What makes Halifax a place we want to call home? We believe that HRM is special because we have an abundance of trail networks, shorelines, lakes and rivers with towns woven throughout within a short distance from our downtown. But what can we do to ensure that more communities have access to these incredible amenities, and that these opportunities are available for generations to come?
Our HRM Alliance is composed of rural, suburban, and urban groups from across the municipality that share a vision for sustainable regional growth.
Vision: The Alliance envisions HRM as a collection of engaged communities and accessible places that protect the environment, foster health and wellbeing, and attract sustainable economic opportunities for all their citizens.
Context: Our HRM Alliance was formed in 2011 to advocate for progressive improvements to the Regional Plan, which was due for its 5 year review. In June 2014, the Regional Plan passed with many of those measures, including a commitment to create an Open Space and Greenbelting Plan, now called the “Green Network Plan”. As of 2017, that Plan has entered its final phase and is posed to create The Green Network. Moving forward, the Alliance has focused on a two-pronged approach to advocating for progressive regional planning:
- The Halifax Green Network: A connected and comprehensive network of land prioritized for preservation of natural heritage, watersheds, agriculture, recreation, and rural character. The flipside of this is directing sustainable growth and development to the suburban and rural communities that need it. We will achieve this outcome through the Halifax Green Network Plan.
- Complete Communities: For existing and new communities to succeed, they need affordable homes, multiple modes of transportation, comprehensive local plans, financial incentives for building, and ongoing community engagement and participation. We will achieve this outcome through the Regional Plan 10-Year review, and advocacy for suburban and rural Plans.
Objectives: Our HRM Alliance aims to realize five key objectives which are fundamental to sustainable growth in Halifax.
- Healthy and active population: Communities must be walkable, offer active transportation options, and be developed on a human scale.
- Robust transportation systems: Planning in communities should prioritize active transportation and transit over car ownership where possible.
- Sustainable development: Charges should be levied on developments for all present and foreseeable infrastructure and servicing costs to incentivize a more concentrated form of growth, which is more sustainable for municipal finances, health, and the environment.
- Protected and connected green and blue areas: Permanently protected green space (ecologically and culturally significant land) and blue spaces (lakes, shorelines, watersheds, etc.) through zoning and growth regulations.
- Engaged and Equitable community centres across the municipality: Community centres and main streets across HRM should be empowered to develop as compact neighbourhoods with strong community visions and potential for sustainable economic growth.
Means: Our HRM Alliance combines the voices of 58 rural, suburban, and urban organizations of such diverse backgrounds as the environment, business, trails, health, art and social justice, to advocate for a shared vision for HRM’s future. We believe that change is possible through the showing of solidarity across traditional boundaries and by demonstrating that such varied organizations share core goals. There are many ongoing projects and interests within the Alliance, but above all, we are committed to creating opportunities for sustainable development and economic growth in all communities while protecting the natural assets that are equally important to the wellbeing of the municipality.
For more information visit www.ourhrmalliance.ca