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portapetey
Jul 30, 2014, 1:42 PM
One interesting thing to note in this though when looking at the tallest buildings in some of these other cities above us is that Fenwick (our tallest at 98m) is taller than anything in Kitchener, Victoria, St. Catherines, and is only ~15m shorter than London's tallest.

Realisticly, the height of a building shouldn't matter - it should be based on if the market can handle the amount of units going up. Take for example:

Building A -16 units per floor @ 15 stories

Building B - 6 units per floor @ 40 stories

Both have the same number of units, but one just takes up less land. Imagine taking a Clayton Park special like Grand Haven Heights and taking its unit count and stretching it upward in somewhere like the North End.... We have the ability to support taller than Fenwick stuff, we just seem to enjoy demolishing forests and such to build stupid super wide 10-12 story buildings in suburbia. :2cents:

Thanks. That's what I've been trying to say. When you compare Halifax to other cities its size, it's doing just fine.

Agree with you on these stubby mile-long suburban apartment building, though. They could certainly be taller and narrower.

portapetey
Jul 30, 2014, 1:49 PM
Who is being "negative" about Halifax not having enough skyscrapers? This whole debate started when another SSPer suggested that maybe some highrise towers could be developed at the site of the current St. Pat's school, and was subsequently mocked for so suggesting.

It seems to me the only "overwhelming" negative people that are "down-in-the-mouth" and "crying-poor" are those being negative about the potential for success of some modest high rise development in Halifax.

As for whether Halifax is a bigger or smaller city, here is a list of the 100 largest urban areas in Canada by population:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_100_largest_urban_areas_in_Canada_by_population

Out of 100, Halifax places at 14. Our population is categorized as "Large urban".

We fall just below in the ranks, but are comparable to: St. Catherine's-Niagara, Kitchener, London, Victoria.

Cities below us on the list: Oshawa, Windsor, Saskatoon, Regina, Barrie, St. John's, Kelowna, Sherbrooke, Kingston, Guelph, Sudbury, Moncton, Brantford, Thunder Bay, Nanaimo, Lethbridge, Peterborough, New Westminister, Sarnia, Kamloops, etc, all fairly significant Canadian urban centers and cities.

We're a city. One of the biggest urban areas in Canada. We can support 40 story towers and more. In fact, we can do a lot of things, frankly, we think we're too small to do now...

So Halifax is the 14th biggest city in one of the most sparsely populated countries on Earth, full of small and medium sized cities and only three particularly big cities. So what?

On the world stage - or even the North American stage - Halifax is a small city, no matter how it ranks in Canada. It is not a city where people would expect to see a particularly tall or densely packed skyline. Virtually no other city of its size has one.

And, as another commenter has noted, none of the other cities you've just listed have a skyline any more impressive than ours. Which is just what I'd expect.

That's all I've ever been trying to say.

I want to see more development, but I think the potential scale of that development in such a small city is something we should be realistic about. That's all.

No moaning, no handwringing, no negativity, no trying to undermine anyone's success - just realistic expectations, and a more positive attitude toward what we already have. Halifax looks pretty good for its size.

Hali87
Jul 30, 2014, 2:03 PM
We're a city. One of the biggest urban areas in Canada. We can support 40 story towers and more. In fact, we can do a lot of things, frankly, we think we're too small to do now...

There's this attitude though, that having 40 storey buildings is somehow a collective accomplishment that we could be proud of as a city if only we weren't so small-minded and backwards, the idea that 40 storey buildings are intrinsically better than what we have and somehow are something that we deserve for all our hard work... I'm not saying that's what you meant with this quote, but it seems to be where a lot of people are coming from.

I agree with whoever said that you're not going to find a city of Halifax's size with significantly more or taller towers. Even cities in New England with metros 2-3x the size of Halifax's have smaller skylines. Despite looking "better" based on arbitrary statistics, London ON is arguably sprawlier than Halifax (there's no real equivalent to either the Peninsula or Hammond's Plains... 90% of the urban area is basically like Cole Harbour) and its downtown is much less impressive in person. If you think Barrington Street is in bad shape check out the main streets of downtown London... Dundas or Richmond, I forget which one, but it's basically completely abandoned. Everyone I know from London likes Halifax more. Also the idea that Vancouver "isn't that high-risey" is pretty laughable...

There's also a lot of what I feel is misplaced doom and gloom. Sure Halifax has urban sprawl, but not to a degree higher than comparable cities across Canada and probably much less than comparable cities in the states. Sure downtown didn't see much new residential construction in the last few decades but the same is true of most cities in Canada. These are issues that are common to basically every single city in North America that changed at all over the last 70 years. Take a look in the Canada section at what is being proposed in cities like Kitchener or Hamilton or even Victoria and it definitely feels like we're 5-10 years ahead in terms of development attitude/ambition. We're probably slightly behind places like Quebec City and Edmonton (although Edmonton, despite building higher, is highly debatable from an urban design perspective). Then there are places like Oshawa which is probably about 40 years behind us in terms of planning approaches. All in all we are one of the more high-risey and dense cities in Canada under a million, and certainly one of the most progressive even including the big 6, despite what it would seem to those who only follow the local development news. I also disagree that the condo/apartment market is so underdeveloped that prices are outrageous/no one can afford to live on the Peninsula. Housing prices are pretty standard and $300,000 for somewhere like Bishop's Landing would be a steal compared to a similar condo in a city like Toronto or Calgary even Victoria.

The other factor that I think gets ignored a lot when looking at high-riseyness versus sprawliness is that Halifax has a lot of subdivided old buildings packed along narrow streets, which raises the density even if there are fewer highrises than somewhere like London. There is a higher overall intensity of land use in Halifax than in most Canadian cities, especially compared to those in the Prairies and SW Ont. Again, I don't think we're any sprawlier than the average city our size but I guess it depends on what kind of metric you're using.

q12
Jul 30, 2014, 2:17 PM
http://i60.tinypic.com/29wx2z7.jpg

600,000 people within 1 hour or less commute (and they do commute).

Sheet Harbour is not in the circle so stop worrying about the 5 or 10,000 people out in the boonies.

We are a big and important metropolitan city in Canada. We have the 7th busiest airport in the country. Stop the negativity.

portapetey
Jul 30, 2014, 2:27 PM
600,000 people within 1 hour or less commute (and they do commute).

Sheet Harbour is not in the circle so stop worrying about the 5 or 10,000 people out in the boonies.

We are a big and important metropolitan city in Canada. We have the 7th busiest airport in the country. Stop the negativity.


Oh, come on. This is silly.

Truro, Wolfville / Kentville, and Bridgwater / Lunenburg are not part of Halifax. You have to drive through 90 km of forest to get to any of these places.

What is this obsession with trying to pretend Halifax is twice the size that it really is? Where does it get anyone, or anything? It accomplishes nothing. It is just dreaming.

Halifax is a small, important regional centre that certainly punches well above its weight on the national scene, and always has. No one is denying that.

But it is still a small city with a perfectly decent skyline for its small size.

And, once again, again, again, I am in no way saying that I don't want to see more high rise development. I do. I'll fight the Antidevelopment Trust until my dying breath. I just have realistic expectations of what development in Halifax might look like.

portapetey
Jul 30, 2014, 2:32 PM
600,000 people within 1 hour or less commute (and they do commute).

Sheet Harbour is not in the circle so stop worrying about the 5 or 10,000 people out in the boonies.

We are a big and important metropolitan city in Canada. We have the 7th busiest airport in the country. Stop the negativity.



And it is closer to 120,000 people scattered throughout the rural parts of HRM, not 10,000 like a couple of people want to insist.

q12
Jul 30, 2014, 2:50 PM
And it is closer to 120,000 people scattered throughout the rural parts of HRM, not 10,000 like a couple of people want to insist.

https://www.ecologyaction.ca/gowild/images/district_All_HRM.jpg

~10,000 in #1. The 120,000 figure you mention includes what most people would call suburban like Fall river, parts of Sackville, Porters lake and Tantallon. These areas all have developed neighborhoods that are not "scattered" (Halliburton Heights etc.)

Regardless your attitude about Halifax fits with most of the naysayers in this province.

portapetey
Jul 30, 2014, 2:58 PM
There's this attitude though, that having 40 storey buildings is somehow a collective accomplishment that we could be proud of as a city if only we weren't so small-minded and backwards, the idea that 40 storey buildings are intrinsically better than what we have and somehow are something that we deserve for all our hard work... I'm not saying that's what you meant with this quote, but it seems to be where a lot of people are coming from.

I agree with whoever said that you're not going to find a city of Halifax's size with significantly more or taller towers. Even cities in New England with metros 2-3x the size of Halifax's have smaller skylines. Despite looking "better" based on arbitrary statistics, London ON is arguably sprawlier than Halifax (there's no real equivalent to either the Peninsula or Hammond's Plains... 90% of the urban area is basically like Cole Harbour) and its downtown is much less impressive in person. If you think Barrington Street is in bad shape check out the main streets of downtown London... Dundas or Richmond, I forget which one, but it's basically completely abandoned. Everyone I know from London likes Halifax more. Also the idea that Vancouver "isn't that high-risey" is pretty laughable...

There's also a lot of what I feel is misplaced doom and gloom. Sure Halifax has urban sprawl, but not to a degree higher than comparable cities across Canada and probably much less than comparable cities in the states. Sure downtown didn't see much new residential construction in the last few decades but the same is true of most cities in Canada. These are issues that are common to basically every single city in North America that changed at all over the last 70 years. Take a look in the Canada section at what is being proposed in cities like Kitchener or Hamilton or even Victoria and it definitely feels like we're 5-10 years ahead in terms of development attitude/ambition. We're probably slightly behind places like Quebec City and Edmonton (although Edmonton, despite building higher, is highly debatable from an urban design perspective). Then there are places like Oshawa which is probably about 40 years behind us in terms of planning approaches. All in all we are one of the more high-risey and dense cities in Canada under a million, and certainly one of the most progressive even including the big 6, despite what it would seem to those who only follow the local development news. I also disagree that the condo/apartment market is so underdeveloped that prices are outrageous/no one can afford to live on the Peninsula. Housing prices are pretty standard and $300,000 for somewhere like Bishop's Landing would be a steal compared to a similar condo in a city like Toronto or Calgary even Victoria.

The other factor that I think gets ignored a lot when looking at high-riseyness versus sprawliness is that Halifax has a lot of subdivided old buildings packed along narrow streets, which raises the density even if there are fewer highrises than somewhere like London. There is a higher overall intensity of land use in Halifax than in most Canadian cities, especially compared to those in the Prairies and SW Ont. Again, I don't think we're any sprawlier than the average city our size but I guess it depends on what kind of metric you're using.



Yup, this is what I'm talking about. The constant expression that because we don't have 40 story towers, we must be small minded and backwards, and because we are so small minded and backwards, we're failing to build the 40 story towers that all those other cities our size surely must have.

http://uphillwriting.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/circular-reasoning-works-because.jpg

Except all those other cities we're talking about are usually a lot bigger than us, and when we turn our attention to cities that really are our size, we find they don't have particularly impressive skylines either. And they just have a few high-rises downtown. They don't have high-rises all over the city like Halifax is beginning to have.

But we don't want to hear that because it flies in the face of our argument, so we turn back to stretching the imagination to try to argue that Halifax is really two to three times the size that it really is.

And trying to point out some of these flawed arguments apparently gets you lumped in with the anti-development crowd, even though you are here to cheer on the developments that are happening or that are proposed.

portapetey
Jul 30, 2014, 3:02 PM
Regardless your attitude about Halifax fits with most of the naysayers in this province.

Case in point.

I have said about 30 flattering and positive things about Halifax and how well situated and impressive it is relative to other cities its size, but I am labelled a "naysayer" because I point out that it isn't a city of 600,000 people as some people want to pretend.

Oh well, let's not let facts get in the way of our bellyaching about how backwards and small minded everyone is!

Drybrain
Jul 30, 2014, 3:06 PM
There's this attitude though, that having 40 storey buildings is somehow a collective accomplishment that we could be proud of as a city if only we weren't so small-minded and backwards, the idea that 40 storey buildings are intrinsically better than what we have and somehow are something that we deserve for all our hard work... I'm not saying that's what you meant with this quote, but it seems to be where a lot of people are coming from.

Indeed. This is the big fallacy, and it's entirely untrue—I mean 100 percent untrue. You hear this all the time, and I feel like there are Haligonians who really think that there's some sort of direct causal relationship between the tallness of our buildings and the number of jobs in the city or the number of young people who stay here, or something.

Anyway, I think the only thing that me and Portapetey meant above was a reaction to the more extreme supertall dreams. People are questioning the demand for supertalls in Toronto, even, so to imagine that Robie and Quinpool could support "at least" "a couple" of towers at "50 storeys plus" is indeed a bit, well, ridiculous.

As was the suggestion a few months ago here that the Cogswell site, when redeveloped, should be wall-to-wall supertalls. When I suggested that this would be essentially impossible given our real estate market, I was accused of not thinking big enough.

We all like highrises, and in fact, we live in a city that boasts a good number of them for our size. People keep mentioning that London has more highrises—maybe, but many of them are drab quasi-urban apartment towers from the 60s and 70s, of the sort Ontario cities excel at warehousing their poorer citizens in. They're not anything to envy. (In any case, London is way behind Halifax in virtually everything. We don't want to be like London.)

There is such an enormous misperception that Halifax is backwards or behind the times or anti-development, and that if not for all the naysayers and NIMBYs we would be booming.

If Halifax got a (good) supertall, I'd be thrilled. But to suggest that we don't have one because of small-time thinking or our intrinsic backwardness is not true, at all (IMO).

curnhalio
Jul 30, 2014, 3:14 PM
There's also a lot of what I feel is misplaced doom and gloom. Sure Halifax has urban sprawl, but not to a degree higher than comparable cities across Canada and probably much less than comparable cities in the states. Sure downtown didn't see much new residential construction in the last few decades but the same is true of most cities in Canada. These are issues that are common to basically every single city in North America that changed at all over the last 70 years.

We throw around the term "sprawl" a lot, but if you look at pre-amalgamation maps of Halifax, Dartmouth and Bedford, you'll find that a good chunk of the off-peninsula development occurred within the pre-existing city/town boundaries. Mount Royale, Long Lake Village and even Bayers Lake expansion are within Old Halifax. Larry Uteck runs through the old border between Halifax and Bedford, and even Sandy Lake and Bedford West are within Bedford's old boundaries. Had amalgamation not happened, you would still be seeing projects being built in these areas, though Larry Uteck might have been angled differently. What I consider to be true sprawl is places like Kingswood I and II, Glen Arbour, and Stillwater. Useless mansions a mile apart, no sidewalks, nothing to do within walking distance, and started our downward spiral in terms of commute time.

Yes, Larry Uteck and the like could have been built more intelligently, absolutely. To call them sprawl is a little much, considering the never-amalgamated City of Halifax that exists in a different universe, would be looking to build on these lands as well.



Quite frankly, we have one of the prettier skylines in Canada, if not North America. The only thing it's missing is, well, variety of height. I agree that 50-60 storeys is out of reach for the time being. I will settle for 30 storeys downtown at this point. 40 storeys will come with time, probably near the end of the scope of the Regional Plan. If the city continues to miss its targets for the Regional Centre growth, they may feel some pressure to "hit a six-run homer" and permit a couple of 40+'s to add a quick couple of thousand people to the core.

portapetey
Jul 30, 2014, 3:33 PM
Anyway, I think the only thing that me and Portapetey meant above was a reaction to the more extreme supertall dreams. People are questioning the demand for supertalls in Toronto, even, so to imagine that Robie and Quinpool could support "at least" "a couple" of towers at "50 storeys plus" is indeed a bit, well, ridiculous.

As was the suggestion a few months ago here that the Cogswell site, when redeveloped, should be wall-to-wall supertalls. When I suggested that this would be essentially impossible given our real estate market, I was accused of not thinking big enough.

Correct. My comments weren't directed at any particular individual but at the Robie & Quinpool and Cogswell scenarios that did indeed have a few people saying we should put up multiple 50 story buildings, which i believe to be very unrealistic given the size of Halifax.


People keep mentioning that London has more highrises—maybe, but many of them are drab quasi-urban apartment towers from the 60s and 70s, of the sort Ontario cities excel at warehousing their poorer citizens in.

Here is the legendary downtown of the great London metropolis from the air:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0e/London%2C_Ontario%2C_Canada-_The_Forest_City_from_above.jpg

And a broader view for good measure:

http://ccalondon.ca/wp-content/gallery/470-maitland/london.jpg

Here is the puny, behind-the-times, small-minded, and backwards NIMBY Halifax downtown from the air:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-BDLCBZz6R-g/TXVqwTPncwI/AAAAAAAAACI/hKOiaDulyFg/s1600/harbour-3-l.jpg

And a broader view for good measure:

http://westinnovascotian.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/aerial-qm2-at-pier-21.jpg

The two cities are quite comparable.

London does appear to have three or four buildings that are marginally taller than the ones in Halifax.

It also appears to be decidedly low- or no-rise outside of its downtown, unlike Halifax which has a variety of building heights all over the city.

portapetey
Jul 30, 2014, 3:42 PM
We throw around the term "sprawl" a lot, but if you look at pre-amalgamation maps of Halifax, Dartmouth and Bedford, you'll find that a good chunk of the off-peninsula development occurred within the pre-existing city/town boundaries. Mount Royale, Long Lake Village and even Bayers Lake expansion are within Old Halifax. Larry Uteck runs through the old border between Halifax and Bedford, and even Sandy Lake and Bedford West are within Bedford's old boundaries. Had amalgamation not happened, you would still be seeing projects being built in these areas, though Larry Uteck might have been angled differently. What I consider to be true sprawl is places like Kingswood I and II, Glen Arbour, and Stillwater. Useless mansions a mile apart, no sidewalks, nothing to do within walking distance, and started our downward spiral in terms of commute time.

Yes, Larry Uteck and the like could have been built more intelligently, absolutely. To call them sprawl is a little much, considering the never-amalgamated City of Halifax that exists in a different universe, would be looking to build on these lands as well.



Quite frankly, we have one of the prettier skylines in Canada, if not North America. The only thing it's missing is, well, variety of height. I agree that 50-60 storeys is out of reach for the time being. I will settle for 30 storeys downtown at this point. 40 storeys will come with time, probably near the end of the scope of the Regional Plan. If the city continues to miss its targets for the Regional Centre growth, they may feel some pressure to "hit a six-run homer" and permit a couple of 40+'s to add a quick couple of thousand people to the core.

Agreed 100%. This is the more succinct version of what I've been trying to say (and more), without all the futile attempts to clarify misleading statistics. :cheers:

mcmcclassic
Jul 30, 2014, 3:43 PM
Here is the puny, behind-the-times, small-minded, and backwards NIMBY Halifax downtown from the air:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-BDLCBZz6R-g/TXVqwTPncwI/AAAAAAAAACI/hKOiaDulyFg/s1600/harbour-3-l.jpg

And that pic is from a few years ago! :tup:

BTW our local SSP page I think has some of the most activity out of all the local Canada pages. This is because 1) we have awesome contributors but more importantly 2) BECAUSE WE ARE BUILDING LOTS OF STUFF. I know we see a ton of NIMBYism here, but go look at some of the other cities' pages and you'll see their forumers getting excited about 8-10 storey projects...

Hell, we have two buildings u/c that would qualify for the HIGHRISE section of SSP...

OldDartmouthMark
Jul 30, 2014, 3:49 PM
There's this attitude though, that having 40 storey buildings is somehow a collective accomplishment that we could be proud of as a city if only we weren't so small-minded and backwards, the idea that 40 storey buildings are intrinsically better than what we have and somehow are something that we deserve for all our hard work... I'm not saying that's what you meant with this quote, but it seems to be where a lot of people are coming from.

I agree with whoever said that you're not going to find a city of Halifax's size with significantly more or taller towers. Even cities in New England with metros 2-3x the size of Halifax's have smaller skylines. Despite looking "better" based on arbitrary statistics, London ON is arguably sprawlier than Halifax (there's no real equivalent to either the Peninsula or Hammond's Plains... 90% of the urban area is basically like Cole Harbour) and its downtown is much less impressive in person. If you think Barrington Street is in bad shape check out the main streets of downtown London... Dundas or Richmond, I forget which one, but it's basically completely abandoned. Everyone I know from London likes Halifax more. Also the idea that Vancouver "isn't that high-risey" is pretty laughable...

There's also a lot of what I feel is misplaced doom and gloom. Sure Halifax has urban sprawl, but not to a degree higher than comparable cities across Canada and probably much less than comparable cities in the states. Sure downtown didn't see much new residential construction in the last few decades but the same is true of most cities in Canada. These are issues that are common to basically every single city in North America that changed at all over the last 70 years. Take a look in the Canada section at what is being proposed in cities like Kitchener or Hamilton or even Victoria and it definitely feels like we're 5-10 years ahead in terms of development attitude/ambition. We're probably slightly behind places like Quebec City and Edmonton (although Edmonton, despite building higher, is highly debatable from an urban design perspective). Then there are places like Oshawa which is probably about 40 years behind us in terms of planning approaches. All in all we are one of the more high-risey and dense cities in Canada under a million, and certainly one of the most progressive even including the big 6, despite what it would seem to those who only follow the local development news. I also disagree that the condo/apartment market is so underdeveloped that prices are outrageous/no one can afford to live on the Peninsula. Housing prices are pretty standard and $300,000 for somewhere like Bishop's Landing would be a steal compared to a similar condo in a city like Toronto or Calgary even Victoria.

The other factor that I think gets ignored a lot when looking at high-riseyness versus sprawliness is that Halifax has a lot of subdivided old buildings packed along narrow streets, which raises the density even if there are fewer highrises than somewhere like London. There is a higher overall intensity of land use in Halifax than in most Canadian cities, especially compared to those in the Prairies and SW Ont. Again, I don't think we're any sprawlier than the average city our size but I guess it depends on what kind of metric you're using.

Very well written. Many good points! :tup:

Drybrain
Jul 30, 2014, 3:53 PM
I spent 20 minutes this morning arguing (politely) with a co-worker who thinks that renovating the Forum instead of tearing it down and building new is an example of our obsession with trying to keep Halifax as a 19th century village.

This discussion about height, like the discussion about heritage, is predicated on this completely false idea that we're a living-in-the-past non-metropolis dominated by NIMBYs. It's just not true. (Or, no truer than it is elsewhere.)

Colin May
Jul 30, 2014, 4:10 PM
Out of curiosity, perhaps you could share the sources you're using? You say that they're free and publicly available, so I wouldn't think it would be an issue.

I'm not trying to argue or dispute what you say, but it's difficult to verify/interpret the data when it's all coming through a single person. It could also be of use to the rest of the people here. It would also mean that you'd have to spend less time repeating yourself when people can just go check for themselves.

Not all sources are free. Online usage of Explore HRM is quite useful with many layers and lots of info.
Viwepoint.ca is free and requires registration - easy to use but not as easy as it could be. The Registry of Deeds charges an annual fee for online access and casual visitors pay by the half day and pay for paper copies. Takes a long time when searching condos. Staff are very helpful. PVSC is free online - correct spelling is essential, could be improved and last week they made changes to their system and it is causing a few problems. Registry of Joint Stocks is free online - could be better but we can't always have a Rolls Royce so a Chevy will just have to do.
If you have research experience and an ability to think outside the box you can find data quite quickly. Intuition is essential. An understanding of certain legal terms is very useful. Business experience is also useful. Contacts in the industry such as planners, architects, realtors, lawyers, constructors are good sources.
When researching any subject healthy scepticism is essential and the same applies to media reports.
Or just drive or walk by at night and check out how many rooms are lit and in the daytime look for furniture/BBQ on the balconies.

OldDartmouthMark
Jul 30, 2014, 4:39 PM
Yup, this is what I'm talking about. The constant expression that because we don't have 40 story towers, we must be small minded and backwards, and because we are so small minded and backwards, we're failing to build the 40 story towers that all those other cities our size surely must have.

http://uphillwriting.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/circular-reasoning-works-because.jpg

Except all those other cities we're talking about are usually a lot bigger than us, and when we turn our attention to cities that really are our size, we find they don't have particularly impressive skylines either. And they just have a few high-rises downtown. They don't have high-rises all over the city like Halifax is beginning to have.

But we don't want to hear that because it flies in the face of our argument, so we turn back to stretching the imagination to try to argue that Halifax is really two to three times the size that it really is.

And trying to point out some of these flawed arguments apparently gets you lumped in with the anti-development crowd, even though you are here to cheer on the developments that are happening or that are proposed.

Good points.

I haven't read through all the posts in great detail, so this may have been mentioned already, but what about the financial considerations of tall vs wide?

I have observed a lot of bellyaching about our "backwards" area where we would rather build short squat buildings than tall slim ones and that the citizens, who are mainly NIMBYs, dictate what gets built and what doesn't. This attitude seems to be based on a concept that the ideal city is one that arrives at a certain aesthetic which includes lots of tall buildings, and if we fall below this idealistic view then we have a poor city run by idiotic politicians who don't understand what it takes to make a "real" city.

However we must remember that developers are businesspeople. Of course, I'm sure that most want to build attractive, desirable buildings as that theoretically will attract more tenants. But what is the cost of building high and thin vs building short and wide? Of course land purchase costs will typically be greater with a short, wide building. However, building tall is much more difficult than building squat - the taller the building the more tendency it will have to fall over due to its higher center of gravity, thus necessitating structural compensation to prevent this. Fill them full of glass panels and then heating and air conditioning costs may go up. Environmental factors such as increased wind speed at height will have to be taken into consideration as well. Not to mention digging deeper to provide structural anchorage and underground parking for the tenants.

So what would be the relative cost of two buildings that have the same number of units but, for example, one that is 7 storeys tall and the other 40 storeys tall?

It seems to me that cost vs return would be a much stronger argument than that Halifax deserves to have "X" number of tall buildings due to its population. It would be interesting to see this from the point of view of a developer who is putting his business on the line each time he/she commits to a new building project. :2cents:

portapetey
Jul 30, 2014, 5:01 PM
Here is the puny, behind-the-times, small-minded, and backwards NIMBY Halifax downtown from the air:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-BDLCBZz6R-g/TXVqwTPncwI/AAAAAAAAACI/hKOiaDulyFg/s1600/harbour-3-l.jpg

And that pic is from a few years ago! :tup:

BTW our local SSP page I think has some of the most activity out of all the local Canada pages. This is because 1) we have awesome contributors but more importantly 2) BECAUSE WE ARE BUILDING LOTS OF STUFF. I know we see a ton of NIMBYism here, but go look at some of the other cities' pages and you'll see their forumers getting excited about 8-10 storey projects...

Hell, we have two buildings u/c that would qualify for the HIGHRISE section of SSP...

Ooohhhhh, highrise! :-D

We do have a ton of NIMBYism here. It is depressing. I agree with people on that. I loathe the Antidevelopment Trust as much as anyone.

And it is sort of irksome to be lumped in with the anti-development NIMBY crowd just for pointing out that we should be comparing ourselves to other small cities rather than to the much bigger ones we somehow think we should be in the same league with.

portapetey
Jul 30, 2014, 5:04 PM
Good points.

I haven't read through all the posts in great detail, so this may have been mentioned already, but what about the financial considerations of tall vs wide?

I have observed a lot of bellyaching about our "backwards" area where we would rather build short squat buildings than tall slim ones and that the citizens, who are mainly NIMBYs, dictate what gets built and what doesn't. This attitude seems to be based on a concept that the ideal city is one that arrives at a certain aesthetic which includes lots of tall buildings, and if we fall below this idealistic view then we have a poor city run by idiotic politicians who don't understand what it takes to make a "real" city.

However we must remember that developers are businesspeople. Of course, I'm sure that most want to build attractive, desirable buildings as that theoretically will attract more tenants. But what is the cost of building high and thin vs building short and wide? Of course land purchase costs will typically be greater with a short, wide building. However, building tall is much more difficult than building squat - the taller the building the more tendency it will have to fall over due to its higher center of gravity, thus necessitating structural compensation to prevent this. Fill them full of glass panels and then heating and air conditioning costs may go up. Environmental factors such as increased wind speed at height will have to be taken into consideration as well. Not to mention digging deeper to provide structural anchorage and underground parking for the tenants.

So what would be the relative cost of two buildings that have the same number of units but, for example, one that is 7 storeys tall and the other 40 storeys tall?

It seems to me that cost vs return would be a much stronger argument than that Halifax deserves to have "X" number of tall buildings due to its population. It would be interesting to see this from the point of view of a developer who is putting his business on the line each time he/she commits to a new building project. :2cents:

Tall versus wide has been mentioned in passing in this thread. I think a couple of us do feel it would be nice to see some of these miles-long 3 story buildings turned on their sides to become mile-high, narrow buildings, but we also understand that that's not necessarily feasible or even where suburbanites want to live.

Drybrain
Jul 30, 2014, 5:20 PM
Good points.

I haven't read through all the posts in great detail, so this may have been mentioned already, but what about the financial considerations of tall vs wide?


I'm 100 percent NOT an expert, but I guess there are multiple considerations:

Land costs are greater with a wide building.

But in a tall and/or slender building, the higher and narrower you go, the more space that elevator shafts eat into leasable space. The higher the floor, the lower the profit per square foot.

This is actually known as the "elevator conundrum" in supertall construction, and if nothing else, presents a point at which additional height stops being profitable. (This is usually very high, but I believe the Burj Khalifa and a number of Asian supertalls surpassed it.)

There are ways around (express elevators leading to high-floor elevator lobbies, etc) but no way to eliminate it entirely.

In any case, it's probably not going to be an issue in Halifax any time soon.

Hali87
Jul 30, 2014, 6:37 PM
I'm 100 percent NOT an expert, but I guess there are multiple considerations:

Land costs are greater with a wide building.

But in a tall and/or slender building, the higher and narrower you go, the more space that elevator shafts eat into leasable space. The higher the floor, the lower the profit per square foot.

This is actually known as the "elevator conundrum" in supertall construction, and if nothing else, presents a point at which additional height stops being profitable. (This is usually very high, but I believe the Burj Khalifa and a number of Asian supertalls surpassed it.)

There are ways around (express elevators leading to high-floor elevator lobbies, etc) but no way to eliminate it entirely.

In any case, it's probably not going to be an issue in Halifax any time soon.

There are a few factors that I learned about this year that I hadn't really considered before. For "slab" type highrises (and even lowrises presumably) any given unit must be within x metres of a fire exit. So generally developers will adjust the width of the building to have the maximum number of units per floor per fire exit, and the fire exits will be spaced the maximum distance apart. With a point tower, there aren't as many units per floor, and the emphasis tends to be on views. The elevator shafts take up a proportionately larger area with a point tower.

q12
Jul 30, 2014, 7:13 PM
Ooohhhhh, highrise! :-D

We do have a ton of NIMBYism here. It is depressing. I agree with people on that. I loathe the Antidevelopment Trust as much as anyone.

And it is sort of irksome to be lumped in with the anti-development NIMBY crowd just for pointing out that we should be comparing ourselves to other small cities rather than to the much bigger ones we somehow think we should be in the same league with.

The argument we should compare ourselves to small cities is used over and over by the NIMBY'S and Citizens Against Virtually Everything (CAVEMEN).

As a lot of forumers have pointed out, we are ahead of many cities of similar size and our regional importance factors into that. London is a blip in Ontario whereas Halifax is the largest metropolitan centre in this region of Canada. We are a media centre, air transportation centre etc.

Dismissing 120,000 people in Halifax is laughable. It's like you think there is this large population living in shacks out in the woods:

https://humorinamerica.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/subversive-home.png

When it's probably more like this::haha:

https://humorinamerica.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/respectable-home.png

Ziobrop
Jul 30, 2014, 7:16 PM
there are all sorts of considerations - even methods of construction - if you can use 2way spanning slabs, you can gain an extra floor in the same overall height vs beam and slab construction.

for example, if you want 10 foot ceilings, and need to accommodate a 1; beam above that supporting the floor, every 10 stories with a spanning slab, you are 10' lower then would be with the beam, and can get an extra story in.

OldDartmouthMark
Jul 30, 2014, 7:43 PM
Interesting, thanks for the insight thus far.

portapetey
Jul 30, 2014, 7:47 PM
The argument we should compare ourselves to small cities is used over and over by the NIMBY'S and Citizens Against Virtually Everything (CAVEMEN).

As a lot of forumers have pointed out, we are ahead of many cities of similar size and our regional importance factors into that. London is a blip in Ontario whereas Halifax is the largest metropolitan centre in this region of Canada. We are a media centre, air transportation centre etc.

Dismissing 120,000 people in Halifax is laughable. It's like you think there is this large population living in shacks out in the woods:

When it's probably more like this::haha:



Yes, Halifax already punches well above its weight nationally, and looks like a somewhat bigger city than it really is. Exactly what I've been trying to say. Thanks.

I'm sorry it offends you so much when I say Halifax isn't a city of 5 or 600,000 people. But it just isn't, and trying to have everything a city of 600,000 has is only leading to disappointment and a serious inferiority complex.

I know we hate any hint that Halifax is indeed a fairly small city. But we need to get over that inferiority complex and recognize that we're actually doing pretty darned well for our size. That's not NIMBY or against anything. It's optimism. Things are good here! Far better than many people seem to think.

OldDartmouthMark
Jul 30, 2014, 8:00 PM
Tall versus wide has been mentioned in passing in this thread. I think a couple of us do feel it would be nice to see some of these miles-long 3 story buildings turned on their sides to become mile-high, narrow buildings, but we also understand that that's not necessarily feasible or even where suburbanites want to live.

Not wanting to restart any tall vs wide debate, but just wanting to understand the considerations when deciding to build tall vs wide. On this forum the blame for a perceived lack of tall buildings tends to be centered on NIMBYs, city councilors and viewplanes, not to mention the ubiquitous evil heritage advocates, but I'm guessing the considerations are much less simplistic than that.

The expectation that once a population hits a certain point then we should be granted "X" number of 40+ storey buildings also seems a little out there. We aren't entitled to tall buildings, it has to make business sense.

And I don't think the viewpoint of "suburbanites", as you call them, has much to do with it either - they're not the ones clamoring to live downtown.

As most things in our society, I suspect that $ will always be the ultimate deciding point, but I would like to understand the process in greater depth.

OldDartmouthMark
Jul 30, 2014, 8:11 PM
http://i60.tinypic.com/29wx2z7.jpg

600,000 people within 1 hour or less commute (and they do commute).

Sheet Harbour is not in the circle so stop worrying about the 5 or 10,000 people out in the boonies.

We are a big and important metropolitan city in Canada. We have the 7th busiest airport in the country. Stop the negativity.

:haha:

Let's expand the map a little more... 1.8 million people living within a 6 hour commute. Who's a small city now?? :yes:

http://i58.tinypic.com/10r3hp1.jpg

Sorry, couldn't resist. :runaway:

curnhalio
Jul 30, 2014, 8:18 PM
Yes, Halifax already punches well above its weight nationally, and looks like a somewhat bigger city than it really is. Exactly what I've been trying to say. Thanks.

I'm sorry it offends you so much when I say Halifax isn't a city of 5 or 600,000 people. But it just isn't, and trying to have everything a city of 600,000 has is only leading to disappointment and a serious inferiority complex.

I know we hate any hint that Halifax is indeed a fairly small city. But we need to get over that inferiority complex and recognize that we're actually doing pretty darned well for our size. That's not NIMBY or against anything. It's optimism. Things are good here! Far better than many people seem to think.

The Great Halifax Renaissance is well underway, as the activity on this board will suggest. It is good to punch above your weight, how else will you get better? And as good as we are doing for our size, we can do even better. For each project that is underway now, there are probably two that have been stunted, or stopped entirely. Spirit Place, St. Joseph's Square, Twisted Sisters or Queen's Landing spring to mind and I'm sure there are others. Maybe they weren't the right ones for the time. A stadium will come with time, hopefully one better designed than the one we were going to get.

Saving the Forum is actually a pretty forward move, recognizing that with more people living nearby, they will need convenient access to recreational facilities. Adding a gymnasium to the Forum is brilliant. It will probably mean the end to the Needham Centre somewhere down the road, but improved transit connections can keep options open for North End residents to access the new Forum.

portapetey
Jul 30, 2014, 9:07 PM
:haha:

Let's expand the map a little more... 1.8 million people living within a 6 hour commute. Who's a small city now?? :yes:

http://i58.tinypic.com/10r3hp1.jpg

Sorry, couldn't resist. :runaway:


LOL. Yup. Circles make everything true.

portapetey
Jul 30, 2014, 9:11 PM
The Great Halifax Renaissance is well underway, as the activity on this board will suggest. It is good to punch above your weight, how else will you get better? And as good as we are doing for our size, we can do even better. For each project that is underway now, there are probably two that have been stunted, or stopped entirely. Spirit Place, St. Joseph's Square, Twisted Sisters or Queen's Landing spring to mind and I'm sure there are others. Maybe they weren't the right ones for the time. A stadium will come with time, hopefully one better designed than the one we were going to get.

Saving the Forum is actually a pretty forward move, recognizing that with more people living nearby, they will need convenient access to recreational facilities. Adding a gymnasium to the Forum is brilliant. It will probably mean the end to the Needham Centre somewhere down the road, but improved transit connections can keep options open for North End residents to access the new Forum.

Yup, totally agree. It's good to aim high, and it's worth noting all the obstruction that has happened to stop or delay numerous projects.

But exaggerating our population, comparing ourselves to other places that can't possibly be fair comparisons, etc. only serve to make us feel like we're failing. There's a huge thread in these discussions about how Halifax is a falure of a city because x, y, z backward dark ages blah blah blah. But it's not a failure at all.

Anyone can go read the comments on the Herald's story about the Forum. All the failure buzzwords are flying.

portapetey
Jul 30, 2014, 9:21 PM
Not wanting to restart any tall vs wide debate, but just wanting to understand the considerations when deciding to build tall vs wide. On this forum the blame for a perceived lack of tall buildings tends to be centered on NIMBYs, city councilors and viewplanes, not to mention the ubiquitous evil heritage advocates, but I'm guessing the considerations are much less simplistic than that.

The expectation that once a population hits a certain point then we should be granted "X" number of 40+ storey buildings also seems a little out there. We aren't entitled to tall buildings, it has to make business sense.

And I don't think the viewpoint of "suburbanites", as you call them, has much to do with it either - they're not the ones clamoring to live downtown.

As most things in our society, I suspect that $ will always be the ultimate deciding point, but I would like to understand the process in greater depth.

You asked if tall vs wide had been discussed. It was, only in passing, and only in reference to Clayton Park. Hence my comment about suburbanites. Perhaps I didn't explain that. And I realize i didn't answer your question about finacial consideration at all - it's because I don't know :haha:

But nobody said a city should be granted an entitlement of X 40 story buildings when it hits a certain population. I think you've misinterpreted my words. I was trying to make the point that a city less than XXXXXX population is unlikely to have any buildings of XX height. I think there is a critical mass below which construction of XX story buildings doesn't often happen. That's all.

Saying, for example, that "only cities of 700,000 people are likely to have 40 story buildings" is not the same as saying "all cities must start constructing 40 story buildings immediately upon hitting 700,000 population".

counterfactual
Jul 31, 2014, 2:44 AM
So, the last two pages of this threads seems to consist of a lot of self-congratulatory posts expressing solidarity in the battle against the much hated "negative" Haligonian whose conception of value for a city is entirely attached to the number of 40 storey towers! :D

This negative Haligonian apparently believes that if since "we don't have 40 story towers, we must be small minded and backwards"!!

Not only that, but this phantom menace Haligonian believes 40+ storey towers are *intrinsically valuable*. As in, they are ends in themselves-- it's not about density or planning or battling sprawl. No. Tall buildings have inherent worth. They are Kantian subjects-- not practical instruments to other ends!

Finally, this negative Haligonian has a special equation in his or her brain-- he or she believes that once a city hits a particular population, then voila! We are entitled to a specific number of 40 storey towers!

So many strawmen, I honestly don't know where to begin? :haha:

First, can someone please show me this Haligonian? On SSP or... anywhere? Show me a post or quote, anything, that suggests he or she exists. I'm skeptical, yet truly intrigued.

Second, the debate was never about whether or not London had a prettier skyline than Halifax. Halifax is a far, far, far, greater and more beautiful city. But it doesn't mean we cannot learn things from London, whether policy or urban planning, etc.

The only point I was trying to make, with the comparison, was to respond to the earlier strong opposition-- even *mocking*-- of the idea that we might have a high rise development on Quinpool Road, as if such a suggestion itself was inherently ridiculous.

That is, since cities with comparable populations like London had more highrise developments, it was entirely reasonable to suggest similar developments here. That was it. That was my only point.

Somehow this discussion transformed into a debate that London had a nicer skyline?!

Finally, I agree with the idea we punch above our weight-- we do-- but that doesn't mean we have to pretend we're small-- by Canadian standards we aren't. Of course, we're small by international standards, but in Canada we're a capital city. Among the largest urban centres, population wise, in the country. The data speaks for itself.

In fact, Halifax is unique in Canada in that it is perhaps it is one of the few-- maybe only-- major urban centers in the country that economic impact beyond its borders. We're a regional economic engine.

Report: Halifax shares its clout

May 17, 2012 - 8:30pm BY JOHN DEMONT BUSINESS REPORTER

City unique in ‘influence beyond its own borders’

Halifax’s economic clout reverberates as much in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island as in Nova Scotia, a new report concludes.

Indeed, the report’s author says Halifax is unique among Canada’s economic powerhouse cities.

“Our study shows that Canada’s census metropolitan areas make large contributions to their provincial economies,” Alan Arcand, principal economist with the Conference Board of Canada’s Centre for Municipal Studies, said in an interview Thursday.

“Halifax is the only one that has an influence beyond its own borders.”

That, he argues, should be a factor when Ottawa considers ways to stimulate the national economy.

“When the federal goverment is handing money out to cities, they shouldn’t spread it around like peanut butter,” Arcand said.

“They should target hub cities (like Halifax) because investing in hub cities means even more growth in outlying regions.”

http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/97434-report-halifax-shares-its-clout

The small little city by the sea....

portapetey
Jul 31, 2014, 3:16 AM
So, the last two pages of this threads seems to consist of a lot of self-congratulatory posts expressing solidarity in the battle against the much hated "negative" Haligonian whose conception of value for a city is entirely attached to the number of 40 storey towers! :D

This negative Haligonian apparently believes that if since "we don't have 40 story towers, we must be small minded and backwards"!!

Not only that, but this phantom menace Haligonian believes 40+ storey towers are *intrinsically valuable*. As in, they are ends in themselves-- it's not about density or planning or battling sprawl. No. Tall buildings have inherent worth. They are Kantian subjects-- not practical instruments to other ends!

Finally, this negative Haligonian has a special equation in his or her brain-- he or she believes that once a city hits a particular population, then voila! We are entitled to a specific number of 40 storey towers!

So many strawmen, I honestly don't know where to begin? :haha:

First, can someone please show me this Haligonian? On SSP or... anywhere? Show me a post or quote, anything, that suggests he or she exists. I'm skeptical, yet truly intrigued.

Second, the debate was never about whether or not London had a prettier skyline than Halifax. Halifax is a far, far, far, greater and more beautiful city. But it doesn't mean we cannot learn things from London, whether policy or urban planning, etc.

The only point I was trying to make, with the comparison, was to respond to the earlier strong opposition-- even *mocking*-- of the idea that we might have a high rise development on Quinpool Road, as if such a suggestion itself was inherently ridiculous.

That is, since cities with comparable populations like London had more highrise developments, it was entirely reasonable to suggest similar developments here. That was it. That was my only point.

Somehow this discussion transformed into a debate that London had a nicer skyline?!

Finally, I agree with the idea we punch above our weight-- we do-- but that doesn't mean we have to pretend we're small. I'm still perplexed as why some feel the need to deny that Halifax is a large urban center in Canada. We're a capital city. Among the largest urban centres, population wise, in the country. The data speaks for itself.

In fact, Halifax is unique in Canada in that it is perhaps it is one of the few-- maybe only-- major urban centers in the country that economic impact beyond its borders. We're a regional economic engine.



The small little city by the sea....


Well, um, thanks for adding a few more of these mischievous "straw men" of lore to the discussion, like "Halifax is not a city." That's a pretty big one. Nobody said that. (But it's not large. Virtually nowhere on Earth would Halifax be considered a LARGE city. (Maybe we need to get out more and see the world? See how big it really, is, despite Disney's insistent little song?) But I guess I should give up talking sense on that point. Small is bad, mmmmmkay?)

And you're the one who showed us all your mathematical wizardry (I jest, I jest!) to demonstrate to us how inferior the Halifax skyline is to London's. That was your argument. No one made it up. No straw man there.

Haven't seen any self-congratulations either. Just people crunching numbers, comparing photos, and a bit of negotiating around reasonable, managed expectations. No agreement on what those are yet, though!

I think we can agree, though, that this is a ridiculous argument. Let's just agree to disagree on the rest. You keep on insisting that Halifax is a LARGE city that needs to PROVE itself, you know, PROVE that it's LARGE, like 40 STORIES LARGE! - Counterfactually, of course - and I'll keep on being very thankful that I live in this small but interesting city where lots of exciting things are starting to happen and I don't need to feel terribly inferior because I desperately want it to be something it isn't.

Empire
Jul 31, 2014, 11:31 AM
You asked if tall vs wide had been discussed. It was, only in passing, and only in reference to Clayton Park. Hence my comment about suburbanites. Perhaps I didn't explain that. And I realize i didn't answer your question about finacial consideration at all - it's because I don't know :haha:

But nobody said a city should be granted an entitlement of X 40 story buildings when it hits a certain population. I think you've misinterpreted my words. I was trying to make the point that a city less than XXXXXX population is unlikely to have any buildings of XX height. I think there is a critical mass below which construction of XX story buildings doesn't often happen. That's all.

Saying, for example, that "only cities of 700,000 people are likely to have 40 story buildings" is not the same as saying "all cities must start constructing 40 story buildings immediately upon hitting 700,000 population".

Here is an example of a tiny city with 40+ storey buildings in your own backyard.

Niagara Falls
https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Niagara+Falls,+ON,+Canada&hl=en&ll=43.079515,-79.081278&spn=0.000006,0.003476&sll=38.479395,-66.884766&sspn=63.528941,113.90625&oq=nigara+fall&hnear=Niagara+Falls,+Niagara+Regional+Municipality,+Ontario,+Canada&t=h&z=19&layer=c&cbll=43.079515,-79.081278&panoid=mlp-gugy3114tqFb87XkVw&cbp=12,275.58,,0,-45

curnhalio
Jul 31, 2014, 1:03 PM
Anyone can go read the comments on the Herald's story about the Forum. All the failure buzzwords are flying.

And on the Metro story as well. I've long since learned that they represent a minority opinion. They have no faith in the Forum association to bring their plan in on budget, but they have 100% faith that the city and CFB joint plan would not only come in under budget, but would be done early! Two guys were bowing down to Gloria for getting a four-pad for her "community". That one speaks for itself...

portapetey
Jul 31, 2014, 1:07 PM
Here is and example of a tiny city with 40+ storey buildings in your own backyard.

Niagara Falls
https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Niagara+Falls,+ON,+Canada&hl=en&ll=43.079515,-79.081278&spn=0.000006,0.003476&sll=38.479395,-66.884766&sspn=63.528941,113.90625&oq=nigara+fall&hnear=Niagara+Falls,+Niagara+Regional+Municipality,+Ontario,+Canada&t=h&z=19&layer=c&cbll=43.079515,-79.081278&panoid=mlp-gugy3114tqFb87XkVw&cbp=12,275.58,,0,-45


Not a bad find.

Of course, we have a bit of that Vegas-like wedding-industrial-complex mega-hotel thing happening in Viagra Falls.

And it is not quite an isolated city, being pretty much contiguous with St. Catherine's and a couple other small cities with a total Niagara Regional Municipality over 430,000, as well as with the Niagara Falls (NY)-Buffalo metro area of 1.2 million.

So aren't we really talking about an urban "agglomeration" (I always find that such a weird word) or conurbation (also funny!) of 1.6 million+?

OldDartmouthMark
Jul 31, 2014, 1:09 PM
You asked if tall vs wide had been discussed. It was, only in passing, and only in reference to Clayton Park. Hence my comment about suburbanites. Perhaps I didn't explain that. And I realize i didn't answer your question about finacial consideration at all - it's because I don't know :haha:

Yeah, I see what you mean. I wasn't too clear - I was referring to tall vs wide in a broader sense as it has been discussed much in these forums. Just hoping to get some insight and gain more knowledge on the matter.

No worries, it doesn't seem that many others know the process either, or at least aren't willing to share.

But nobody said a city should be granted an entitlement of X 40 story buildings when it hits a certain population. I think you've misinterpreted my words. I was trying to make the point that a city less than XXXXXX population is unlikely to have any buildings of XX height. I think there is a critical mass below which construction of XX story buildings doesn't often happen. That's all.

Saying, for example, that "only cities of 700,000 people are likely to have 40 story buildings" is not the same as saying "all cities must start constructing 40 story buildings immediately upon hitting 700,000 population".

I understand what you meant, but then the whole debate over what constitutes the population of Halifax seemed to add some credence that there is an expectation for tall buildings automatically to be built once we meet some magical population threshold. Again, I think that this stuff will be built when there is a good business case for it and not before.

I am on board with the points you're trying to make and generally agree with almost all of them. I probably haven't been communicating my ideas as clearly as I'd like to.

:cheers:

portapetey
Jul 31, 2014, 1:09 PM
And on the Metro story as well. I've long since learned that they represent a minority opinion. They have no faith in the Forum association to bring their plan in on budget, but they have 100% faith that the city and CFB joint plan would not only come in under budget, but would be done early! Two guys were bowing down to Gloria for getting a four-pad for her "community". That one speaks for itself...

Yeah. They probably are in the minority, but they are almost as loud as the Antidevelopment Trust, just not as organized. And I read some similar language here sometimes. In any case, there is always a happy medium somewhere if people are willing to talk it out and find it....which doesn't happen often enough, apparently!

portapetey
Jul 31, 2014, 1:11 PM
Yeah, I see what you mean. I wasn't too clear - I was referring to tall vs wide in a broader sense as it has been discussed much in these forums. Just hoping to get some insight and gain more knowledge on the matter.

No worries, it doesn't seem that many others know the process either, or at least aren't willing to share.

I understand what you meant, but then the whole debate over what constitutes the population of Halifax seemed to add some credence that there is an expectation for tall buildings automatically to be built once we meet some magical population threshold. Again, I think that this stuff will be built when there is a good business case for it and not before.

I am on board with the points you're trying to make and generally agree with almost all of them. I probably haven't been communicating my ideas as clearly as I'd like to.

:cheers:

And maybe i misunderstood you to be arguing against my "critical mass" point when all you were really saying was "yeah, but it's not an automatic entitlement either".

All good! More beer! :cheers:

OldDartmouthMark
Jul 31, 2014, 1:15 PM
Originally Posted by portapetey
Anyone can go read the comments on the Herald's story about the Forum. All the failure buzzwords are flying.And on the Metro story as well. I've long since learned that they represent a minority opinion. They have no faith in the Forum association to bring their plan in on budget, but they have 100% faith that the city and CFB joint plan would not only come in under budget, but would be done early! Two guys were bowing down to Gloria for getting a four-pad for her "community". That one speaks for itself...

I've said it before, I don't even bother reading the comments below newspaper website articles anymore. They seem to bring out the lunatic fringe, and I feel they do not represent the views of the majority.

portapetey
Jul 31, 2014, 1:24 PM
I've said it before, I don't even bother reading the comments below newspaper website articles anymore. They seem to bring out the lunatic fringe, and I feel they do not represent the views of the majority.

Yeah, sometimes it gets so ugly in there I just have to close the window lest I let a stupid newspaper article make me angry!

Wow, any article about fracking, development on the peninsula, or gay or trans people....yikes!

Keith P.
Jul 31, 2014, 1:43 PM
They have no faith in the Forum association to bring their plan in on budget, but they have 100% faith that the city and CFB joint plan would not only come in under budget, but would be done early! Two guys were bowing down to Gloria for getting a four-pad for her "community". That one speaks for itself...

I would not congratulate Gloria for the Dartmouth 4-pad as I suspect she had little to do with it, nor would I expect HRM and CFB to bring their project in so efficiently, but I too have little faith that the Forum Commission has the stuff to manage this large project capably. They just do not impress.

mcmcclassic
Jul 31, 2014, 1:46 PM
Here is and example of a tiny city with 40+ storey buildings in your own backyard.

Niagara Falls
https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Niagara+Falls,+ON,+Canada&hl=en&ll=43.079515,-79.081278&spn=0.000006,0.003476&sll=38.479395,-66.884766&sspn=63.528941,113.90625&oq=nigara+fall&hnear=Niagara+Falls,+Niagara+Regional+Municipality,+Ontario,+Canada&t=h&z=19&layer=c&cbll=43.079515,-79.081278&panoid=mlp-gugy3114tqFb87XkVw&cbp=12,275.58,,0,-45

I think the tourist trap that is Niagara Falls is why those hotel & casino towers are there. The same thing can be found in Atlantic City, NJ. AC is only like 40,000 in the actual city (~225k in the CMA) but they have 50+ storey towers.

This google street view sums up AC nicely - nice casinos, but most of the city looks like downtown Dartmouth. https://maps.google.com/maps?q=atlantic+city,+nj&hl=en&ll=39.366202,-74.417951&spn=0.000002,0.002064&sll=44.642045,-63.57001&sspn=0.006534,0.016512&t=h&hnear=Atlantic+City,+Atlantic+County,+New+Jersey&z=20&layer=c&cbll=39.366202,-74.417951&panoid=fQfw24YGeXfhYO3PXzPHUw&cbp=13,111.82,,0,-9.77

portapetey
Jul 31, 2014, 1:51 PM
I think the tourist trap that is Niagara Falls is why those hotel & casino towers are there. The same thing can be found in Atlantic City, NJ. AC is only like 40,000 in the actual city (~225k in the CMA) but they have 50+ storey towers.

This google street view sums up AC nicely - nice casinos, but most of the city looks like downtown Dartmouth. https://maps.google.com/maps?q=atlantic+city,+nj&hl=en&ll=39.366202,-74.417951&spn=0.000002,0.002064&sll=44.642045,-63.57001&sspn=0.006534,0.016512&t=h&hnear=Atlantic+City,+Atlantic+County,+New+Jersey&z=20&layer=c&cbll=39.366202,-74.417951&panoid=fQfw24YGeXfhYO3PXzPHUw&cbp=13,111.82,,0,-9.77

Yup, and there's actually a much larger city right next door to Niagara Falls, so it really doesn't count as a standalone metro area of 390K.

And, yikes, I didn't realize AC was such an awful looking place!

Drybrain
Jul 31, 2014, 2:25 PM
This google street view sums up AC nicely - nice casinos, but most of the city looks like downtown Dartmouth.

Oy. That's a hell of a lot worse than Dartmouth.

Ziobrop
Jul 31, 2014, 2:32 PM
on the tall VS Wide debate, i am aware of a case in Ottawa where a developer proposed 2 shorter towers, and the community preferred a taller one. this had to do with the shadow cast - the taller tower would cast a slimmer shadow, so they preferred it, and that's what got built.

The building is the Minto Metropole. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minto_Metropole)

JET
Jul 31, 2014, 2:38 PM
I think the tourist trap that is Niagara Falls is why those hotel & casino towers are there. The same thing can be found in Atlantic City, NJ. AC is only like 40,000 in the actual city (~225k in the CMA) but they have 50+ storey towers.

This google street view sums up AC nicely - nice casinos, but most of the city looks like downtown Dartmouth. https://maps.google.com/maps?q=atlantic+city,+nj&hl=en&ll=39.366202,-74.417951&spn=0.000002,0.002064&sll=44.642045,-63.57001&sspn=0.006534,0.016512&t=h&hnear=Atlantic+City,+Atlantic+County,+New+Jersey&z=20&layer=c&cbll=39.366202,-74.417951&panoid=fQfw24YGeXfhYO3PXzPHUw&cbp=13,111.82,,0,-9.77

It looks a bit like parts of Wyse Rd in Dartmouth, but I would not say it looks like Dartmouth Downtown; most of DDT is quite nice.

portapetey
Jul 31, 2014, 2:52 PM
on the tall VS Wide debate, i am aware of a case in Ottawa where a developer proposed 2 shorter towers, and the community preferred a taller one. this had to do with the shadow cast - the taller tower would cast a slimmer shadow, so they preferred it, and that's what got built.

The building is the Minto Metropole. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minto_Metropole)

Interesting case.

Also interesting in that even Ottawa at four times our size hasn't really pushed past the 30-story boundary much more than we have. But they do have significantly more buildings in the 24-to-29 story range, which would be perfect infill for Halifax's empty spots.

OldDartmouthMark
Jul 31, 2014, 3:00 PM
on the tall VS Wide debate, i am aware of a case in Ottawa where a developer proposed 2 shorter towers, and the community preferred a taller one. this had to do with the shadow cast - the taller tower would cast a slimmer shadow, so they preferred it, and that's what got built.

The building is the Minto Metropole. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minto_Metropole)

Ha! Interesting that in this case they built tall to help preserve a viewplane.

Could be an alternate tack for Halifax developers to take: "Hey, we'll build it taller and narrower to block less of the harbour view". I remember hearing when Maritime Centre was built that it was angled as it is to help preserve the viewplane from Citadel Hill, such that its narrowest cross section faced the hill. It is a good-sized building and yes, it does not take up much of that view...

Thanks for the link and info. The wiki details are a little vague, but it sounds like the developer acted directly on public input rather than being forced into it through political pressure and the approval process. This could indicate that the differences in cost might balance themselves out, or at least that a timely approval process would offset the cost differences created through a long back-and-forth approval process. All speculation on my part, of course.

Drybrain
Jul 31, 2014, 3:09 PM
Interesting case.

Also interesting in that even Ottawa at four times our size hasn't really pushed past the 30-story boundary much more than we have. But they do have significantly more buildings in the 24-to-29 story range, which would be perfect infill for Halifax's empty spots.

Ottawa has a rule stipulating that nothing can be built downtown over 150 feet (about 12 storeys) so that the Peace Tower dominates the skyline. The rule has been relaxed for plenty of specific projects, but it still tends to keep the skyline pretty stubby.

curnhalio
Jul 31, 2014, 4:14 PM
Yup, and there's actually a much larger city right next door to Niagara Falls, so it really doesn't count as a standalone metro area of 390K.

And, yikes, I didn't realize AC was such an awful looking place!

AC actually is a lot more isolated than Niagara Falls. It fits what you were looking for with tall buildings in a small city with no other large centers immediately nearby. Philly is probably within 100 miles of it, but that's about it.

Empire
Jul 31, 2014, 4:14 PM
I think the tourist trap that is Niagara Falls is why those hotel & casino towers are there. The same thing can be found in Atlantic City, NJ. AC is only like 40,000 in the actual city (~225k in the CMA) but they have 50+ storey towers.

This google street view sums up AC nicely - nice casinos, but most of the city looks like downtown Dartmouth. https://maps.google.com/maps?q=atlantic+city,+nj&hl=en&ll=39.366202,-74.417951&spn=0.000002,0.002064&sll=44.642045,-63.57001&sspn=0.006534,0.016512&t=h&hnear=Atlantic+City,+Atlantic+County,+New+Jersey&z=20&layer=c&cbll=39.366202,-74.417951&panoid=fQfw24YGeXfhYO3PXzPHUw&cbp=13,111.82,,0,-9.77

At least they have clearly painted crosswalks!

portapetey
Jul 31, 2014, 4:34 PM
AC actually is a lot more isolated than Niagara Falls. It fits what you were looking for with tall buildings in a small city with no other large centers immediately nearby. Philly is probably within 100 miles of it, but that's about it.

Yes it does sort of fit the test I was looking for.

So we now have two examples - Benidorm, Spain, and Atlantic City, New Jersey - both of which are hotel / casino industry towns with atypically tall hotels.

I'm thinking they are the exceptions that prove the rule, no?

q12
Jul 31, 2014, 5:10 PM
Yes it does sort of fit the test I was looking for.

So we now have two examples - Benidorm, Spain, and Atlantic City, New Jersey - both of which are hotel / casino industry towns with atypically tall hotels.

I'm thinking they are the exceptions that prove the rule, no?

Give up, Halifax will likely see +40 story skyscrapers in the near future and there is not much you can do about it. This is a forum about skyscrapers, you are preaching to the wrong choir. Halifax is not small, it's at least a mid-size city about to become a large city.

Here is a report that lists Halifax as a large city with the highest quality of life in large (north) american cities.

http://investtoronto.ca/InvestToronto/media/InvestTorontoReports/FDI_Cities-of-the-Future_2011_12.pdf

http://i61.tinypic.com/mor9k.jpg
Source (http://investtoronto.ca/InvestToronto/media/InvestTorontoReports/FDI_Cities-of-the-Future_2011_12.pdf)

CITY SIZE CLASSIFICATION

Major cities
Population more than 750,000

Large cities
Population more than 250,000 but less than 750,000

Small cities
Population more than 100,000 but less than 250,000

Micro cities
Population less than 100,000

You sound like you're afraid if Halifax builds these tall skyscrapers it will instantly become Toronto.

curnhalio
Jul 31, 2014, 5:32 PM
Here is a report that lists Halifax as a large city with the highest quality of life in large (north) american cities.

Halifax has a better quality of life than Seattle?? Could very well be. Suburban Seattle has similar problems to Halifax with having to traverse large bodies of water and a somewhat outdated highway network to access the central area. With a much larger population base, commutes from Bellevue and Kirkland across Lake Washington are notoriously horrendous.

We also placed #2 on the list of cities of the future, trailing only Pittsburgh, of all places. Well, all I know there is it's reputation is no longer solely based on the steel industry. There is a lot of growth occurring in the health-care sector in Pittsburgh IIRC.

We did not crack the top 10 on business friendliness, which I suppose isn't that surprising.

Hali87
Jul 31, 2014, 5:37 PM
Give up, Halifax will likely see +40 story skyscrapers in the near future and there is not much you can do about it. This is a forum about skyscrapers, you are preaching to the wrong choir. Halifax is not small, it's at least a mid-size city about to become a large city.

Here is a report that lists Halifax as a large city with the highest quality of life in large (north) american cities.


You sound like you're afraid if Halifax builds these tall skyscrapers it will instantly become Toronto.

I didn't get that impression at all, and it seems like most of us generally agree with him :shrug:

It's not that we shouldn't build 40-storey buildings in Halifax, it's just that there is no real reason to expect or demand that they be built, and for most of us it wouldn't be a huge disappointment if there are none on the horizon. That's all.

Whether Halifax is "small" "mid-sized" or "large" or "major" is completely arbitrary and depends on your frame of reference. Sure it's important, but it's worth noting that Winnipeg and Hamilton each have close to double our population, and relatively obscure "smallish" American cities like Omaha, Hartford, Raleigh, Cincinatti, Louisville, Oklahoma City, Milwaukee, Indianapolis etc are all at least double if not 3-4x our population. So if we are a "large city", are these places megacities? Because it doesn't really work to say "they're basically in the same size category as us" because they're not. Conversely, when I think about "large cities in Texas", or even "cities in Texas"... Plano?

counterfactual
Jul 31, 2014, 5:40 PM
Well, um, thanks for adding a few more of these mischievous "straw men" of lore to the discussion, like "Halifax is not a city." That's a pretty big one. Nobody said that. (But it's not large. Virtually nowhere on Earth would Halifax be considered a LARGE city. (Maybe we need to get out more and see the world? See how big it really, is, despite Disney's insistent little song?) But I guess I should give up talking sense on that point. Small is bad, mmmmmkay?)

And you're the one who showed us all your mathematical wizardry (I jest, I jest!) to demonstrate to us how inferior the Halifax skyline is to London's. That was your argument. No one made it up. No straw man there.

Haven't seen any self-congratulations either. Just people crunching numbers, comparing photos, and a bit of negotiating around reasonable, managed expectations. No agreement on what those are yet, though!

I think we can agree, though, that this is a ridiculous argument. Let's just agree to disagree on the rest. You keep on insisting that Halifax is a LARGE city that needs to PROVE itself, you know, PROVE that it's LARGE, like 40 STORIES LARGE! - Counterfactually, of course - and I'll keep on being very thankful that I live in this small but interesting city where lots of exciting things are starting to happen and I don't need to feel terribly inferior because I desperately want it to be something it isn't.

Hm. I see you're really reaching in this post, but not adding a whole lot. As the oldtimers say, lots of fizz, but no gin. I think you probably realize this too, so, my response will be my last foray into this, and we can all move on.

As for me adding a strawman-- what strawman? I quoted you directly.

My quote:

This negative Haligonian apparently believes that if since "we don't have 40 story towers, we must be small minded and backwards"!!

Your quote:

Yup, this is what I'm talking about. The constant expression that because we don't have 40 story towers, we must be small minded and backwards, and because we are so small minded and backwards, we're failing to build the 40 story towers that all those other cities our size surely must have.

You see, Porta, I don't need to create any new strawmen because you're such an efficient producer of them.

Yes, people disagree with definitions, terms, including what constitutes a big city, a small city. Fine. But there are also generally accepted metrics and definitions that we use to, you know, get things done.

Statistics Canada, since the 2011 census, provides the following definition:

Starting with the 2011 Census, the term 'population centre' replaces the term 'urban area.' Population centres are classified into one of three population size groups:

• small population centres, with a population of between 1,000 and 29,999
• medium population centres, with a population of between 30,000 and 99,999
• large urban population centres, consisting of a population of 100,000 and over.


Now, here's a tabulation of the roughly 1000 communities in Canada-- as per the 2011 Census-- that meet these definitions:

http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2011/dp-pd/hlt-fst/pd-pl/Table-Tableau.cfm?LANG=Eng&T=801&PR=0&RPP=9999&SR=1&S=3&O=D

You'll note a few things. Out of 942 communities, there are only 31 "large" population centres in Canada (small far outstrip large or medium-- there are 854).

And among the 31 large centres, you'll see... you guessed it... Halifax.

And not only is Halifax defined as a large population centre but it's actually in the top 50% of those large centres, at 14th.

Halifax. Large population centre. Ranked 14th out of 942 communities in the country by population. Not much left to say.

So yes, Porta, we can agree to disagree.

I'll agree to stick with my definition based on Statistics Canada, data, and math.

And you can stick with your definition.

(PS: with the name "port-a-petey" do you really want to start an SSP forum name pun war? :))

portapetey
Jul 31, 2014, 5:46 PM
Ottawa has a rule stipulating that nothing can be built downtown over 150 feet (about 12 storeys) so that the Peace Tower dominates the skyline. The rule has been relaxed for plenty of specific projects, but it still tends to keep the skyline pretty stubby.

Yes, and for very similar reasons. And we know Vancouver has a similar (but higher) limit for similar reasons. I suspect most cities do here and there.

Hali87
Jul 31, 2014, 5:49 PM
Halifax. Large population centre. Ranked 14th out of 942 communities in the country by population. Not much left to say.

The caveat is that it's "large" for the sake of Canadian statistical analysis, and that there are only 2 or 3 cities in Canada that are truly large (many people would not consider Vancouver to be a large city). Sure this is a category that is used for census purposes etc, but to extrapolate from that that Toronto and say, Kelowna or Moncton (both "large urban centres") are within the same basic size range is a huge stretch.

I guess my point is, why does it matter that Halifax is in a category of "Canadian cities over 100,000"? Of course it would be in that category. Why does it matter what it's called? It doesn't mean anything other than that more than 100,000 people live here.

counterfactual
Jul 31, 2014, 5:58 PM
The caveat is that it's "large" for the sake of Canadian statistical analysis, and that there are only 2 or 3 cities in Canada that are truly large (many people would not consider Vancouver to be a large city). Sure this is a category that is used for census purposes etc, but to extrapolate from that that Toronto and say, Kelowna or Moncton (both "large urban centres") are within the same basic size range is a huge stretch.

I guess my point is, why does it matter that Halifax is in a category of "Canadian cities over 100,000"? Of course it would be in that category. Why does it matter what it's called? It doesn't mean anything other than that more than 100,000 people live here.

It means Halifax is large not for the sake of "Canadian statistical analysis"; we're large in relation to Canada, as a country. It means we're the 14th largest population centre in Canada, out of 1000.

Why is national ranking not a helpful metric or frame in order to determine relative size?

Anyways, this is getting boring.

q12
Jul 31, 2014, 6:00 PM
Exactly and it really doesn't matter what city size we are called if a developer wants to build a 35, 40, 45 or +50 story skyscraper in Halifax and the proposal looks good, all the better. :skyhighmind:

portapetey
Jul 31, 2014, 6:01 PM
Hm. I see you're really reaching in this post, but not adding a whole lot. As the oldtimers say, lots of fizz, but no gin. I think you probably realize this too, so, my response will be my last foray into this, and we can all move on.

As for me adding a strawman-- what strawman? I quoted you directly.

My quote:



Your quote:



You see, Porta, I don't need to create any new strawmen because you're such an efficient producer of them.

Yes, people disagree with definitions, terms, including what constitutes a big city, a small city. Fine. But there are also generally accepted metrics and definitions that we use to, you know, get things done.

Statistics Canada, since the 2011 census, provides the following definition:



Now, here's a tabulation of the roughly 1000 communities in Canada-- as per the 2011 Census-- that meet these definitions:

http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2011/dp-pd/hlt-fst/pd-pl/Table-Tableau.cfm?LANG=Eng&T=801&PR=0&RPP=9999&SR=1&S=3&O=D

You'll note a few things. Out of 942 communities, there are only 31 "large" population centres in Canada (small far outstrip large or medium-- there are 854).

And among the 31 large centres, you'll see... you guessed it... Halifax.

And not only is Halifax defined as a large population centre but it's actually in the top 50% of those large centres, at 14th.

Halifax. Large population centre. Ranked 14th out of 942 communities in the country by population. Not much left to say.

So yes, Porta, we can agree to disagree.

I'll agree to stick with my definition based on Statistics Canada, data, and math.

And you can stick with your definition.



So now its "StatsCan population centre" - an arbitrary term chosen to categorize populations in a very sparsely populated country - not "city" - so you were of course right all along.

Why, of course! I shall rename my Jetta a Veyron, so I will no longer be lying when I tell people I have a Bugatti. If only I'd known it was so easy.

And that "quote" was not a statement I was making, it was a paraphrasing of your own comments. Attributing it to me now is indeed a "straw man", or some other category of fallacy.

You sure know how to bounce around and avoid the real question. I bet you're great at dodge ball.

I agree we should discuss this no more. I didn't realize you were taking it all so very personally, and I apologize for putting you on the defensive.

counterfactual
Jul 31, 2014, 6:05 PM
So now its "StatsCan population centre" - an arbitrary term chosen to categorize populations in a very sparsely populated country - not "city" - so you were of course right all along.

Why, of course! I shall rename my Jetta a Veyron, so I will no longer be lying when I tell people I have a Bugatti. If only I'd known it was so easy.

And that "quote" was not a statement I was making, it was a paraphrasing of your own comments. Attributing it to me now is indeed a "straw man", or some other category of fallacy.

You sure know how to bounce around and avoid the real question. I bet you're great at dodge ball.

I agree we should discuss this no more. I didn't realize you were taking it all so very personally, and I apologize for putting you on the defensive.

Why would I take pwning you personally? :D

portapetey
Jul 31, 2014, 6:06 PM
The caveat is that it's "large" for the sake of Canadian statistical analysis, and that there are only 2 or 3 cities in Canada that are truly large (many people would not consider Vancouver to be a large city). Sure this is a category that is used for census purposes etc, but to extrapolate from that that Toronto and say, Kelowna or Moncton (both "large urban centres") are within the same basic size range is a huge stretch.

I guess my point is, why does it matter that Halifax is in a category of "Canadian cities over 100,000"? Of course it would be in that category. Why does it matter what it's called? It doesn't mean anything other than that more than 100,000 people live here.



Exactly. Big fish, small pond.

But the word, "small" or "big" is a complete red herring anyway.

On the world stage, all over the planet, metropolitan areas of 3 to 4 hundred thousand are a dime a dozen, are not considered large, and virtually never contain significant skyscraper development. Nobody here has given a solid example of one that does yet.

That's the point. and it's not to say that it can't happen or shouldn't happen; it's just to say that it would be extremely unusually for it to happen.

I'm a little flabbergasted by how offensive this simple fact seems to be to some people.

portapetey
Jul 31, 2014, 6:09 PM
Why would I take pwning you personally? :D

I don't think you know what pwn means.

Anyway, I am just kind of flabbergasted by how offended a couple of people are by the assertion that Halifax is a not a city of the size that is generally considered a big city on the world stage or that is typically the site of a lot of skyscraper development.

I didn't mean to offend anyone, but clearly I have.

q12
Jul 31, 2014, 6:13 PM
And not only is Halifax defined as a large population centre but it's actually in the top 50% of those large centres, at 14th.

Halifax. Large population centre. Ranked 14th out of 942 communities in the country by population. Not much left to say.

Here is a post from 2011 census thread that shows our ranking:

A few interesting notes with the 2011 numbers:

Halifax jumped St. Catherines to take 12th place and Winnipeg jumped past Quebec for 7th. It's also a tight race for 10th place in the race to 500,000 between Kitchener and London. Calgary is now bigger than Ottawa too.

If you include Hamilton and Kitchener as part of the Greater Toronto Area than it really puts Halifax as the 10th largest Metropolitan area on its own in Canada.


1 Toronto 5,838,800
2 Montreal 3,908,700
3 Vancouver 2,419,700
4 Calgary 1,265,100
5 Ottawa 1,258,900
6 Edmonton 1,196,300
7 Winnipeg 762,800
8 Quebec 761,700
9 Hamilton 750,200
10 Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo 498,500
11 London 496,900
12 Halifax 408,200
13 St. Catharines–Niagara 405,300

Drybrain
Jul 31, 2014, 6:13 PM
Exactly. Big fish, small pond.

But the word, "small" or "big" is a complete red herring anyway.

On the world stage, all over the planet, metropolitan areas of 3 to 4 hundred thousand are a dime a dozen, are not considered large, and virtually never contain significant skyscraper development. Nobody here has given a solid example of one that does yet.

That's the point. and it's not to say that it can't happen or shouldn't happen; it's just to say that it would be extremely unusually for it to happen.

I'm a little flabbergasted by how offensive this simple fact seems to be to some people.

Portland Oregon, with 2.4 million in its metro area, has a hard urban growth boundary, with virtually all growth occurring within the existing built-up area as infill. And they only have two buildings over 40 storeys (41 and 43, respectively.) After that, height drops off hugely (the 10th tallest building is only 23 storeys).

ANYWAY: This conversation IS getting a little boring, like Counter said, but for me at least, it's not about being against tall buildings (bring them on, I say! If they're well designed and don't displace valuable existing buildings).

It's just about the persistent idea that Halifax doesn't have tall buildings because of innate NIMBYism, or that we have a real-estate market that could at this point support several very tall residential towers in addition to our other development. I don't think the former is true, and I don't think the latter is either, at this point anyway.

counterfactual
Jul 31, 2014, 6:14 PM
I don't think you know what pwn means.

Anyway, I am just kind of flabbergasted by how offended a couple of people are by the assertion that Halifax is a not a city of the size that is generally considered a big city on the world stage or that is typically the site of a lot of skyscraper development.

I didn't mean to offend anyone, but clearly I have.

Dude. Relax. No one is offended. This discussion is pretty much q12 and I arguing with everyone else. And he doesn't seem offended. Nor I.

In fact at heart, I don't think there's a big disagreement among any of us here, as Hali pointed out.

Now can we all please get back to criticizing the HTNS? :yes:

portapetey
Jul 31, 2014, 6:18 PM
Dude. Relax. No one is offended. This discussion is pretty much q12 and I arguing with everyone else. And he doesn't seem offended. Nor I.

In fact at heart, I don't think there's a big disagreement among any of us here, as Hali pointed out.

Now can we all please get back to criticizing the HTNS?


I really do hate those [bleep]. :cheers:

(Are we allowed to say that??)

q12
Jul 31, 2014, 6:18 PM
Dude. Relax. No one is offended. This discussion is pretty much q12 and I arguing with everyone else. And he doesn't seem offended. Nor I.

LOL, I'm not offended at all.

counterfactual
Jul 31, 2014, 6:18 PM
Portland Oregon, with 2.4 million in its metro area, has a hard urban growth boundary, with virtually all growth occurring within the existing built-up area as infill. And they only have two buildings over 40 storeys (41 and 43, respectively.) After that, height drops off hugely (the 10th tallest building is only 23 storeys).

ANYWAY: This conversation IS getting a little boring, like Counter said, but for me at least, it's not about being against tall buildings (bring them on, I say! If they're well designed and don't displace valuable existing buildings).

It's just about the persistent idea that Halifax doesn't have tall buildings because of innate NIMBYism, or that we have a real-estate market that could at this point support several very tall residential towers in addition to our other development. I don't think the former is true, and I don't think the latter is either, at this point anyway.

This.

And, we're done...

EDIT: I actually disagree that last point-- I think our real estate market *can* support additional tall towers, and sales seem to continually support this. Anyways, just registering that minor qualification.

counterfactual
Jul 31, 2014, 6:20 PM
I really do hate those [ bleep ]. :cheers:

(Are we allowed to say that??)

I tried that once, but I think it's a bit frowned upon here. :)

portapetey
Jul 31, 2014, 6:21 PM
Give up, Halifax will likely see +40 story skyscrapers in the near future and there is not much you can do about it. This is a forum about skyscrapers, you are preaching to the wrong choir. Halifax is not small, it's at least a mid-size city about to become a large city.

Here is a report that lists Halifax as a large city with the highest quality of life in large (north) american cities.


You sound like you're afraid if Halifax builds these tall skyscrapers it will instantly become Toronto.


*sigh*

Please read my posts here an elsewhere. I want more high-rise development in Halifax. That's why I'm here.

I just don't expect to see much in the 40+ range any time soon, because we're a smaller city than those that see that kind of development.

I'm sorry if you think that this little bit of realism means I am an anti-development crusader, but I am decidedly not.

Jeez, there really is an entire straw man army around here.

*sigh*

portapetey
Jul 31, 2014, 6:25 PM
Portland Oregon, with 2.4 million in its metro area, has a hard urban growth boundary, with virtually all growth occurring within the existing built-up area as infill. And they only have two buildings over 40 storeys (41 and 43, respectively.) After that, height drops off hugely (the 10th tallest building is only 23 storeys).

ANYWAY: This conversation IS getting a little boring, like Counter said, but for me at least, it's not about being against tall buildings (bring them on, I say! If they're well designed and don't displace valuable existing buildings).

It's just about the persistent idea that Halifax doesn't have tall buildings because of innate NIMBYism, or that we have a real-estate market that could at this point support several very tall residential towers in addition to our other development. I don't think the former is true, and I don't think the latter is either, at this point anyway.

Precisely. Thank you. Being realistic about what's likely does not equal being "against" what's possible.

I hope the big tower at King's Wharf goes up.

I'd be extremely surprised if it went up along with several others of similar height though. Extremely surprised.

portapetey
Jul 31, 2014, 6:34 PM
(PS: with the name "port-a-petey" do you really want to start an SSP forum name pun war? :))

LOL, just caught this. It's the very reason I chose the name! :-)

JET
Jul 31, 2014, 6:56 PM
all this discussion about height vs width is quite amusing;
"a thing's a phallic symbol, if it's longer than it's wide"
hilarious to read all the back and forth, given that context

OldDartmouthMark
Jul 31, 2014, 7:46 PM
all this discussion about height vs width is quite amusing;
"a thing's a phallic symbol, if it's longer than it's wide"
hilarious to read all the back and forth, given that context

Has there been all that much discussion about it?

I shudder to think how bringing to a whole new level of low to this topic will play out.

...and thus I hereby pledge to opt out of this discussion as it takes a turn for the worse... :rolleyes:

Empire
Aug 1, 2014, 12:42 AM
Yes it does sort of fit the test I was looking for.

So we now have two examples - Benidorm, Spain, and Atlantic City, New Jersey - both of which are hotel / casino industry towns with atypically tall hotels.

I'm thinking they are the exceptions that prove the rule, no?

No, you are the strawman. What do you define as a isolated city? On one hand you say small cities can't have a 40+ towers because they are too small, then you say they really aren't small at all because they are part of a megapolis. You are running around in circles and wasting valuable, serious forum time.

portapetey
Aug 1, 2014, 1:37 PM
No, you are the strawman. What do you define as a isolated city? On one hand you say small cities can't have a 40+ towers because they are too small, then you say they really aren't small at all because they are part of a megapolis. You are running around in circles and wasting valuable, serious forum time.

k.

Dmajackson
Aug 2, 2014, 5:00 PM
W.M. Fares is proposing a new 4/5-storey apartment building on Linden Lea in Downtown Dartmouth. A rendering can be viewed below.

Case 19258 (http://www.halifax.ca/council/agendasc/documents/140805ca1114.pdf)

musicman
Aug 5, 2014, 3:16 AM
Hate to get away from this captivating conversation but has anybody see a bunch of brand new red tower crane sections around the city? Was on my way to NB last thursday evening and saw probably 25 or so trucks drive by with this nice shinny new red tower crane. Had what looked like a very light grey or white cab.

Ziobrop
Aug 5, 2014, 11:58 AM
wouldn't surprise me.

I saw a herald article from 2012 where LEAD (the guys doing formwork for the Nova Center, Icon Bay)had their 7 cranes in use, and were looking for more I don't know how many they have now, but they tied up 5 between the 2 projects i mentioned.

I believe then, they were looking to rent/buy from the south/south west US

Manitowoc (who own Pontain) have a plants in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, so it may be from there.

JET
Aug 5, 2014, 4:13 PM
W.M. Fares is proposing a new 4/5-storey apartment building on Linden Lea in Downtown Dartmouth. A rendering can be viewed below.

Case 19258 (http://www.halifax.ca/council/agendasc/documents/140805ca1114.pdf)

Isn't there currently a pond in there?

mcmcclassic
Aug 5, 2014, 4:45 PM
Isn't there currently a pond in there?

I thought that there was an apartment building on the site proposed. The reason I say that is because I looked at 10 Linden Lea (which is beside it) as a potential home purchase.

Colin May
Aug 5, 2014, 4:56 PM
I thought that there was an apartment building on the site proposed. The reason I say that is because I looked at 10 Linden Lea (which is beside it) as a potential home purchase.

Correct. It is a plain box apartment building with a large parking lot.

counterfactual
Aug 5, 2014, 6:11 PM
Anyone else follow this story?

Two European tourists recently wrote an "open letter" to a bunch of Canadian politicans / media outlets, about their recent trip across Canada, which included Halifax.

Their view? They had a great time and loved the people, but were shocked by the brutal car culture they encountered.

Story here: http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/danish-tourists-lament-canadian-car-culture

Funny, they single out Halifax, in particular, for our car-centered city centre:

As humans trying to enjoy Canada’s major cities (Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa and Halifax) we were treated like second class citizens compared to cars. The air was dirty, and the constant noise from horns and engines was unpleasant.

An observation that was especially noticeable in Halifax was the sheer amount of land in the city centre given to parking. Ginormous swaths of prime locations for living (parks, shops, cafés, market squares, theatres, playing fields etc – human activities which are key to quality of life) concreted over as homes for an ever increasing number of SUVs (most trucks and SUVs we saw contained only one person. The most SUVs we saw in a row were full of singular people driving through Tim Hortens).

I have to say, she's nailed it. We *do* have massive gigantic parking lots downtown, sitting, rotting, taking up space, for no good reason. Though much of these lots aren't an explicit result of car-centered policies (it's not like we've set these aside for parking), but an indirect result of car-centered policies-- that is, sprawl development is cheap and until recently, developing downtown expensive and uncertain, with limited upside due to height limits. So, we have parking lots, not liveable spaces.

Anyways, this should be raising some serious alarm bells in Halifax / Province, because tourism is a life blood industry here.

But instead, it'll probably just lead to a few shrugs from politicians and some snark from pundits, which has already begun-- stuff like "Never been prouder of Canada"!

But that's only because the truth hurts.

Drybrain
Aug 5, 2014, 6:31 PM
I have to say, she's nailed it. We *do* have massive gigantic parking lots downtown, sitting, rotting, taking up space, for no good reason. Though much of these lots aren't an explicit result of car-centered policies (it's not like we've set these aside for parking), but an indirect result of car-centered policies-- that is, sprawl development is cheap and until recently, developing downtown expensive and uncertain, with limited upside due to height limits. So, we have parking lots, not liveable spaces.


The commenters under the National Post story about this seemed stacked pretty solidly against these two (the phrase "postage stamp country" got a fair workout). Seemed like a knee-jerk dismissal of a fair observation.

A bunch of people (locals and Canadians who had visited) also disputed that Halifax had any surface lots at all downtown, and that the Danes were slandering Halifax/Canada out of Euro-snobbery.

So yeah—a bit defensive, we got.

portapetey
Aug 5, 2014, 6:49 PM
Anyone else follow this story?

Two European tourists recently wrote an "open letter" to a bunch of Canadian politicans / media outlets, about their recent trip across Canada, which included Halifax.

Their view? They had a great time and loved the people, but were shocked by the brutal car culture they encountered.

Story here: http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/danish-tourists-lament-canadian-car-culture

Funny, they single out Halifax, in particular, for our car-centered city centre:



I have to say, she's nailed it. We *do* have massive gigantic parking lots downtown, sitting, rotting, taking up space, for no good reason. Though much of these lots aren't an explicit result of car-centered policies (it's not like we've set these aside for parking), but an indirect result of car-centered policies-- that is, sprawl development is cheap and until recently, developing downtown expensive and uncertain, with limited upside due to height limits. So, we have parking lots, not liveable spaces.

Anyways, this should be raising some serious alarm bells in Halifax / Province, because tourism is a life blood industry here.

But instead, it'll probably just lead to a few shrugs from politicians and some snark from pundits, which has already begun-- stuff like "Never been prouder of Canada"!

But that's only because the truth hurts.


Yup. We had just that conversation here the other day, not just about parking lots in the city centre, but also about parking lots in front of shops instead of at back. Halifax needs to focus on creating walkable street scapes, not more broad suburban-style boulevards lined with parking lots in front of strip malls.

And yet, the perception that there is "no parking downtown" persists like an anti-vax messages or the idea that sugar causes ADHD.

JET
Aug 5, 2014, 7:09 PM
I thought that there was an apartment building on the site proposed. The reason I say that is because I looked at 10 Linden Lea (which is beside it) as a potential home purchase.

the existing building is quite ugly; across Linden lea is "lily filled pond". The new building does look better, hopefully thye won't touch the pond.

counterfactual
Aug 5, 2014, 7:24 PM
The commenters under the National Post story about this seemed stacked pretty solidly against these two (the phrase "postage stamp country" got a fair workout). Seemed like a knee-jerk dismissal of a fair observation.

A bunch of people (locals and Canadians who had visited) also disputed that Halifax had any surface lots at all downtown, and that the Danes were slandering Halifax/Canada out of Euro-snobbery.

So yeah—a bit defensive, we got.

That is awesome. Do you have any links to ppl denying we had any surface lots downtown? Sort of like, a collective hallucination of defensiveness.

counterfactual
Aug 5, 2014, 7:31 PM
Yup. We had just that conversation here the other day, not just about parking lots in the city centre, but also about parking lots in front of shops instead of at back. Halifax needs to focus on creating walkable street scapes, not more broad suburban-style boulevards lined with parking lots in front of strip malls.

And yet, the perception that there is "no parking downtown" persists like an anti-vax messages or the idea that sugar causes ADHD.

Agreed on all counts, especially the "no parking downtown" meme.

What people really mean, is that there's no FREE parking located DIRECTLY in front of their destination shop/store, like they get in Bayers Lake or Dartmouth Crossing or at their local Sobeys out in the sprawlburbs or rural areas.

Seriously, if you want parking, it's there. You just have to pay for it. And maybe walk a block or two. We could use more of the walking and less of the driving up.

Drybrain
Aug 5, 2014, 7:35 PM
That is awesome. Do you have any links to ppl denying we had any surface lots downtown? Sort of like, a collective hallucination of defensiveness.

One guy calls it "patently false" and someone else muses about where the huge car parks are and "can't think of one." Another says "Their description of Halifax is simply dead wrong."

Not sure how to link to individuals comments (there's like 1,500 comments under the story (http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/08/04/canada-needs-parks-not-parking-lots-danish-tourists-horrified-by-car-culture-they-say-is-making-canadians-fat)).

counterfactual
Aug 5, 2014, 7:45 PM
One guy calls it "patently false" and someone else muses about where the huge car parks are and "can't think of one." Another says "Their description of Halifax is simply dead wrong."

Not sure how to link to individuals comments (there's like 1,500 comments under the story (http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/08/04/canada-needs-parks-not-parking-lots-danish-tourists-horrified-by-car-culture-they-say-is-making-canadians-fat)).

"two lunatic tree-huggers" <-- a comment starting with that, is among the top "up voted" comments.

The problem is the National Post-- the comments there even worst than the CH news story commentators we lament on here.

Someone should do a survey of these anonymous commentators to online news stories. I'd love to know the demographics, background, etc, to see how they match up with general populations.

OldDartmouthMark
Aug 5, 2014, 7:52 PM
Anyone else follow this story?

Two European tourists recently wrote an "open letter" to a bunch of Canadian politicans / media outlets, about their recent trip across Canada, which included Halifax.

Their view? They had a great time and loved the people, but were shocked by the brutal car culture they encountered.

Story here: http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/danish-tourists-lament-canadian-car-culture

Funny, they single out Halifax, in particular, for our car-centered city centre:



I have to say, she's nailed it. We *do* have massive gigantic parking lots downtown, sitting, rotting, taking up space, for no good reason. Though much of these lots aren't an explicit result of car-centered policies (it's not like we've set these aside for parking), but an indirect result of car-centered policies-- that is, sprawl development is cheap and until recently, developing downtown expensive and uncertain, with limited upside due to height limits. So, we have parking lots, not liveable spaces.

Anyways, this should be raising some serious alarm bells in Halifax / Province, because tourism is a life blood industry here.

But instead, it'll probably just lead to a few shrugs from politicians and some snark from pundits, which has already begun-- stuff like "Never been prouder of Canada"!

But that's only because the truth hurts.

It's interesting, but basically a lot of value being put on the opinions of 2 people. Thing is, many European countries are very small land-wise with relatively large populations, so their car-reduced society is basically a result of necessity that was brought upon by their situation over the years. It is reinforced nowadays by the high cost of vehicle ownership in Europe, high fuel cost being key as well.

Not trying to be critical of them, but they are only seeing things from one perspective.

While considered wrong by many today, the advent of the automobile opened up a degree of personal mobility that was unknown to the individual in the past. Planners and politicians everywhere bought into it and communities were planned with efficiency of automobile use being of high priority. Canada, a sparsely populated country with large land area was particularly well-suited to this type of travel, as it was the most efficient way to travel the distances involved to travel around our vast country.

It was only after the car culture grew to massive proportions that we collectively started to realize the downside: mainly pollution, traffic jams, use of energy resources, etc. Plus, of course, cities that are less friendly to those who choose to get around without a car.

Now things are turning around, as cities are being reconfigured for the preference of those who want to be car-free. More thought is going into designing cities to be nice places to live rather than by necessity to get around in your car. We in Canada are heading in the right direction but it's not going to happen overnight. It is a huge task to turn around the momentum of the past and very expensive to try to change it all overnight. I think the fact that we are discussing it now indicates that change is occurring.

Thus I think it is a little judgmental and unfair for these two visitors to expect Canada to be exactly like Europe. Not to mention making the generalization that everybody is obese, etc. They are not seeing the big picture, rather are viewing the country from their own narrow perspective, and then feeling the need to scold us for our wrongdoing.

There are a lot of ways to look at this, including taking into consideration the downside of countries that are so overpopulated that there is no longer a good balance of natural land, agriculture and populated urban areas. Or that this trend, if unchecked, will eventually only lead to a planet in the future that is polluted, stripped of its natural resources, and subject to food shortages and energy shortages, among many other things.

Regarding the amount of surface parking in Halifax, rather than complain about it, consider the following: this land is only being reserved for future development. Typically they only exist as parking facilities because the market is not in a place yet where it is viable to build on them. When that happens, the surface parking will only disappear to be replaced by gleaming tall buildings that you all crave so.

I don't think I'd be ready to set off alarm bells for tourism just yet, as I believe most people visit Nova Scotia to enjoy our history and natural treasures rather than to bask in the glow of our ultra-chic urban culture (though they can find a degree of that here as well, if they want to seek it out).

Just another perspective. Please discuss.

counterfactual
Aug 5, 2014, 8:14 PM
It's interesting, but basically a lot of value being put on the opinions of 2 people. Thing is, many European countries are very small land-wise with relatively large populations, so their car-reduced society is basically a result of necessity that was brought upon by their situation over the years. It is reinforced nowadays by the high cost of vehicle ownership in Europe, high fuel cost being key as well.

Not trying to be critical of them, but they are only seeing things from one perspective.

While considered wrong by many today, the advent of the automobile opened up a degree of personal mobility that was unknown to the individual in the past. Planners and politicians everywhere bought into it and communities were planned with efficiency of automobile use being of high priority. Canada, a sparsely populated country with large land area was particularly well-suited to this type of travel, as it was the most efficient way to travel the distances involved to around around our vast country.

It was only after the car culture grew to massive proportions that we collectively started to realize the downside: mainly pollution, traffic jams, use of energy resources, etc. Plus, of course, cities that are less friendly to those who choose to get around without a car.

Now things are turning around, as cities are being reconfigured for the preference of those who want to be car-free. More thought is going into designing cities to be nice places to live rather than by necessity to get around in your car. We in Canada are heading in the right direction but it's not going to happen overnight. It is a huge task to turn around the momentum of the past and very expensive to try to change it all overnight. I think the fact that we are discussing it now indicates that change is occurring.

Thus I think it is a little judgmental and unfair for these two visitors to expect Canada to be exactly like Europe. Not to mention making the generalization that everybody is obese, etc. They are not seeing the big picture, rather are viewing the country from their own narrow perspective, and then feeling the need to scold us for our wrongdoing.

There are a lot of ways to look at this, including taking into consideration the downside of countries that are so overpopulated that there is no longer a good balance of natural land, agriculture and populated urban areas. Or that this trend, if unchecked, will eventually only lead to a planet in the future that is polluted, stripped of its natural resources, and subject to food shortages and energy shortages, among many other things.

Regarding the amount of surface parking in Halifax, rather than complain about it, consider the following: this land is only being reserved for future development. Typically they only exist as parking facilities because the market is not in a place yet where it is viable to build on them. When that happens, the surface parking will only disappear to be replaced by gleaming tall buildings that you all crave so.

I don't think I'd be ready to set off alarm bells for tourism just yet, as I believe most people visit Nova Scotia to enjoy our history and natural treasures rather than to bask in the glow of our ultra-chic urban culture (though they can find a degree of that here as well, if they want to seek it out).

Just another perspective. Please discuss.

All fair points, and you make a good case that things are turning around. I think that's true. I also hope that these parking lots *are* going to be eventually developed, so long as we can avoid debacles like this: http://www.thecoast.ca/RealityBites/archives/2013/04/22/why-the-city-should-spend-over-5-million-to-buy-a-gravel-parking-lot

(City should buy back Texpark from United Gulf and sell to serious developerS).

That all said, I'm not sure it's also fair to expect a couple of tourists to know the history of Canadian urban development and the role of the automobile in there. I just expect tourists to speak to their experiences and what they felt and observed.

So, these two tourists experienced a brutal car culture and, I don't think you'll disagree, that the things they describe have a ring of truth-- Canada has a car culture, Halifax, particularly so. We're doing better urban planning in Halifax, but let's be honest, the lionshare of funds are still spent on massive road projects, new roads, road expansions, bridge expansions. This is a lot of what the consternation over RP+5 was about. While we were failing to hit our urban growth targets (and suburban growth spiraled out of control) the most detailed section of the new Regional Plan was this multi-multi-multi-million dollar road network plan; and we can't forget the massive costs the Bayers Road widening and bridge expansions, cost.

Also, the tourists' comments on obesity have a ring of truth too. An unhealthy number of Canadians are obese. And we're getting fatter and at alarming rate, unfortunately. Atlantic Canada, in particular, has problems on this count, because the higher rates of obesity, the greater demands on the healthcare system, meaning greater costs for our already strained system due to a disproportionately old population:

Canada's obesity rates triple in less than 30 years
http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/canada-s-obesity-rates-triple-in-less-than-30-years-1.2558365

Including: "Obesity rates surged 200 per cent between 1985 and 2011 (from six per cent to 18 per cent)."

I wonder how the rise of car culture maps with the rate of obesity. I bet they correlate closely.

OldDartmouthMark
Aug 5, 2014, 8:28 PM
All fair points, but then, I'm not sure it's also fair to expect a couple of tourists to know the history of Canadian urban development and the role of the automobile in there. I just expect tourists to speak to their experiences and what they felt and observed.

So, these two tourists experienced a brutal car culture and, I don't think you'll disagree, that the things they describe have a ring of truth-- Canada has a car culture, Halifax, particularly so.

Also, their comments on obesity have a ring of truth too. An unhealthy number of Canadians are obsese. And we're getting fatter and at alarming rate, unfortunately. And Atlantic Canada, in particular, has problems on this count, because the higher rates of obesity, the greater demands on the healthcare system, meaning greater costs:

Canada's obesity rates triple in less than 30 years
http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/canada-s-obesity-rates-triple-in-less-than-30-years-1.2558365

Including: "Obesity rates surged 200 per cent between 1985 and 2011 (from six per cent to 18 per cent)."

I wonder how the rise of car culture maps with the rate of obesity. I bet they correlate closely.

I don't expect them to know the history of Canadian urban development, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't introduce it to add perspective to their ideas. That said, since they decided get their ideas "out there", I'm a little disappointed that they didn't make the effort to educate themselves a little on the subject, from a Canadian perspective.

Not arguing any of your points and I look forward to reading about your research to prove the correlation of car culture and obesity. However, to be fair please be sure to include in your research the topics of fast food, processed food, food additives, the effect of television, the internet and video games, not to mention the over-protection of our children so they don't get hurt playing outside. Cultural phenomena as such is usually a cumulative effect of many factors and often not as simplistic as we'd like it to be.

Hali87
Aug 5, 2014, 8:37 PM
So, these two tourists experienced a brutal car culture and, I don't think you'll disagree, that the things they describe have a ring of truth-- Canada has a car culture, Halifax, particularly so.

I agree that Canada has a car culture and Halifax does as well, to a point, but I'm not sure why you think that Halifax "in particular" has a car culture. Have you been many other places in Canada? Halifax is one of the least car-oriented cities in the country. More people walk and take transit here than in most of Canada. Do we have more of a car culture than St. John's, than NB's cities, than SW Ontario and the 905, than Northern Ontario, than the Prairies, including their cities, than the BC interior? Having spent time in all of these places, I sincerely doubt it. I'm not trying to be boosty, these places just ARE designed more for cars and less for pedestrians than Halifax is. Just like Halifax is designed more for cars and less for pedestrians than Copenhagen. Can you give an example to back up your claim that "Canada has a car culture, Halifax, particularly so"?

While we were failing to hit our urban growth targets (and suburban growth spiraled out of control)...

I don't think suburban growth spiraled out of control, it just continued at more or less the same rate that it had been before the regional plan was implemented. In terms of the growth targets, it seems like a lot of people expected an immediate switch to 25% urban, 50% suburban etc. during the first five years of the regional plan. This isn't really fair or realistic to expect because many subdivisions under construction now were already approved or in the late planning stages when the regional plan was adopted. The flip side is that downtown/infill construction is still logistically difficult (despite HRMbD) and that it takes a while for the market and development/construction industry to adapt to the new paradigm. As development/construction companies get used to working within the constraints of the Peninsula (and Dartmouth) I think we will see an acceleration in the number of projects U/C... in fact this already seems to be happening. I think over the 25-year course of the plan growth will much better reflect (or exceed) the growth targets.

I wonder how the rise of car culture maps with the rate of obesity. I bet they correlate closely.

Anecdotal, but I worked out of Cochrane, Alberta (a suburb of Calgary) for a couple weeks 2 summers ago. It's a sort of Bedford-esque suburb with no public transit. Most people who were younger than me seemed to be in great shape, or at least not overweight, while most people who were older than me seemed to be overweight or obese. My theory was that younger people without cars/licenses had to walk everywhere - and this means long distances - while those with cars never walked anywhere and quickly gained weight.

OldDartmouthMark
Aug 5, 2014, 9:05 PM
Anecdotal, but I worked out of Cochrane, Alberta (a suburb of Calgary) for a couple weeks 2 summers ago. It's a sort of Bedford-esque suburb with no public transit. Most people who were younger than me seemed to be in great shape, or at least not overweight, while most people who were older than me seemed to be overweight or obese. My theory was that younger people without cars/licenses had to walk everywhere - and this means long distances - while those with cars never walked anywhere and quickly gained weight.

An interesting theory based on anecdotal information, but other factors have to be kept in mind in order to make it an unbiased scientific opinion. These factors can include, cultural/social disparities between generations (i.e. the propensity for younger generations to be more aware of their bodies due to improved education/information available on the subject, and the ensuing healthier eating habits, tendencies to work out and participate in more active free-time activities, etc.), not to mention consumption of alcohol and other unhealthy lifestyles.

Other factors could include lifestyle compromises to compensate for increased responsibilities/busy schedules. These factors can result in such things as less time to participate in physical activities such as walking to a destination rather than driving, or sitting at their kids' soccer games rather than playing in their own games, eating fast food rather than taking the time to prepare a healthy meal, etc.

Not to mention the tendency for metabolisms to slow down as we age.

If one wanted to look at things simply (and incorrectly), one could draw the conclusion that since we see people of all shapes, sizes and physical condition driving cars, that car use has no effect on one's state of physical fitness. (I don't agree with this, by the way)

I definitely do not intend to argue the point, but again wish to encourage the consideration of other factors to help explain the phenomena. Certainly, increased car use plays a part in it, but to not consider other important lifestyle factors is not looking at it objectionably, IMHO. :2cents:

toones
Aug 6, 2014, 12:09 AM
Honestly some of the same people I know who complain about parking in downtown Halifax will drive around and around in circles at Canadian Tire trying to get a spot close to the door. Or, for example, if already at the Dartmouth Crossing Best Buy, will get into their car and drive over to Home Outfitters to park and shop there. The parking lots have us trained to drive.

During Christmas time at Mic Mac Mall the distance you might have to walk in the parking lot to the doors is as far as a few blocks in downtown Halifax.