Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015 (Halifax, NS) – Halifax is pleased to participate in the European Union-Canada Urban Policy Cooperation by collaborating and sharing best practices with Tallinn, Estonia, on environment and energy related urban planning projects.
The European Union (EU) is a leader in climate change adaptation and sea level rise strategies and mitigation. Halifax’s participation in this project provides an excellent opportunity to showcase our sustainable policies and projects on the world stage.
Organized and funded by the EU-Canada Commission, the project unites partner cities across the globe, and focuses on three themes: climate adaptation, low carbon development and biodiversity. Halifax is participating under the first two themes, and joins other Canadian municipalities and cities across the world who are collaborating on these issues including: Ottawa with Hannover, Germany; Saanich with Almada, Portugal; Edmonton with Vitoria-Gasteiz; and Halifax with Tallinn, Estonia.
Tallinn and Halifax share similar cold climates, comparable natural geographies, and are both coastal cities with populations of approximately 400,000 residents.
Following an initial working group meeting in July, a delegation from Tallinn visited Halifax. Highlights of the visit included a welcome from Halifax Mayor Mike Savage, presentations from many professionals and key stakeholders in the municipality, and field trips to Point Pleasant Park and Cow Bay.
Later this month, delegates from all EU-Canada Urban Policy Cooperation cities will travel to Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain to learn more from EU partner cities on the three project themes, and to work on identifying concrete projects and next steps. The Halifax delegation - comprised of municipal staff and external partners specialized in planning, environmental management and emergency preparedness - will then visit our partner city, Tallinn, Estonia to learn firsthand from their experts and stakeholders, and to visit relevant places and projects.
The partnership will wrap up in February 2016, with a final joint session to review what they have achieved over the course of the project. This final meeting will coincide with the timing of the 2016 Federation of Canadian Municipalities Sustainable Communities Conference in Ottawa, providing additional learning and sharing opportunities for Halifax delegates.
Municipal staff will be able to share their learnings from this unique opportunity with colleagues, in addition to scoping opportunities for new projects here at home given their knowledge and expert connections made abroad.
The EU-Canada Urban Policy Cooperation project and its participating delegate cities are sponsored by the EU-Canada Commission.