Environment and the City
The moment that many of us have been waiting for since 2014 when the Regional Plan directed staff to create a greenbelt for Halifax has finally arrived! Halifax Regional Municipality introduced the final draft of the Halifax Green Network Plan on June 21st.
Many of you have been following along. If you need a little refresher, here’s how this all happened:
Starting in 2011, Ecology Action Centre and 6 others organizations joined together as OUR HRM ALLIANCE, a group to advance two principles: the creation of a greenbelt in Halifax and the sustainable growth of complete communities in the many cities, towns, and villages that comprise HRM;
Our first campaign was won in 2014, when the updates to the Regional Plan promised a “greenbelting and open space priorities plan”;
In 2016, following widescale public consultation and research, we saw the first two documents of what was now called the Halifax Green Network Plan. These were the “state of the landscape report” and a “what we heard” document that showed many residents of HRM are concerned with unsustainable development patterns and the effect on ecosystems and recreational space. In other words, we need a greenbelt!
In 2017, HRM released the “Primer” Report, which used 73 data sets to identify the most crucial ecologically and culturally important landscapes. Our primary concern with this document, which we completed research on and showed to the public (click here for that
) was the lack of implementation to protect these important landscapes.
Finally, on June 21st, 2018, HRM presented the final draft of the Halifax Green Network Plan to six Councillors who sit on the Community Planning and Economic Development committee of Council! It introduces SEVENTY-NINE action items for implementation, which alleviates a lot of our fears about lack of follow-through!