Making the Municipality more liveable and more sustainable
Halifax Regional Municipality is about to undergo the first five-year review of its Regional Municipal Planning Strategy. The Plan was a long time in the making and involved public consultation, stakeholder meetings, and staff expertise. The result is a good plan, but a plan that is void of timelines and measures against which to monitor progress. An alliance of groups from rural, suburban, and urban areas within the Municipality thinks the community deserves more. We want an HRM that is liveable and sustainable from environmental, financial, and health perspectives.
On May 25, 2011 the Our HRM Alliance was launched from the Public Archives in Halifax. That morning, the Alliance consisted of 17 organizations from across the Municipality; by that afternoon, there were 19 – and we would like the list to keep growing. Click here for a list of current member groups.
The Alliance has five key objectives. These are:
1. Healthy and active population. Communities must be walkable and developed on a human scale.
2. Robust transportation systems. Active transportation and transit must be prioritized.
3. Sustainable development. Capital Cost Contributions (CCCs) and other development charges should pay for all present and foreseeable infrastructure and servicing costs. The municipality should not have to cover the costs of road or sewer/storm water infrastructure.
4. Protected and connected blue and green areas, as well as the primacy of green practices. The blue areas refer to water resources and the green areas to ecologically and culturally significant land. Green practices bring the concept of the greenbelt into urban and suburban developments, such as rooftop gardening and green building principles.
5. Vibrant community centres across the entire municipality, including urban, suburban and rural. Community centres across HRM must be empowered to develop as compact neighbourhoods that respect their community visions.
The Alliance would like to achieve these objectives through a greenbelt that both protects HRM’s green spaces and demands smart growth. Check out the website at www.ourhrmalliance.ca.