Built Environment Projects | Ecology Action Centre

Built Environment Projects


Tactical Urbanism

As a group, we are currently exploring Tactical Urbanism as a vehicle for making small-scale changes to the public space in our neighbourhoods. The idea is to identify a need or a goal, design a temporary intervention or installation, and use that small-scale change to shine a light on a larger issue or a more long-term solution.

Watch this video for an introduction to tactical urbanism.

In September 2018 we partnered with the North End Business Association to install a “sidewalk bump out” on Agricola St, at the intersection with Charles St, to demonstrate the suitability of this intersection to receive complete streets treatment in the 2019 repaving of Agricola St. (Photos available here.)

We are assessing other opportunities for interventions that will enhance our shared streetscape and will catalyse the larger scale, and longer-term changes that are identified in the EAC’s strategic mission/mandate. Email the committee chair for access to our Tactical Urbanism map.


Demolitions Decision Guide

This ongoing project is a study into the decision-making process leading to the demolition or refurbishment of properties. The study has produced some methods to aid these processes and is currently investigating the reasons used in decisions made in the past regarding private and government/public properties. The project aims to provide a guide to those who will make decisions to demolish or modify existing properties – key issues identified are: costs; uses for properties; property conditions; financing;  codes; bylaws; legal considerations; heritage aspects; C&D requirements; recycling of materials; etc.

Past Projects


Centre Plan Committee

Following the release of “Package A” of the draft Centre Plan materials from HRM, we formed a subcommittee which collaboratively develop a detailed response for submission during the public consultation period.

Some key recommendations:

  • Recommendation 11: Create and release a reference sheet that links Policies in the SMPS with the sections of the Land Use By-law and the Design Manual that enforce these Policies.
  • Recommendation 13: A wind study must be completed for all Centres and Corridors as an element of the Centre Plan. This study should require stringent wind mitigation under the assumption that wind severity will increase, especially in high-density areas with tall buildings.
  • Recommendation 20: Amend LUB Section 198.3(a) to allow public amenities to be located within 500 metres of development site, in order to allow for maximum benefit from public amenities, (i.e. if a parkette does not fit on the development site, but a small lot could be purchased nearby for the same amount, this should not be discouraged).
  • Recommendation 21: Significantly more detail is required for the Affordable Housing density bonus option. Specifically, monitoring and management processes must be determined in order to ensure that the policy is equitable and precise.
  • Recommendation 24: Amend Schedule 6 to include Wyse Road and Robie Street Centres as Pedestrian-Oriented Commercial Streets.

Read the centre plan committee’s full report here.

Morris Building

Morris BuildingIn December 2009, a coalition of groups moved one of Halifax's oldest buildings in order to save it. The Morris Building project represents a new way of approaching the built environment. One which, while celebrating heritage values, also speaks to the enormous environmental benefits embodied in adaptive reuse of buildings and how we might address issues of energy efficiencies and sustainability through their preservation. More info...


Waste? NOT! Toolkit

Waste? Not!Construction and demolition (C&D) material makes up almost a third of all solid waste in the province. In response to this issue the Ecology Action Centre in conjunction with the RRFB Nova Scotia has just released the Waste? NOT! Toolkit a booklet and web site with practical advice for homeowners and building professionals looking for ways to reduce the amount of  C&D material going to landfills.  Download the booklet here for more information call 902-442-0300


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