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  • Public places, not leftover spaces - Spacing Atlantic
    The Vatican and St Peter s Basilica form one side while a colonnade a long row of pillars was constructed specifically to enclose the Square St Peter s Square is a huge space that can hold tens of thousands of people Most urban places this large no matter how beautiful or well designed would feel desolate There simply wouldn t be enough people As a major tourist attraction and pilgrimage site St Peter s Square is a rare example of a massive public space that feels busy The much smaller Campidoglio perhaps thirty metres across needs a much smaller number of people to stay lively Lively places attract more people while empty places repel people The first rule of good public space is to make it the right size This generally means creating small public spaces which can stay lively with small numbers of people Most public spaces even very good spaces don t have the draw of St Peter s Square The second rule of public space is to enclose it with edges Not necessarily on all four sides but enough to define a three dimensional space One of the great arts in placemaking is finding a balance between enclosure and permeability Neither St Peter s Square nor the Campidoglio are completely enclosed but the human brain fills in the gaps The Campidoglio and St Peter s Square are both masterpieces many design elements contribute to their success but proper scale and enclosure are at the core of these great places Thinking about scale and enclosure helps us understand why some public spaces work and others fail Large spaces can feel lonely and empty Tiny spaces can feel cramped and confining Too little enclosure feels desolate and discomforting Too much enclosure severs space from its surroundings Two common mistakes plague modern cities spaces that are too large and too open Clayton Park West has both problems Instead of enclosed places the area around Lacewood Drive is simply made of leftover spaces Very large leftover spaces The picture below shows part of Clayton Park West with building footprints in black and roads in grey Most of the buildings are aligned loosely with the roads but they aren t placed to create urban spaces Buildings partially enclose a handful of spaces labelled A B and C but the spaces are too big between fifty and eighty meters across to stay busy and inviting A Pattern Language suggests most public spaces should be smaller than 18 metres across and no bigger than 20 metres across A lot of the space is parking A lot of space is filled with small patches of forest Some of the space is just formless and empty lawns walkways and driveways Some of the lawns are likely amenity spaces outdoor spaces for multi unit buildings that are required by the zoning by law The idea is great to provide residents with some shared outdoor space in lieu of having a private yard The problem is that many

    Original URL path: http://spacing.ca/atlantic/2014/06/17/public-places-leftover-spaces/ (2015-11-16)
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  • Abad Khan, Author at Spacing Atlantic
    to three times Civic Engagement 100in1 Day A call out to commmunity Editor s Note Guest post by Grace Szucs a 100in1 Day volunteer in Halifax We re so excited for this HALIFAX 8211 Read More Infrastructure Fairview may lose out due to Halifax s Arena Strategy HALIFAX Almost two years ago Old HRM made a decision that New Halifax will try and contort itself into or out of or maybe a Read More Civic Engagement HRM s Regional Plan needs adjustment but will we seize the moment Editor s Note Below is an open letter from Frank Palermo sent to HRM Mayor Mike Savage and the Greater Halifax Community on the Read More Transit Events Guide Transit 101 HALIFAX Interested in learning more about public transit A bit more information on Metro Transit s network redesign Read More Green Space Last minute changes risk undermining HRM s Regional Plan HALIFAX The Regional Plan 5 year review process RP 5 has been years in the works but it may be undermined with some Read More Civic Engagement Halifax A look back a look ahead HALIFAX A new year begins The possibilities seem endless Opportunities seem ripe for the taking 2013 offered a lot of Read More Services Sidewalk snow clearing in Atlantic Canadian Cities HALIFAX With all the broken wrists slips and copious amounts of ice and snow remaining on city side sidewalks after recent Read More Culture Morse s Teas whitewashed HALIFAX News broke out with lots of photos of Morse s Teas sign being painted over over at 1877 79 Hollis St Read More Post navigation Older posts Search Advertisement Spacing Magazine fall 2015 Order issue Subscribe In these stores Popular Posts Stadium Dreams at Shannon Park From the Vaults Gottingen Street Urban Development Does Halifax need to

    Original URL path: http://spacing.ca/atlantic/author/abadkhan/ (2015-11-16)
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  • 100in1 Day: A call out to commmunity - Spacing Atlantic
    just how much power you hold as an individual 100in1 Day is not a new idea but a banner under which the powerful ideas of a community can gather 100in1 Day is a community enabler a conversation starter and a platform for self expression It s a day of citizen driven actions creating positive change in the Halifax region Last year interventions included a local photographer taking free family portraits at a community hub in the Spryfield neigbourhood a high school student providing a free nourishing breakfast on Spring Garden Road and a woman sharing her passion and knowledge by giving tours of a local graveyard Community members gathered around these interventions sparking conversation and friendship making Participants walked away with full bellies memories and a newfound understanding of the place they live in So far 100in1Day Halifax will have origami folding an art installation commenting on the state of our oceans and a parade As you can see the events can vary from thought provoking to a joyful encounter What ties the events together is the aim to inspire positive change in our city Let s get more than 100 of these events happening on June 6th all around the Halifax region Do you have an idea big or small for 100in1Day If you need help brainstorming or figuring out how to implement your idea we hold workshops and meet ups leading up to June 6th to help you get your dreams off the ground Just want to check it out Please do 100in1Day is for you Halifax All the interventions will be mapped out on our website so check out what is happening in your area on June 6th Please visit 100in1day ca for more details Subscribe to Mag Share Post Tweet Post Buy Merch andise Tweet More

    Original URL path: http://spacing.ca/atlantic/2015/05/14/100in1-day-call-commmunity/ (2015-11-16)
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  • Fairview may lose out due to Halifax's Arena Strategy - Spacing Atlantic
    inclusive over 25 years There is no mention in the staff report of any further potential for revenue generating community programs building additions or energy efficiencies that would also allow those arenas to diversify their revenue streams through lean ice rental times Sure amalgamating four rinks in four buildings into four rinks in one building would make sense if they were side by side But of those four rinks one of them is in Bedford one is in North Dartmouth one is in Woodside and one is in Fairview Operationally Old HRM might see those four rinks as four budget lines coming together But New Halifax should see in this plan four distinct communities with different socio economic conditions and needs losing recreational facilities Fairview s loss to Dartmouth Initially according to the Long Term Arena Strategy 10 Year Action Plan Fairview s Centennial Arena was recommended to only be re evaluated for consolidation after the Dartmouth consolidation is complete Well that wasn t the case Something changed in the last 23 months and Centennial now has its fate lumped in with the decision on the Dartmouth mega arena and the closure of Lebrun in Bedford Bowles and Gray Memorial Arenas in Dartmouth There is an option for its recapitalization if Council decides that the Dartmouth mega arena is to be a three pad but a four pad mega arena would see Centennial shut down over the next few years While the staff report keeps mentioning the age of the building as it does with all the old rinks it also mentions the structure is in good shape It s been an important part of the community and ever more important in a neighbourhood that is severely lacking in HRM recreational facilities or much HRM investment in recent memory I wonder if there is a unique opportunity here Imagine if we looked at transitioning Centennial Arena into a multi district facility identified as important service delivery hubs in the region CFMP 2008 that provide various sport recreation and community gathering multi use alternatives for citizens Are there synergies here Can auxiliary programming government cost sharing and renovations and additions enable Centennial to become a hub of the community Fairview is long overdue for its fair share of community resources and facilities And about the Halifax consolidation The LTAS Consultant Report recommended the Halifax Forum site as the preferred Halifax mega arena location stating benefit from the urban character and excellent access for multiple transportation modes walking cycling public transportation and vehicles But HRM Staff recommended the DND proposal instead Devonshire is in terrible condition and while the building may go the land will be kept for future recreational uses The Forum plan renovating to a 3 pad makes the most sense to me as it ensures the ice community and multi use space remain available and accessible Removing community facilities is no small matter In an era where more and more are seeking to live within the urban core and

    Original URL path: http://spacing.ca/atlantic/2014/07/29/fairview-may-lose-out-due-to-halifax-arena-rink-strategy/ (2015-11-16)
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  • HRM's Regional Plan needs adjustment, but will we seize the moment? - Spacing Atlantic
    and there was no reference to the RP as a basis for developing a longer term idea for transit or seeing public transportation in conjunction with the growth strategy It took several months considerable staff and community time at some cost to determine that the study should focus on the larger transit system To my knowledge this new mandate is also being explored in relative isolation without a clear connection to the RP and with limited community involvement This matters It is a problem with real and immediate consequences Downtown parking Parking is key to how we think of and use public space It is also a critical ingredient in shaping and supporting the transportation system and affects our thinking about streets It is counterproductive to consider downtown Centre Area parking as separate from the growth strategy or separate from an idea about public transportation or a shared understanding of the community s goals relative to streetscapes corridors and walkable neighbourhoods Yet possibly because this idea of connectivity is not clearly enough expressed in the RP we find ourselves at the doorstep of commencing yet another study which may also serve as a distraction Roundabouts in the Centre area It is at least inconsistent to proceed at this time with detailed plans to build roundabouts in the Centre Area to improve the flow of vehicular traffic into the downtown Facilitating the flow of traffic is not consistent with the stated intentions in any of HRM s Plans all of which are clear that we do not want more cars downtown The heart of the city is a place for people not parking Streets have a social function as open space and meeting places not just traffic or car storage To proceed with developing roundabouts which both conceptually and practically give priority to cars over people bikes and transit is ill advised at best It also implies that the RP needs to be stronger and sharper about what priorities mean and how we need to think across traditional boundaries Health initiative We have to move beyond a city form that meets aspirations and demands arising from the Industrial Revolution or current short term private sector expectations In that context there will never be enough parking roads or green field development Crisis management rather than planning becomes the mode of operation In the last several months a new voice and a new agenda has emerged Mayor Savage has recognized health as a new vision and a direction that can both move us forward and bring us together It is both conceivable and inspiring that HRM would set out to be the healthiest community in Canada much like Vancouver is dedicated to being the greenest It now seems appropriate to consider replacing the rather general and generic vision for HRM that is in the RP 5 draft with one whose focus is on health This single move would change the tone of the plan as well as the content More significantly it would provide a specific direction to align organize and gauge the appropriateness of any project or public initiative including transit parking and roundabout studies Branding Branding is also a rogue or disconnected project It is a significant initiative that should be aligned with the Regional Plan A brand cannot just be imposed It should grow out of the vision values and principles that define who we are and where we are going In that spirit I would argue that we should stop obsessing about living in a Region or being a City Perhaps in the spirit of the Ivany Commission it might be appropriate to think of Nova Scotia as a 21st Century City Region In any event it seems best to define ourselves relative to what we want to be whether the healthiest community or the walkable region or That is the connection to the RP2031 It is counterproductive confusing and costly to think of branding as a separate study The Momentum A firm basis for proceeding with Community Plans and Functional Plans now called priority plans is missing Yet the purpose of a Regional Plan is to provide a comprehensive long term view and to serve as the common shared basis for more specific local and sector plans In this regard it is reasonable to expect that the RP would provide a clear idea organizational structure and development strategy for the public transit and active transportation systems It is also reasonable to expect the delineation of a community based approach for development of such plans It does not seem reasonable to argue that basic structural ingredients will come later They cannot come later because the community plans cannot be done without a specific conceptual physical idea of the transportation transit active transportation open space and service networks It is clear that everyone in government and outside is doing the best they can within the prescribed limits of their positions resources mandates codes of operation and outdated rulebooks Unless we can redefine the ambition rewrite the codes and replace the thinking we will not be able to make any change happen The point here is that the RP as it is currently written almost by necessity disregards the considerable body of community based work that has been done both to redefine public infrastructure and to raise awareness and expectations regarding community engagement Considerable momentum and agreement exists at the community level about streetscapes complete communities food self reliance public transit active transportation and the greenbelt all of which are much more clear specific and useful than the vague references included in the Plan Over the last couple of years through many meetings several large community design sessions and experiments on the ground the Planning and Design Centre in conjunction with Fusion Halifax and others has produced a clear and specific idea and a physical concept for public transit Similarly specific ideas have been developed for active transportation and strategies for advancing Community Plans All of these initiatives including the Mayor

    Original URL path: http://spacing.ca/atlantic/2014/03/18/palermo-halifax-hrm-regional-plan-needs-adjustment-but-will-we-seize-the-moment/ (2015-11-16)
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  • Nat Smith, Author at Spacing Atlantic
    Culture Curiosities Events Features Food Green Space Headlines History Housing Infrastructure Maps Media Neighbourhoods Parks Photos Politics Services Spacing Streetscape Traffic Transit Urban Design Walking Waterfront Region Topic By Nat Smith History THE OLD NORTH END When is a parking lot more than just a parking lot HALIFAX North Park street is a relatively short street Only two blocks stretching from the intersection of Cogswell and going Read More Streetscape THE OLD NORTH END A visit to Brunswick street in 1966 Hope Cottage Brunswick street looking South Editor s Note Cross posted from The Old North End the author s research Read More Community THE OLD NORTH END The lives of 2112 Gottingen Street Editor s Note Cross posted from The Old North End the author s research project on Halifax s old 8221 Read More Search Advertisement Spacing Magazine fall 2015 Order issue Subscribe In these stores Popular Posts Stadium Dreams at Shannon Park From the Vaults Gottingen Street Urban Development Does Halifax need to grow up A visit to McNabs Island Halifax Harbour s hidden gem From the Vaults Africville From the Spacing Store 22 Buy yourself a subscription 22 Buy a renewal subscription 22 Buy a gift

    Original URL path: http://spacing.ca/atlantic/author/nathanielsmith/ (2015-11-16)
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  • THE OLD NORTH END - When is a parking lot more than just a parking lot? - Spacing Atlantic
    outhouses and other buildings for himself he was buying it to donate Murdoch purchases the land from the Johns in March 1859 and then immediately flips the land conveying it to the Protestant Orphanage paying 1 500 in March and selling the land to the orphanage for a mere 15 shillings in May of that year The Protestant Orphanage has a long history and we are lucky that a picture has survived of the house that was built likely by the Johns and used as the orphanage on North Park street Protestant Orphan s Home May 1874 NSA no 1987 265 no 5 The above photo was taken in 1874 and you can see that the granite wall that encircled the property was present at this time The Protestant Orphan s Home was founded in 1857 and as mentioned above it relocated to its home on the corner of John s Lane and North Park street circa 1859 1860 In the 1874 annual report for the orphanage it states that for that year the home housed 80 children Given the size of the structure pictured you have to wonder where those 80 children slept The orphan s home stayed at this location until 1883 when the property along with all of its structures was purchased by Richard A Guildford on behalf of the Presbyterian congregation which worshipped out of the Church on Poplar Grove street now underneath Scotia Square The property was purchased in July 1883 for 5 500 and all existing structures were demolished and by the 9 October 1883 the frame of the new building was erected Construction would continue throughout 1884 finishing in September October of that year The new church would celebrate its first service on 2 November 1884 In the History of the congregation the church is described as follows The architecture was of a Gothic order and on the whole had quite the ecclesiastical appearance The circular seating accommodated 750 people In the rear of the main building and connected by two passages were the Sunday School rooms which accommodated 400 Not including the site the entire cost was about 28 000 of which 12 000 was mortgaged The architect was Mr Dumaresque and the contractors Messrs Jordan and Fidler p 24 History of Saint John s United Church Halifax Nova Scotia The Park Street congregation decided in January 1916 to build a new church in the Northwest end of the city where the population was much larger and where a good number of the current congregation lived It purchased a lot on the corner of Windsor and Willow streets and began construction of a new building This project was interrupted by the Halifax Explosion in December 1917 and since a lot of the neighbouring congregations were without homes due to structural damage to their buildings because of the explosion it was decided to join together The new church was opened in July 1918 and by March 1920 it was already too small so

    Original URL path: http://spacing.ca/atlantic/2014/01/27/old-north-end-when-is-a-parking-lot-more-than-just-a-parking-lot/ (2015-11-16)
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  • THE OLD NORTH END - A visit to Brunswick street in 1966 - Spacing Atlantic
    St was foreign territory Gottingen was a shopping and entertainment street but one street down Brunswick was only useful as a short cut to the bridge Anderson House In the mid 1960s the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia began telling the compelling story of the rise and fall of Brunswick St how from the 1860s to 1880s this had been the most fashionable residential street in the city Merchants and politicians built grand urban mansions overlooking their wharves or a short walk from their places of business in the centre of the city By the turn of the century the street was losing its lustre and fell into gradual decay as other sections of the city were developed James West House One afternoon in early May 1966 post university exams and before summer job I walked Brunswick St as an architectural tourist I had no idea what was significant or what to look for but I took a couple of snapshots of buildings that caught my attention As it turns out much of what I photographed 46 years ago has survived and probably is in better condition now Something the photos show that has gone missing are the fences along the sidewalks a hold over from the 19 th century Nathaniel William West House Now all I remember about my visit was a sense of melancholy about the place or maybe that was just normal early spring Halifax Subscribe to Mag Share Post Tweet Post Buy Merch andise Tweet More posts by Nat Smith 5 comments Neither the author nor Spacing necessarily agrees with posted comments Spacing reserves the right to edit or delete comments entirely See our Comment Policy Gabriel 3 years ago Cool article But the first sentence should read The North End of Halifax USED to be

    Original URL path: http://spacing.ca/atlantic/2012/12/03/the-old-north-end-halifax-a-visit-to-brunswick-street-in-1966/ (2015-11-16)
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