Well heres a neat idea. I really hope this happens as it sounds like it could really connect with people and get them interested in development in the city:
Idea for centre came from Paris
By CLARE MELLOR Business Reporter
Sat. Apr 4 - 5:42 AM
It was a trip to Paris and Amsterdam as a university student that sparked Heather Ternoway’s idea for the Planning & Design Centre in Halifax.
"I saw some really fabulous examples of design centres and planning centres over there and I started thinking, ‘How come Halifax doesn’t have something like this?’ "
What Ms. Ternoway saw were places where people could walk in off the street and learn in a visual way about developments being proposed in their city.
"They were Discovery Centre kind of places. They had really great displays and exhibits, and three-dimensional models and staff there to explain what was going on."
Almost six years later, she believes that Halifax is on its way to having such a centre.
"We have come a long way. We have a fair bit of financial and political support but not quite enough to launch it as a store-front, walk-in place where people can go."
The Cities & Environment Unit, a small non-profit planning research unit based at Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Architecture and Planning, has been working over the past few years to launch the centre, said Ms. Ternoway, who is a community planner with the unit.
Over the past six months, they have pulled out all the stops. With support from community and business organizations and developers, they have hired staff, launched planning education projects and published a newsletter about projects in the city.
But to become a permanent feature of the city will require more money. Organizers are still waiting to hear about funding applications to Halifax Regional Municipality and the province, she said.
"The ones in Europe are essentially extensions of their (government) planning departments. We thought that a much more collaborative partnership model would be better here — involving citizens, community groups, HRM and the province — creating something all those parties were investing in."
Ms. Ternoway said there is evidence that such a centre is needed in Halifax. After visiting Europe, she did her university thesis on how citizens of Halifax find information about planning in the city.
It is "scattered and related to one-off development agreements and projects and there is not really a place for ongoing discussion and dialogue in the city about the future of our city and what we are creating."
The Planning & Design Centre recently partnered with W.M Fares Group and announced an international competition for a permanent piece of public art to be located in front of The Trillium. That new building is under construction in downtown Halifax.
The centre also began a series of public discussions about Halifax streets Thursday with a discussion about Barrington Street. The event was held in conjunction with the Halifax Chamber of Commerce.
More information can be found at www.pdcentre.ca