Urban Halifax stream dormant but not gone

Op Ed for the Chronicle Herald by John DeMont.

Ben Wedge, pictured in Victoria Park, has found a correlation between the presence of flourishing trees and the locations of underground water systems in Halifax. (CHRISTIAN LAFORCE / Staff)

Ben Wedge, pictured in Victoria Park, has found a correlation between the presence of flourishing trees and the locations of underground water systems in Halifax. (CHRISTIAN LAFORCE / Staff)

It occurred like so many great insights have at Charlie’s Club on a Wednesday night, with the smell of hops and the click-click-click of pool balls in the north-end Halifax air.

Ben Wedge, born in Summerside, P.E.I., with a mind that is interested in many things, was nursing a Garrison beer and Googling a map of Halifax on his iPad Continue reading

Jane’s Walk – Freshwater Brook, Halifax Common – Sunday May 3, 11am

Freshwater Brook as commemorated by Friends of Halifax Common for Earth Day 2011

The path of Freshwater Brook as commemorated by Friends of Halifax Common for Earth Day 2011

Did you know that Halifax has its own lost river system? Join Jane’s Walk guide, Ben Wedge on the North Common to explore Halifax’s river system and its influence on development patterns in a growing garrison town. After centuries of development burying our beautiful urban streams, cities are rediscovering them and starting to bring them back.  Inspired in part by the documentary “Lost Rivers” Halifax Council is debating daylighting Dartmouth’s Sawmill River.  
Here is a nice facebook page and previous posts on Freshwater Brook can be found here…This post about HRM’s 2006 daylighting policy for both Sawmill River and Freshwater Brook.  This post includes links to excellent essays by Matt Neviille and Sam Austin. Continue reading

Cartography of the Commons – Workshops with Zachery Gough

With your help, artist Zachery Gough envisions our Biophysical,Knowledge, Social and Cultural Commons in Halifax.

With you, artist Zachery Gough will envision our Biophysical, Knowledge, Social and Cultural Commons in Halifax.

Cartography of the Commons is a collective mapping initiative and workshop series by artist Zachery Gough to take stock of the things we share in Halifax. We’ll swap info about shared and free resources (Biophysical, Knowledge, Social and Cultural) and talk about how increasingly everything is for sale.
All workshops take place a the Halifax Public Library. Everyone welcome.  Free.

Continue reading

Is Parking for the Common Good?

Letter To The Coast Magazine by Peggy Cameron, Coordinator, Friends of the Halifax Common

Why should parking be convenient? Get on board, support commuter rail at: halifax.ca/transit/commuterrail.php      The Coast Image credit: Jenn Wall, Cunard Street at North Common

Great job describing myriad reasons why metro pedestrians feel they’re the last on the list. I suspect it’s not the sidewalks that have patience maxed out but also the long-term failure of the city to develop an integrated transportation policy. Decades of widening streets to improve capacity and speed of vehicles (more recently it’s a roundabout fetish) has been to the detriment of meeting real transportation Continue reading

HRM Tender for The Pavilion at The Oval

Survey Preverence for Pavilion Architecture Design 38%- Traditional 25% Modern & Contemporary 18% Fun & Vibrant 12%Contextual and Low Key

Survey Preference for Pavilion Architecture Design
38% Traditional
25% Modern & Contemporary
18% Fun & Vibrant
12% Contextual and Low Key

The Halifax Examiner reports: after much delay, the city is offering the tender for construction of the pavilion at The Oval. Back in 2012, the city issued a request for proposals for design of both the plaza and the accompanying building, but with the sense that things were going too fast for design of a building, that tender was cancelled*. Since then, the plaza has been built and named after a beer company that paid pennies on the dollars of the construction price, and the city went into super consultation-with-citizens mode for design of the building. Here are some pretty pictures of what is said to be the final Continue reading

Effective Lighting & Public Safety on the Common

Letter To The Coast Magazine by Peggy Cameron, Coordinator, Friends of the Halifax Common

Lumieres law-the further the light is from the source the lower the intensity.  Multiple stadium lights without cut-offs installed on too-tall poles at The Oval are a glaring example of ineffective and inefficient lighting design.

Lumieres law-the further the light is from the source the lower the intensity. Multiple stadium lights without cut-offs installed on too-tall poles at The Oval are a glaring example of ineffective and inefficient lighting design.

Glare And Present Danger – Letter to the Editor, January 15, 2015.  Although we can feel vulnerable walking alone at night, there no evidence that bright lights reduce crime. (Streetlight scarcity casts risky shadows,” feature by Ameya Charnalie and Sergio Gonzalez, How to fix the city issue January 8).
That’s not to say Halifax doesn’t have lots of problems with  lighting. There is a public safety issue when people need to be able to Continue reading