In 2015, Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) and the Downtown Halifax Business Commission (DHBC) launched a successful community-based shared street pilot project. The goal was to create a flexible, three block plaza-like environment that prioritizes pedestrians over cars. The final design, done by Ekistics, a local design firm, was curbless to slow traffic, removed on-street parking in favour of pedestrian space, and fostered social interactions through public amenities and art. The use of tactile strips was especially helpful to service animals and those with visual impairments. The Argyle & Grafton Shared Streetscape project was launched in November 2017 with a “Share the Street” party, a full day of family fun with games, six live musical acts, on-street performances, two beer gardens and a showcase for businesses in the area. The integrated approach used in designing this most public of spaces means that Argyle and Grafton Streets will continue to contribute to the urban life of Halifax as a healthy and complete downtown neighbourhood and will continue to revitalize the entertainment district of Downtown Halifax.
IDA’s Advisory Panels are a time-tested way to explore new ideas, solve difficult problems, and rally the board, staff and community around priority projects or topics. This panel was focused on creating a revitalized vision for the Houston Street Corridor. The panel created an outline of strategies and initiatives to revitalize the corridor. The report details the panel’s findings and recommendations. The report details the panel’s findings and recommendations.