HRM's current regional plan became effective on August 26, 2006 and will remain in place for 25 years. The current plan will then expire on August 26, 2031 (so a long way's off).
As part of the plan's population projections, it saw that at the end of the regional plan the population could increase by 52,000 people (low end scenario), 84,400 (mid range scenario) and 125,000 people (high end scenario). The population (it notes) in 2001 was 359,090, but I will assume it based those numbers on whatever the population was in 2006 which according to wiki was 372,679.
Based on that number, by 2031 we could see a population of:
424,679 low growth
457,079 mid range growth
497,679 high growth
The plan talks about how much land is necessary to accommodate that growth up to 2031, transportation infrastructure upgrades necessary, new parks, etc. The plan also notes that the regional centre has begun to grow again (at the time the report was written) mainly due to infilling (like Trillium and the Hollis Building, but I would assume also from new infill single detached dwellings too), but that the majority of growth is in greenfield subdivisions.
The plan also sets up the urban settlement pattern (see the maps) and notes that there are six sites for new urban growth (which should be enough when combined with infilling) to support growth for the plan period (until 2031). This areas are:
- Bedford South;
- Morris-Russel Lake;
- Bedford West;
- Port Wallis;
- Sandy Lake; and
- Highway 102 west corridor adjacent to Blue Mountain - Birch Cove Lakes Park.
The reason I'm starting this thread is to get people thinking ahead to 2031 and think about how the city will grow. Based on the current growth; I'm suspecting that we'll easily blow past the low growth and end up between the mid to high range; although I'd love to see it blow past the high range too.
What will we need in the future for the next 25 years after this plan (from 2031 to 2056)? Will Bedford or Sackville need a commons park? What residential areas will be required to support growth? Will the gap between development focusing in greenfield areas get narrowed so that more focus is on the urban core? How will the upcoming population shift with babyboomer retirements change things?
I'd also like people to consider some interesting facts that HRM posted about the plan:
- Out of a population of 350K, there were only 58 speakers at the public hearing (that is sad);
- There was only 112 public submissions that required additional comments (yet again sad).
I mention these because these issues are important; despite what people may think. So how can we get more people engaged in these discussions? More meetings? More open houses? What about other ways to engage people like through facebook, twitter or an online forum? Or perhaps like Plan It Calgary, with summits and major workshops to build the community vision and get some speakers to do a speaking series like this guy
Something for all of us to consider. The regional plan can be viewed here