News and Events

Topic: ‘Community-based design/build’

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Cities & Environment Unit wins fifth CIP Award

Cities & Environment Unit is pleased to be the recipient of the 2011 Canadian Institute of Planners Award for Excellence in the category of Social Planning. The award recognizes CEU’s “Approach to Change,” which extends the principles of community-based planning through project development and implementation in a way that empowers communities to maximize the benefits of every project. The submission, entitled “Community Plan Design Build: An Approach to Change,” highlights four community-based, project-driven and locally-focused initiatives undertaken with four First Nation communities in Saskatchewan (Flying Dust First Nation, Kahkewistahaw First Nation, Kinistin Saulteaux Nation and Standing Buffalo Dakota Nation). The Award will be presented in July at the 2011 CIP/API Conference in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Employment Opportunities at Cities & Environment Unit

Cities & Environment Unit is seeking a Community Planner and a Community-based Designer/Builder to join our team on four month contracts, with possibility for extension based on funding and performance. Qualified candidates are asked to submit a cover letter and resume by April 20, 2011 to: Frank Palermo, Director, Cities & Environment Unit. Drop-off or mail: 5257 Morris Street, Halifax, NS B3J 1B6; send by email (PDF or Word Document) to; or fax: 902.423.6672.

Download the complete job descriptions:
Community Planner [pdf, 80KB]
Community-based Designer/Builder [pdf, 84KB]

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Urban Farm project enters Phase 2

Cities & Environment Unit and Capital Health’s Partners for Care are moving ahead with developing an urban farm as an interim use on the site of the former Queen Elizabeth High School. Building on the outcomes of the first Public Forum held in November 2010, the Common Roots project is now entering Phase 2: Program and Design Development.

Download the Phase 2 poster [pdf, 1.2MB]
Download the report summarizing the outcomes of Phase 1: [pdf, 3.9MB]

Public Session 1. Program Development
Participants at this session will develop detailed programming for the farm focusing on what will be produced and how. Conversations will include the specific crops grown, the scale of plots/gardens/fields, and the possibilities for keeping animals.
Date, Time: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 / 5:30 - 8:00pm
Location: Citadel/Cunard Room, Hotel Atlantica, 1980 Robie St.

Public Session 2. Farm Operations & Governance
This session will focus on how the farm operates on a day-to-day and seasonal basis, including the technical requirements such as equipment, machinery and facilities. How the farm will run, opportunities for volunteers, special events and management will be covered.
Date, Time: Thursday, February 3, 2011 / 5:30 - 8:00pm
Location: Citadel/Cunard Room, Hotel Atlantica, 1980 Robie St.

Public Session 3. Food Distribution
Session 3 will focus on how produce will be distributed; how individuals or groups access food and learn about gardening and food preparation; and how the farm contributes to healthier habits and lifestyles in the broader community.
Date, Time: Wednesday, February 9 / 5:30 - 8:00pm
Location: Bethune Ballroom, Bethune Building, VG site, 1276 South Park Street

Public Session 4. Design Development
The project ideas developed in the first 3 sessions will inform specific design development of gardens and fields, open spaces, access requirements, facilities and other elements developed at previous workshops.
Date, Time: Thursday, March 3 / 5:30-8:00pm
Location: Bethune Ballroom, Bethune Building, VG site, 1276 South Park Street

Public Session 5. Design Review
This final session will provide an opportunity to review and refine the outcomes of the previous four public sessions.
Date, Time: Wednesday, March 9 / 5:30-8:00pm
Location: Bethune Ballroom, Bethune Building, VG site, 1276 South Park Street

Download a map of the VG site [pdf, 564 KB]

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

Standing Buffalo Greenshed

Standing Buffalo Dakota Nation has begun work on its Greenshed project. The project marks the start of not only their combined greenhouse, storage shed and market, but also their community garden and new Band Hall. The Greenshed is a demonstration and test of ideas and designs that will eventually be used to construct the community Band Hall. To get involved or learn more about the project, check out the project blog at:

Thursday, July 29th, 2010


Kinistin Saulteaux Nation has completed its Pow wow arbour! The arbour was listed in the community’s Plan as a potential project and Kinistin members are excited to begin organizing a 2011 Pow wow; it will be Kinistin’s first since 1991. Cities & Environment Unit planners, along with architecture students from Dalhousie University, were in Kinistin from July 17-29 to assist with the community-based design/build process. To learn more please visit the project blog at: