The Halifax Green Network Plan (HGNP) defines an interconnected open space system for the municipality, highlights ecosystem functions and benefits, and outlines strategies to manage open space. Specifically, the HGNP provides land management and community design direction to:
• maintain ecologically and culturally important land and aquatic systems;
• promote the sustainable use of natural resources and economically important open spaces; and
• identify, define and plan land suited for parks and corridors.
On August 14, 2018, Halifax Regional Council approved the HGNP and provided direction that the Plan be used as a framework for amending the Regional Plan and Secondary Planning Strategies. Council also provided direction to carry out the actions contained in the HGNP through the municipality's multi-year budgeting and business planning process.
Halifax Green Network Plan Implementation
The HGNP includes 79 actions to effectively support the Plan's vision, goals and objectives.
Halifax Green Network Plan Database
Action 16 of the HGNP is to "make the HGNP database available to all municipal departments, as well as freely available to the public through HRM's Open Data Catalogue".
Annual Progress Reports
As part of the adoption of the HGNP in August 2018, Regional Council requested staff provide annual progress reports on the implementation of the action items of the plan. View 2021-2022 progress report.
Some highlights for 2021 and early 2022 include:
- Municipal operations and decision-making were guided by 24 out 27 actions identified in the Green Network Plan
- Five recommended actions with identified timelines were completed
- Decision-making on various projects such as the Regional Plan Review, Plan & By-law Simplification Program, the Municipal Design Guidelines (Red Book) Update, and ongoing park planning initiatives were informed by the Halifax Green Network Plan for 46 recommended actions in progress
The Regional Plan Review
The Halifax Regional Municipal Planning Strategy (the Regional Plan) sets out a common vision, principles and long-range, region-wide planning policies outlining where, when, and how future growth and development should take place between now and 2031. The second five-year review is underway and work will continue into 2022.
As part of this work, the Regional Plan was amended, requiring Council to consider the policies and objectives of the priority plans, including the Halifax Green Network Plan. This report was approved by Council on October 11, 2022.
Current work for the draft Regional Plan will take a deeper dive into supporting the Green Network Plan through the Regional Plan Review. A sample of highlights includes:
- Incorporating the park spectrum into the Regional Plan
- Review and revise regulations related to protecting wetlands and riparian areas
- Develop and adopt revised policies related to protecting coastlines
- Develop a regional approach to protecting natural corridors
- Adopt policy to direct future study and implementation of a comprehensive water quality monitoring program
- Update the Regional Plan to reflect HalifACT’s (the Municipality’s Climate Action Plan) net-zero emissions targets
How the Halifax Green Network Plan Was Created
The HGNP was completed in three phases of data collection, analysis and engagement, including:
Phase 1 - Completed in Winter 2016
Objective: Understand what we have, what we value and where we want to go, by way of technical study and engagement.
More than 9,000 comments and ideas were gathered from the public on important issues pertaining to the municipal open space network. Feedback was used to draft core planning and implementation directions in Phase 2, which formed the foundation of the HGNP.
- Phase 1 "What We Heard" Engagement Report
- State of the Landscape Report
- Cultural Landscapes Framework Report
- Fact Sheet: State of the Landscape Report
Phase 2 - Completed in Winter 2017
Objective: Understand landscape impacts through detailed ecological assessment, consider open space network scenarios and options and develop planning and implementation directions.
- Phase 2 "What We Heard" Engagement Report
- Draft Halifax Green Network Plan: Primer Report
- Draft Halifax Green Network Plan: Map Primer – Values Maps
Phase 3: Completed in Summer 2018
Objective: Develop a detailed implementation framework and the final plan.