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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered



  1. HRMbyDesign is coming to Dartmouth! This is what the centre plan process is all about. Right now the focus is development hotspots but the next phase includes all of the Regional Centre.

  2. HRMbyDesign may be coming to Dartmouth, but why is it taking so long? It’s been seven years since HRMbyDesign was launched, and the only policy implemented so far is for Downtown Halifax. The policy for corridors and hotspots was supposed to have been before Council in October, but the resources just aren’t in place to move that project forward quickly. At this pace when will the whole Regional Centre be finished – 2020? HRM has to move MUCH faster. Sure the Municipality might save a bit of money short-term by not addressing outdated policy, but the lost opportunities, potentially poor developments and long project delays are a huge problem.

  3. Great article, Sam. You hit the nail on the head when it comes to this development. It is terribly frustrating to go to these public meetings and have everyone focus on the height of a building when in fact that it will have little bearing on the experience of the building once it is built. Dropping the height 3 floors will do nothing to counter the points raised with regard to shadows, and overbearing presence.

    It is the monotony and the massing of this development that will be it’s downside if it ends up getting built. And I am very much hoping that the community council knows enough to recognize that in it’s current form this is the last thing that Downtown Dartmouth needs right now.

  4. Though I live in Toronto, I love this sort of objective analysis of property development projects that have the potential to transform an area. I see that the analysis was done with an eye for the best realistic outcome in city building, like the concerns over connections to the canal parkland. The criticisms and suggestions in the article all seem like things that could realistically be addressed.

    It’s rare to read such analysis anywhere in Canada, I think. Newspapers will write articles about NIMBY opposition in their “local” section or articles that read like advertising copy for the development projects in a “homes” section. But it’s rare to read actual analysis of development projects in the media, in spite of the fact that they have massive potential to improve the city or worsen it.

  5. Great article, Sam – I hope Council is listening!