Please find included in this email two previous submissions from Friends of Halifax Common
In return for the School for the Blind park, the public was promised a fully landscaped Park within a Park (200 trees & 200 parking places), a scented garden and a land-scaped path along the block of Tower Road the public reluctantly agreed to give to the VG. Maybe the VG Parking lot can be a new urban farm?
(2018 & 2016) . Our suggestions seem even more relevant in this time so we ask that you will please take the time to re-read these.
Green Space: As the Centre Plan intends to add 15-30,000 new residents to the area it is imperative that there be greater attention given to protecting existing green space and to increase it. This is for all the benefits known — human mental and physical health, safe social distancing, improved walkability and active transportation, habitat, gardening, coping with climate change etc.
Health Benefits: A 2016 World Health Organization[i] report suggests sizes of and distance from green space. ie 5 minutes from 1ha is one standard. It also emphasizes connectivity as well as buffer zones for green space – these should be adopted as goals of the Centre Plan. Continue reading →
Proposed 512-stall parking garage at the Halifax Infirmary site with the pedway spanning Summer Street. A second 1000-stall parkade and steam plant will be at Summer/Bell. (rendering by Marcel Tarnogorski)
News 95.7 Rick Howe speaks with Peggy Cameron on “Why do HRM mayor and council hold the Common in contempt?”
Eliminating green space to build expensive new parking garages is a turn in the wrong direction. Over 50% of hospital staff are interested in other transportation options. So why aren’t governments working to improve transportation options and stop giving up health benefits of green space?
FHC’s 2014 photographic exhibition “Parking the Common” found 20-25% of the Common is parking, a private use of public space. Making the Common Halifax’s first car free zone would be an investment in our future. Imagine Central Park as you walk the 4km perimeter to welcome Spring! Cunard, North Park, Ahern, South Park, South, Robie.
Why not welcome Spring with a walk around the Common? The perimeter is ~4km and it takes ~1 hour to circumnavigate. Until now public directives telling us to stay at home to help flatten the COVID-19 curve have not banned being outside. That’s lucky, as while our society prioritizes health benefits associated with rigorous physical activity – sports, running, gym-workouts – having regular outdoor time has important physical and mental health benefits such as reducing anxiety, stress and negative emotions; improving memory, immunity, healing, focus, vision, longevity; and managing weight or growing food! See FHC bibliography greenspace
Remember to respect the 2m social distancing directive as many countries have shut parks Continue reading →
The provincial government has plans to build a new $29.5 million parking garage by the Museum of Natural History for the Halifax Infirmary. Peggy Cameron, co-chair of Friends of Halifax Common, takes issue with more Common being used for parking. Between 20-25% is already used for parking – there are better options!
This map from FHC’s 2014 photographic exhibition “Parking the Common” shows 20-25% of the Common is used for parking.
Don’t take the view of public blue sky for granted. No, Halifax developers aren’t painting the town red, but they are trying to get rich by occupying public blue space next to green space. Presently there are proposals for 25-, 28-, 18-, 11-, 25-storey buildings around the Halifax Common. As well, on Halifax Common land, an 18-storey building next to Camphill Cemetery on Carlton St. is already approved; a 30-storey building is proposed for Spring Garden Road at Carlton-Robie; and another in the works on the JustUs/Medical Arts block.
Halifax developers are misusing development agreements to by-pass the Regional Municipal Planning Strategy and build out-of-scale buildings. When developers build highrises next to public green space, they privatize the public’s blue space/view selling and make higher profits, not just from extra floor space to sell or rent but because these condos, hotel rooms and apartments have a privatize luxury view.
Write the Mayor & Council (firstname.lastname@example.org) & ask for regulations to protect the public’s “Blue Network” to ensure access to the view, the light and warmth of the sun and against the wind and shade effects from highrises. Continue reading →
HRM’s Design Review Committee has approved Olympus Property’s South Park Loft an 11-story tower spanning the block between South Park and Brenton Streets directly across from the Halifax Common’s Victoria Park. The proposed building is the 3rd recently approved highrise in the single block of South Park Street between Spring Garden Road and Clyde St.
Two historic houses at 1469 and 1473 South Park Street will be demolished. Approving the exclusive 19-storey Trillium in 2008 resulted in 5 historic houses being demolished.
Three multi-unit houses at 1469-73 South Park St and 1474 Brenton St. will be demolished. The 1994 Halifax Common Plan makes frequent mention of historic character of the houses and places of historic importance and the Halifax Common designated as an historic site under the City Charter in 1971. The “intent of the Common Plan was to improve the Victoria Park itself, the view of it and the view from South Street up South Park to the Citadel-that is the context or surrounding area and its “distinct character”. As no new high-rises were contemplated Continue reading →