The Halifax Greenbelt.

It’s time.

Cities around the world use greenbelts

Ann Arbor, Austin, Bangkok, Bath, Beijing, Belgrade, Berlin, Boise, Boston, Bristol, Bruges, Budapest, Cambridge, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hamilton, Islamabad, Lexington, London, Makati City, Melbourne, Miami-Dade County, Montreal, Moscow, Netherlands, Nottingham, Oslo, Ottawa, Oxford, Paris, Portland, Quebec City, Rennes, San Francisco, Santa Domingo, Sao Paulo, Seattle, Seoul, Shanghai, Sheffield, Staten Island, Stockholm, Tennessee, Toronto, Vienna, Vancouver…

to keep nature near, keep water clean

and to direct growth to our mainstreets where we need it.

And the time is right for Halifax to have one too.

All seven 2012 Mayoral candidates supported creating one for Halifax,


86% HRM Residents support creating a greenbelt,

– Corporate Research Associates

our 2014 Regional Plan has committed to greenbelting,

and it’s finally coming to fruition in the Halifax Green Network Plan.

Here’s why that’s great news:

5 Challenges the Greenbelt will help us solve:

1. Water Contamination

60% of monitored lakes in Halifax are “occasionally” or “frequently threatened or impaired”.

– Stantec Inc.

We love our lakes and we know exactly what regulatory tools would prevent contamination:

With this plan, we can make water protection standard practice.

2. Sprawl.

Between 1992 and 2014, Halifax nearly doubled in size but only grew in population by 1/5. That means costs have grown much faster than tax revenue.

Growth can pay for first class rinks, parks, transit and arts venues, but not if it adds more costs than the taxes it earns. We must get a handle on growth or our taxes will blossom while our services wither.

3. Loss of Tourism Vistas.

Right now, most property owners on rural roads can build 8 homes “as of right.” These houses, strung thinly along long roads, can undermine our views of the ocean and landscapes that tourists come to Halifax to see.

It is also the most expensive form of development to service. We need a strategy to do right by land owners while maintaining the beauty and cost-effectiveness of our rural routes.

4. Loss of access to lakes and waterways.

Lakes belong to all of us, but more and more have become surrounded by development and we have lost all public access for swimming, skating, kayaking and having fun.

We need a consistent strategy to ensure all waterways keep at least a single place for the public to have access to the water.

5. Fragmenting ecosystems.

63 patches of forest in Halifax have been cut off from the wilderness by development. These patches make growth more expensive to service while debilitating the ecosystems left stranded.

We must plan growth to ensure ecosystems remain healthy and connected, so we may see life when we go hiking.

More than anything, the greenbelt is needed
to protect our quality of life.

To preserve what we can so easily
take for granted,

That proximity to beauty other cities would die for,
and that we are so lucky to still have.

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