News and Events
October 21st, 2013

CEU Welcomes Guest Researcher from France

Cities & Environment Unit is pleased to welcome guest researcher Clément Marinos to our offices. Clément’s project in Halifax, as a French Ph.D student in regional development, is to compare two regions that have common characteristics: Nova Scotia and Brittany in France. These similarities refer to distance from major metropolises, Celtic cultural heritage, proximity to the ocean (including industries linked to the Atlantic Ocean, harbors and general maritime profile) and some remoteness. His research in Nova Scotia focuses on the following main points: uses and scales of a company’s networks (structured or not); the degree to which entrepreneurs are embedded in middle-sized cities; the impact for companies of remoteness from the largest North America cites; and the relationship between Halifax and other cities in terms of economic cooperation.

Clément will be interviewing owners of innovative local businesses and representatives from business development organizations until the end of November 2013. You can contact Clément through the Cities & Environment Unit.

February 17th, 2012

Switch: Open Street Sundays

The Sustainable Transportation Task Force continues to advance the Switch: Open Street Sundays project. Switch will be a regular “Ciclovia” type event adapted for Halifax.

The Switch presentation is available to download [PDF, 1.9MB]. We encourage you to help us build awareness of and support for the project by sharing the presentation with your friends, family and colleagues. If you are interested in speaker’s notes to assist you in delivering the presentation, please contact us at: 902.494.3678 or 902.494.8494.

Download the Switch hand-out [PDF, 1.2MB].

Like Switch on Facebook

Follow SWITCHHFX on Twitter

For more information about the Sustainable Transportation Task Force, or to download notes from previous Task Force meetings, please see the November 2, 2010 News posting (below) about the launch of the Task Force.

January 17th, 2012

Kickstand Bicycle Policy Workshop

Mobycon, a Dutch-based consulting with 25 years experience in traffic, transport and urban and rural planning has teamed up with Copenhagenize, a Danish consultancy specializing in bicycle planning, marketing and communications, to launch Kickstand.

Cities & Environment Unit has joined forces with Mobycon and Copenhagenize to host the first Kickstand workshop in Canada on February 1 & 2, 2012.

This workshop will bring together a variety of government and private sector representatives from across Atlantic Canada to work with world-class experts in the areas of bicycle planning, policy, design and marketing. By working together over the two-day session we will generate locally relevant insights, solutions and actionable steps for building bicycle cultures and increasing sustainable urban mobility in Atlantic Canada.

Kickstand Workshop Details

Location: Dalhousie University, Student Union Building, Room 303
6136 University Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Dates: February 1-2, 2012 (Wednesday & Thursday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm)
Cost: Workshop, including meals: $600

Register online to hold your space at the Kickstand Workshop!

For more information please contact Ross Soward at Cities & Environment Unit: 902.494.8494

July 6th, 2011

It’s More Than Buses Session 1 a success!

Thank you to everyone who supported and participated in It’s More Than Buses Session 1!
If you were not able to attend the first session you can watch all three panellist’s presentations and closing remarks at Thank you to for live streaming the event!
We also provided extensive live coverage of the first session on Facebook and Twitter: @morethanbuses

Please stay tuned for more information about Session 2: DESIGN the network - Tuesday, July 19th from 6 to 8pm at the World Trade and Convention Centre.

Download Jarrett Walker’s presentation (session 1 panellist and international public transit network designer) [PDF, 1MB]
Download a summary of the ideas put forward by participants at Session 1  [PDF, 900KB]
Download the draft Guiding Principles from Session 1 [PDF, 350KB]

It’s More Than Buses is based on the premise that a clear direction for the future of the municipality’s public transit system needs to be championed by the citizens who rely on Halifax’s transportation system to meet their daily mobility needs, whether it’s travel to work, school, health care, shopping, recreation or entertainment.

June 20th, 2011

It’s More Than Buses

Transit is about access, mobility and a better city!
Join the conversation about the future of public transportation in Halifax.

Help shape your city through a series of public sessions:

1. Explore the options - Tuesday, June 28, 2011 from 6-8pm
2. Design the network - Tuesday, July 19, 2011 from 6-8pm
3. Mobilize public support! - Wednesday, Sept 7th, 2011 from 6-8pm

Venue for all three sessions: World Trade and Convention Centre, 1800 Argyle Street, Halifax

Download the It’s More Than Buses Poster [PDF, 600KB]
Download the bios of the Session 1 panelists [PDF, 800KB]

The Planning & Design Centre’s (PDC) Sustainable Transportation Task Force, in partnership with FUSION Halifax, is working at the grass roots level to advance our region’s shift toward a more sustainable transportation system. It’s More Than Buses features three public forums designed to engage citizens in objectively exploring how to improve HRM’s public transportation system. Experts from across the country will weigh in on the topic. Each session will be part panel presentations and part breakout groups, inviting the public to take inspiration from the panelists and contribute their own ideas. The three sessions will be iterative in the sense that ideas from the first session will inform the content of the second and third sessions. This series is unique in that we are seeking both the urban and suburban perspective on this issue.

Thank you to the Downtown Halifax Business Commission and the many individuals who have contributed their support to this event.

Follow It’s More Than Buses at:

Are you interested in regular updates about It’s More Than Buses and other Sustainable Transportation Task Force initiatives? Subscribe to our email list.

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.

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]

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]

February 1st, 2011

Bikeways Plan for Institutional District

CEU planners are working with Dalhousie University, Saint Mary’s University, Capital Health, the IWK Health Centre and the community at large to develop a Bikeways Plan. Building on existing plans and policy, such as HRM’s Active Transportation Function Plan, we will engage staff, students, visitors and community members in establishing a bold vision for the future of cycling in the District, and prioritizing investments in new infrastructure and facilities. The newly formed Bicycle Action Committee (BAC) will guide the process.

Download the one-page description of the project: [pdf, 0.5MB]

Open House
Presentation of draft Bikeways Plan
Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Time: Drop in: 4:30pm - 7:30pm (presentation at 5:30pm)
Location: Dalhousie Student Union Building, Room 303, 6136 University Avenue

Download the Open House posters: [pdf, 7.7MB]

Please provide your input to:
Cities & Environment Unit

or follow the project at:

December 23rd, 2010

Municipalities for Green Mobility Toolkit now available

A joint project of Cities & Environment Unit (CEU) and Ecology Action Centre (EAC),
Municipalities for Green Mobility: A Guide to Action on Sustainable Transportation in Nova Scotia
[pdf, 6.7 MB], is a resource designed to help municipalities plan for, and take action on, sustainable transportation. For each of five key components - land use, active transportation, public transit, vehicle efficiency and movement of goods – we make recommendations related to plans, policy, infrastructure, maintenance, education and programs. Whenever possible, we provide a location-specific example for each recommendation.

The toolkit builds on and shares the knowledge gained from the Municipalities for Green Mobility Project, led by the EAC and CEU in 2009. Our organizations partnered with Windsor, Annapolis Royal and the District of Lunenburg to help these municipalities incorporate sustainable transportation into their Integrated Community Sustainability Plans (ICSPs). We presented the following reports and recommendations to the respective municipal councils.

Annapolis Royal


District of Lunenburg

We have printed a limited run of full-colour copies of the toolkit and are distributing them to all fifty-five Nova Scotia Municipalities and many provincial government departments. If you are interested in a copy for your organization or department, please contact Cities & Environment Unit at: 902.494.3678.