a service planning workshop about the new Downtown Shuttle at the Delta Halifax. Fully implementing these projects by 2013 will require the construction of a new satellite transit garage.

Stirred by rising fuel costs, dire warnings about Canadian obesity rates, and the implications of environmental changes, HRM conceived a more integrated, convenient, and accessible regional transportation network. The Active Transportation Plan provides policy direction for the reconsideration and reorganisation of movement and built form in the Halifax Region. Over the next 18 years, HRM will spend roughly $100 million to build safe routes and facilities for pedestrians and cyclists in urban, suburban, and rural areas. HRM’s Active Transportation Plan clearly demonstrates the need for integrated transportation alternatives, while promoting active and healthy lifestyles for everyone.

In 2002, a concept for an urban trail in Peninsular Halifax was unveiled to the public. Supported by three levels of government, the Halifax Urban Greenway is a linear park with both a footpath and a trail for cyclists, skateboarders, and other nonmotorised modes of transportation. Construction of the greenway’s first section, which will follow the railway cut from Point Pleasant Park to South Street, is set to begin this fall. The Halifax Urban Greenway Association, the community organisation behind the project’s planning and development, has proposed that the greenway eventually link up with Chebucto Road. Organisers also aspire to integrate the greenway with existing trail networks, parks, and water access points, and extend the network southeast along the Halifax waterfront and northeast towards the Bedford Basin. From this conceptual system, a network could emerge connecting communities and preserving vital green spaces.

TIMEFRAME 2008-2013 BUDGET approx. $155 million PROJECT TEAM Halifax Regional Municipality and Metro Transit LEARN MORE

TIMEFRAME 2006-2026 BUDGET approx. $100 million PROJECT TEAM Hatch, MMM Group, and Go For Green LEARN MORE

On Plans

TIMEFRAME 2002 - present BUDGET approx. $530,000 PROJECT TEAM Halifax Urban Greenway Association and HRM Parks LEARN MORE

EXISTING PROPOSED CENTRAL LIBRARY CENTRAL LIBRARY Open Hours Collection Computers Seating Meeting Rooms Auditorium

6 days/week 50 hrs/week 223,100 books 37 124 2 0

Total Floor Area

38,000 sq. ft.

7 days/week 70 hrs/week 315,000 books 335 715 14 1 (225 seats) 108,740 sq. ft.

Phase One of the Halifax Urban Greenway running from South Street to Point Pleasant Park/Young Avenue

Timeless Services and Modular Programming New Central Library

Inspiring Another Vision Dalhousie Campus Masterplan

HRMbyDesign Update Downtown Halifax Urban Design Plan

What could the new Central Library for the Halifax Region look like? Since November 2007, Halifax Public Libraries and HOK Planning Group, a consulting team specialising in public engagement and library programming, have coordinated a series of focus groups, public meetings, and surveys to capture visions for the future library. Using the ideas of the public and library staff, a final report on the building program and space requirements was compiled and presented to Regional Council on June 24, 2008. A community centre for culture, learning, and partnership, the proposed Central Library will be located at the southeast corner of Spring Garden Road and Queen Street. Pending approval at an upcoming council meeting, the design process for the library will kick off. HRM has funded the initial public consultation and programming phases of the project. Funding the new library, however, will likely involve a publicprivate partnership.

A masterplan for a facelift of Dalhousie University’s three campuses is being prepared at a cost of $500,000. University representatives say the goal is to adapt the physical landscape to support research, boost enrollment, and attract more financial support. The last plan of this scale was completed in 1991 and several of the assumptions made at that time are now obsolete. A consulting team should be in place by the end of June to inventory campus facilities and their uses. The 18-month study will evaluate the financial and environmental sustainability of facilities, aesthetic quality and character of the campus, and transportation management. After comparing this information to other institutions, the consultants will propose design and implementation alternatives. All proposed designs will meet LEED standards (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). The process will also involve neighbourhood meetings, working focus groups, and a website to enable surrounding communities to monitor progress on the masterplan. The university hopes to present a finalised plan by Fall 2009.

HRMbyDesign is a visioning project, intended to articulate an urban design strategy for the Regional Centre. The Draft Downtown Halifax Urban Design Plan was completed in May, following a week-long period for written public comments. Five volumes of policy documents compose the Plan, including a Design Manual, Barrington Street Conservation District Plan, and Regional Plan Amendments. These documents translate the collective vision and urban design principles developed over the last two years into municipal legislation and guiding policy. Implementation depends on legislative amendments to the Municipal Government Act, proposed HRM Charter, and Heritage Property Act. The Provincial House of Assembly deferred the proposed amendments until the fall sitting. In the meantime, the project team will continue with public consultations and certain priorities such as the Cogswell Interchange Master Plan Study and Spring Garden/Queen public lands development.

TIMEFRAME November 2007 - present PROJECTED COSTS $42 million PROJECT TEAM Halifax Regional Libraries, The HOK Planning Group, Susan Kent (library consultant), AMEC (local engineering and architecture firm) LEARN MORE

TIMEFRAME 18 months BUDGET $500,000 PROJECT TEAM to be determined LEARN MORE 2008/04/11/campus_plan.html

seek is a quarterly publication printed on 100% post-consumer, FSC-certified paper.

TIMEFRAME 2006 - present BUDGET $405,425.13 PROJECT TEAM Urban Design Task Force and HRMbyDesign Project Team LEARN MORE

This issue was partially funded by Leonard Preyra, MLA for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island, and distributed by Cities & Environment Unit.


ew Developments proposed under construction 9




17 13 14 15 16 3





4 11 8

9 Bedford Highway The Wyadt // Five-storey condominium building W.M. Fares Group

2 5552 Kaye Street Seven-storey commercial/residential building Michael Napier Architecture

10 South Park Street and Brenton Place 19-storey commercial/residential building W.M. Fares Group

3 Barrington Street at Granville Mall International Place // 22-storey office tower ECL Developments Ltd. Zeidler Partnership Architects

11 Keith’s Brewery Lands at Lower Water, Bishop, Hollis, and Salter Streets Mixed-use development Halkirk Properties Ltd.

4 1855-1873 Hollis, 1860-1870 Upper Water Street and 5143 Duke Street Historic Properties Waterside Centre // Nine-storey retail/office building with underground parking Lydon Lynch Architects The Armour Group Ltd.

12 Gladstone Street Gladstone Ridge // mixed-use development Kassner/Goodspeed Architects Westwood Developments Ltd.

5 1651-1657 Barrington Street and 1652-1666 Granville Street and 5181-5187 Sackville Street Roy Building // 16-storey retail/office building Ontario Limited and Starfish Properties Davison Seamone Rickard Adams Architects Ltd.



1 6955 Bayers Road Two eight-storey apartment buildings Kassner/Goodspeed Architects


6 Dartmouth Marine Slips King’s Wharf // mixed-use development EDM Limited Fares Real Estate Inc. 7 Electropolis site on Lower Water Street Nova Scotia Power office facilities WZMH Architects 8 1276-1285 Hollis Street and 5142-5144 Morris Street Ten-storey commercial/ residential building Dexel Developments Ltd.

13 642 Agricola Street McCully Worklofts // office/commercial condominium building Mackay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects R&S Construction Group 14 2584 Agricola Retail/Office complexes Time and Space Media Ltd. Geoff Keddy Architects 15 Agricola and Cunard Streets Armoury Villa Condominiums // five-storey residential building Solid Homes Construction Ltd. 16 5505 Falkland Street Six-storey condominium building W.M. Fares Group 17 21-23 Mayor Avenue Four apartment buildings, one mixeduse building, and 19 townhouses Byblos Development Group 18 5800 South Street Nine-storey apartment building The Armour Group Ltd.

ABOVE McCully Worklofts. Courtesy, MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects New NS Power headquarters. Courtesy, NS Power BELOW Historic Properties Waterside Centre (candidate for min. LEED Silver certification; seawater for heating/cooling); Park Place V (candidate for LEED certification), 230 Brownlow Avenue; apartment complex, 5800 South Street. Courtesy, The Armour Group Limited

Events August - September 2008 August 4 at 5:30pm Ecology Action Centre Transportation Issues Committee monthly meeting 2705 Fern Lane

September 1 at 5:30pm Ecology Action Centre Transportation Issues Committee monthly meeting 2705 Fern Lane

August 5 at 6:00pm Halifax Regional Council regular session Halifax City Hall, 1841 Argyle Street 902.490.4210

September 6 Go North! 2008 902.425.6412

August 7 at 7:00pm Harbour East Community Council regular session and public hearing Dartmouth City Hall, 90 Alderney Drive

September 9 at 6:00pm Halifax Regional Council regular session Halifax City Hall, 1841 Argyle Street 902.490.4210

August 12 at 6:00pm Halifax Regional Council regular session and public hearings Halifax City Hall 1841 Argyle Street 902.490.4210 August 14 at 5:30pm Ecology Action Centre Built Environment Committee monthly meeting 2705 Fern Lane 902.429.2202 August 16 from 11:00am to 2:30pm 3rd Annual Welcoming Communities Committee International Potluck and BBQ Sulivan’s Pond, Crichton Avenue

September 11 at 5:30pm Ecology Action Centre Built Environment Committee monthly meeting 2705 Fern Lane 902.429.2202 September 16 at 6:00pm Halifax Regional Council regular session Halifax City Hall, 1841 Argyle Street 902.490.4210 September 23 at 6:00pm Halifax Regional Council regular session Halifax City Hall, 1841 Argyle Street 902.490.4210 September 30 at 6:00pm Halifax Regional Council regular session Halifax City Hall, 1841 Argyle Street 902.490.4210


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