This new report “Buildings for the Climate Crisis – A Halifax Case Study” by Peggy Cameron, MES reveals the high levels of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) released up-front by high rise construction, developments, and demolitions. By comparing these to more climate-friendly in-fill buildings (carbon-neutral or carbon-positive) it offers a scenario that are a better match for what society and Earth need at this time.
For the report a Canadian interdisciplinary climate change strategy consultancy Mantle Developments, conducted preliminary estimates of global warming gases associated with:
— two Halifax based proposals;
— the associated demolition of 12-14 historic houses; and,
— a 9-storey in-fill modeled by the citizen’s group Development Options Halifax.
The report details impacts of the present developments on the climate crisis and links this to the affordable housing crisis.
This report proposes options in the path forward including policy recommendations for what needs to change if we are planning for an inclusive society and for environmental remediation. With the release of this report the author aims to encourage all parties to seize this important and timely opportunity to re-think accepted practices of the building, construction, and demolition industry.
Globally, green houses gasses (GHG’s) from the materials and products used to build buildings is 11% as embodied or upfront carbon and approximately 29% as operational carbon from heating, lighting and cooling.
Centre Plan Primary and Secondary Targeted Growth Areas
“We see the draft Centre Plan as making a bad situation worse. We urge a complete re-thinking of the draft Plan.” Howard Epstein, Board Member, Friends of Halifax Common
Below are FHC Board Member Howard Epstein’s comments on HRM’s June 27th draft Centre Plan Growth Scenarios submitted to HRM Community Advisory Committee. His letter addresses concerns about the Plan’s general approach and the failure to protect the Halifax Common. Click Here to read previous FHC submissions to HRM’s Centre Plan (PDF) and here (previous post).
August 5, 2016
I am writing on behalf of the membership of the Friends of the Halifax Common to offer comments on the draft Centre Plan.
While the main focus of the FHC is on those aspects of the draft Plan that have immediate impact on the Common, we see those matters as arising in an overall context. That is, the general approach of the draft Plan is also reflected in those portions that are directly related to the Common. These comments, therefore, start with the overall approach of the draft Plan, and then move to specific focus on the Common. Continue reading
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 1, 2016
(Halifax) Between 45 & 50 buildings on the Halifax Peninsula are about to be demolished or are under threat. When you add it up, Halifax is under siege by some developers that want to build outside existing planning rules and get ahead of the Centre Plan. Recent news revealed Steele Auto’s plans to raze 17 properties NE of Robie and North Streets but there are many other neighbourhoods threatened by private developers. Good city development and planning is guided by more than developers’ and car dealers’ needs. The Mayor and Council need to take control by enforcing existing planning rules and taking control of demolition permitting.
Present plans and regulations already allow for the construction of an additional 34,965 dwelling units in the Regional Centre without any changes. There is no need to break rules or destroy the historic character and urban fabric of Halifax.
But plans are in the works for 3 high-rises between 18-30 storeys in the Spring Garden Road area between Robie and Carlton Streets by Dexel Construction and Killam Properties. These proposals are all located on Halifax Common Land 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
In October of 2014, Friends of the Halifax Common organized four days of activities to celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the Halifax Common. The Halifax Common came into being when the land was given to the “common folk” of Halifax by King George III “to and for the use of the inhabitants of the Town of Halifax as Common, forever”. To further mark this anniversary we published the Illustrated Catalogue “Celebrate the Common 250”.
Within the 24 pages of this historical documentary book are present-day photographs taken by Alvin Comitor interspersed with archival photographs and images. Accompanying text describes the gradual diminution of the lands allocated to the Halifax Common, south to north, over the past 250 years.
To view the catalogue on line CLICK HERE.
For beautiful print copies Contact Us. A donation of $10 per book is suggested but not required.
View On Line: Parking the Common, Documentation of Phylum Paveia
This study classifies invading species of Phylum Paveia (parking lot) responsible for the creeping disappearance of the Halifax Common. Ecological examination reveals P.Paveia colonizes territory replacing endangered natives such as Lawnis tranquilis, Gardenia publica and Serenis communis. Identified Paveias include Genera Bituminus (asphalt), Lapillius (gravel) and Cementus (cement) and species civitis (city), ecclesiais (church), hospitalis (hospital), imperium canadis (federal government), imperium nova scotis (provincial government), privatis (private), scholis (school), and universitis (university). This study raises doubt about notions of improvement historically rooted in imperialist ideology that, unless mitigated, will result in further colonization.