Urban Strategies, in partnership with EDM, developed a vision, master plan and urban design criteria to guide the redevelopment of 11 acres of municipal and provincial land holdings in the heart of Halifax’s Spring Garden Road corridor.
As part of the visioning process, Urban Strategies developed and led two week-long community design charrettes and hosted a series of facilitated stakeholder focus group sessions. The objective was to engage the community in developing goals and conceptual options reflecting differing perspectives on land use and density. The study area is comprised of critical properties adjacent to the Capital District’s busiest retail shopping precinct and Dalhousie Sexton Campus. The process explored development scenarios to achieve a more continuous commercial linkage between the Central Business District and Spring Garden Road, identify adaptive re-use strategies to preserve important heritage structures, enhance the quality and flexible use of the public realm, and examine economic, social and cultural benefits through the addition of new civic, institutional and residential uses.
Conceptual options were evaluated against urban design and performance criteria developed through the process leading to a broadly supported preferred concept. The master plan proposes a new public realm setting as a focus for new development, including mixed use and residential developments, a new 180,000 sq. ft. library, and an expansion of Dalhousie University’s academic and engineering programs. Critical implementation steps, including a development RFP process for significant sites and other ongoing capital improvements, were outlined in the master plan recommendations.