The Halifax Green Network
Making growth make sense.
Between 1992 and 2014, Halifax nearly doubled in size but only grew in population by a fifth. We can only lower our tax burden and remain a city close to nature if we get this poorly-planned growth under control.
The Halifax Green Network Plan lays out exactly those places where large-scale development should not happen, because of their value to our economy, food, health and wilderness. With strong, clear rules, this plan will allow us to direct growth to where we truly need it.
Where to grow.
In rural, suburban and urban communities that need development.
On main streets to support local business.
On transit routes, to make traffic better, not worse.
Where not to grow.
On land we need for jobs, like farming, forestry and mining.
On lakes at risk of becoming too polluted for swimming.
On land needed for wilderness connectivity or where natural vistas bring tourism value.
The amount Halifax taxpayers could save,
according to Stantec Inc., if the city better manages growth over 15 years.
The amount of tourism spending the Ontario Greenbelt generates annually.
The amount New York saved by protecting lakes, rather than building water cleaning plants.
The number of cars whose carbon emissions are offset by the Green Network Plan’s 800,000 acres.
And the Green Network gives us the opportunity to brand all our trails, lakes, and beaches as a common destination. The Halifax Green Network will be an awesome reason to come visit or stay.
How it works
To create the Green Network Plan, experts analyzed over 80 data layers, including water features, natural connectivity, trail opportunities, and tourism vistas. We haven never before understood our own region in this detail. Here are three of the maps the process generated, or you can see the full report here.
The Green Network must be adopted into the Regional Plan so it will have direct legal impact on growth, and will not simply sit on a shelf as a series of suggestions.
The existing land use by-laws must be amended to create Green Network designated land in important corridors.
A publicly-accessible map of the Green Network so communities can be watchdogs for the land nearest to them.
Ongoing dedicated funding through the HRM budget to allow for the development of stewardship programs, partnerships, rural economic strategies (i.e. agricultural promotion, etc.) and tourism tools (i.e. web and print materials to help people tour the Green Network).
To leverage the full economic potential of this project, all our natural and agricultural tourism opportunities should be branded as part of the common Green Network experience, with consistent signage and a website connecting them all.
Signup to show support!
This Autumn, the Green Network Plan will go to Council. We will need strong public support to ensure the plan meets its full potential and is adopted into law.