Cartography of the Commons – Workshops with Zachery Gough

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.

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.

Biophysical Commons:
Monday, April 20th, 5pm

Knowledge Commons:
Monday April 20th, 7pm

Social Commons:
Saturday April 25th, 12Noon.

Cultural Commons:
Saturday April 25th, 2pm

Cartography of the Commons is a social engaged art project that seeks to map the biophysical, cultural, social, and knowledge resources that we share in common, and to feature the Haligonians who maintain those common assets. I’m doing this by speaking directly with people who commit themselves to keeping the commons strong, accessible and resistant to enclosure, and with them, represent common assets in a map. Once this aesthetic and functional object is made, I’ll ensure that it is not only collaboratively created, but also commonly owned, either by donating it to the library or storing it in some other accessible space. It will then serve as a celebration of common labour, but also as a physical resource or index of commons in Halifax.
– Zachary Gough
for more info see: www.zacharygough.ca

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 needs or of ensuring pedestrian and cycling safety. The city has also wrecked a lot of the small-scale pedestrian-friendly grid pattern of Halifax streets by privatizing them for super-blockers such as the Metro Centre, Scotia Square, Maritime Centre or, newly, the Nova Centre.

In 2014 Danish tourists wrote to Canadian newspapers to express their shock about our cities gutted by parking lots and our unfit citizens in need of physical exercise. Halifax got special mention. Small wonder… 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 walk through neighbourhoods or parking lots, and cross the street. Continue reading

The Common Streetscape vs Towers, Wind & Shadows

Why is another Halifax neighbourhood up for grabs?
Chronicle Herald Op Ed, Jan. 14, 2015
by Andrea Arbic, Peggy Cameron, Kathy Moggridge, Steve Parcell and J. Grant Wanzel

The corner of Quinpool and Robie streets in Halifax: “If the two proposals proceed, we’d get a massive block of towers with more traffic, noise, shadow, wind and a much larger carbon footprint,” say critics. (ERIC WYNNE/Staff)

The corner of Quinpool and Robie streets in Halifax: “If the two proposals proceed, we’d get a massive block of towers with more traffic, noise, shadow, wind and a much larger carbon footprint,” say critics. (ERIC WYNNE/Staff)

HRMʼs Municipal Planning Strategy and Land Use By-law were intended to guide a rational planning process for the city. They were developed through extensive public consultation and approved by our elected representatives on HRM council. By representing citizensʼ shared view of what constitutes “the public good,” these documents should minimize individual negotiations with private interests. Continue reading

Letter to Herald- Will Halifax City Council See The Wisdom of Daylighting River?

Example of a landscaped raingarden to absorb stormwater and create habitat.

Example of a landscaped raingarden to absorb stormwater and create habitat.

Paul Schneiderheit’s story highlights the benefits of daylighting streams. Jan 6, 2015- Chronicle Herald – Schneiderheit One omission is that HRM’s 2006 daylighting policy specifies two water courses: Dartmouth’s Sawmill River and the Halifax Common’s Freshwater Brook.

We’re generally unaware that the Halifax Common as the watershed for the peninsula was a rich and diverse ecosystem of plants, trees, birds, fish, frogs-all manner of critters and beasties.  Ruth Whitehead Holmes’ The’ Old Man Told Us, Excerpts from Micmac History, 1500-1950 “ recounts histories of Mi’kmaq hunting beaver, Black Duck and moose near Black Duck Pond, later Egg Pond and now the skatepark. Continue reading