The Cogswell District is one of the biggest city-building projects in the history of Halifax.
A new neighbourhood will soon be built – where the Cogswell Interchange now stands – designed to connect downtown with the north end and waterfront, creating a stronger, more inclusive network of communities.
On February 26, 2019 Regional Council approved the 90% construction design plan and gave direction to proceed with tendering construction services for the project.
View presentation to Regional Council and staff report.
Council also directed staff to continue with public engagement, utilizing the Public Art policy as appropriate, to finalize placemaking and commemoration aspects of the Cogswell District. In particular, focus will be placed on completing ongoing engagement with the Mi'kmaw and African Nova Scotian communities. Staff will return to Council with a report regarding timeline, phasing construction to align with other street recapitalization projects, and options to fund the Cogswell Greenway including potential use of development charges on adjacent development sites.
The approved design plan addresses public realm elements including accessibility, public art and commemorative features, parks and open spaces, multi-use paths, streetscapes, and a transit hub for the new neighborhood. It also details the construction phases for the project.
Significant public feedback was used to inform the 90 per cent design. From August through October 2018, input was sought on two topics: public spaces and urban design rules for new buildings in the Cogswell District.
Residents contributed roughly 100 ideas about parks, plazas, streetscapes, greenways, public art, and commemoration of history within the area. Input provided on building designs will help inform next steps with future engagement regarding the Municipal Planning Strategy (MPS) and Land Use By-laws (LUB) associated with Cogswell District. All ideas and feedback are summarized in the Engagement Report prepared by Fowler, Bauld & Mitchell (FBM).
In addition to input from a robust public engagement initiative, staff garnered insights from an external review process carried out in partnership with the Downtown Halifax Business Commission, Development Nova Scotia and 13 other key stakeholders. The Cogswell project team and WSP worked with Gehl, an urban design firm, and the stakeholder group for several months on a review of the approved 60 per cent design concept with the goal of identifying potential improvements to the design for the Cogswell District, specifically regarding public realm and building design. The Gehl report was released to the public on Feb. 5, 2019 by the stakeholder group.
Significant public engagement informed the approved design plan for the Cogswell District. Building on this, residents will be asked to provide input on planning policies, regulations, and design requirements for the area – including rules that will guide the design and use of buildings. The development of detailed land use policy is being reviewed and considered as part of the MPS and LUB amendment process. The target is to complete the process well in advance of the sale of the first development block.
To access background details, reports, presentations and plans - as well as insights gathered from public engagement to date - visit the online engagement portal for the Cogswell District project.