(from the CH online)
When it comes to figuring out how to build a modern sustainable city, there are no definitive answers. But that doesn’t stop people from putting their ideas forward, nor should it.
Most suggestions come with the best intentions and are based on an element of common sense. However, even the best ideas are fraught with unintended consequences, and that’s where the debate really begins.
Halifax has started the public consultation part of the review of its regional plan and, already, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that much of the focus will be on height.
How does a city decide how high a building can be built? And what are the criteria for establishing such height limits?
Dubbed RP+5 by city staff, the first five-year review of the plan will supposedly shape the recommendations staff will pass along to city council.
To help focus the conversation, staff created some themes: livability, sustainability, vibrancy, mobility and prosperity.
Staff also determined this:
“Our future growth and development must focus on continuous improvement of our environmental, economic, social and cultural sustainability.
“This must include standards for low-impact ‘green’ development, ensuring that new development pays its fair share to protect the tax rate, expanded tools for the provision of housing affordability and heritage protection, support for cultural programs, controlling overall resource and energy consumption, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
I wonder what might happen if the public input doesn’t match the goals established by city staff. Let’s face it; unless there is overwhelming support for an idea that comes from the public consultation, it isn’t likely to get the endorsement by the people who will make the report to council.
The city is also helping to form consensus by bringing in guest speakers to discuss regional planning. Calvin Brook, the first speaker at Thursday’s public meeting, endorses something called “mid-rise urbanism,” which is based on the philosophy that moderately sized buildings are just as effective as high rises in meeting the desire for greater density while maintaining liveability.
The rest of the story is here
. I have to say I agree with Roger - developers have to be able to recover their costs and if 12 storeys isn't going to cut it we'll be back redoing the plan to allow for more height. Let's get it right the first time and pick places where height can rip and then along corridors like Agricola and Quinpool, perhaps 15 storeys is the limit for now.
Either way, whatever the plan is, it should be re-reviewed in 5 years time to keep it current and if the heights aren't working - changed.