Seek Newsletter – Volume 003Saturday, September 20th, 2008
A great region is a work in progress. It is always in the making. Plans are the glue that bind and order public and private initiatives, budget decisions, and individual development projects. They reflect our values as a community, capture our collective aspirations, and motivate change. More than just technical documents, they can also inspire us to see beyond present conditions to future possibilities. While plans are often produced separately at different scales, all governments and sectors are interrelated and should contribute to one shared vision. The Dalhousie University masterplan, for example, is connected to plans for the new Central Library. Both of these plans are tied to the regional transportation strategies and the Halifax Urban Greenway, and each one depends on and will affect HRMbyDesign.
These plans among others will determine the future of the Halifax Region. Their capacity to enhance our quality of life, however, is a function of the quality of public engagement. People must form the basis of planning processes and practices in order to ensure that plans are connected to their larger context and everyday life. This creative and comprehensive approach helps people feel that they have a hand in making a great region.
By providing a window into a few current plans, this issue of seek plays a small role in opening up the process of developing and implementing plans. It is part of a larger initiative at the Planning and Design Centre to raise the quality of dialogue about the regional landscape and make planning more engaging and inclusive.