Can Halifax become the great sustainable city of Atlantic Canada?

by steve on July 30, 2013

Halifax-downtown

How do we make a city like Halifax, Nova Scotia more sustainable? Do we build more LEED buildings? Have less cars and add more public transit? Create more green space and pedestrianized areas?

How about bringing more single people downtown?

Apparently the number of single people living in cities are on the rise–and they’re making cities more sustainable places to live by virtue of the way they live. Studies show that they create far less carbon footprint than couples or families. For example, they live in smaller dwellings, commute shorter distances, and tend not to own cars.

And in Halifax’s quest to return people to downtown and breathe life back into what was once a bustling, vibrant city centre, people living as singles can turn it into Atlantic Canada’s most sustainable city.

In recent times, urban sprawl has seen people and commerce move out of downtown Halifax. They’ve gone to the outskirts where business parks and suburbs abound. You only need to walk down Barrington Street to see the boarded up shops, vacant storefronts, and empty lots as proof. A weak downtown doesn’t just have a negative effect on business–it has a negative effect on people and the environment.

But lately I’m getting the sense that Halifax city council is wise to what’s happened. There are signs here and there that the city is working to reverse this trend. Or at least even the keel. Not only are new commercial developments are taking shape, slowly bringing businesses back downtown, Halifax appears to be bringing people back to living downtown. New high-density residential properties are being built. And though it’s happening slowly, it’s happening no less.

It’s an encouraging sign — one I hope continues. Opportunities abound for Halifax to be Atlantic Canada’s most sustainable city and a leader in sustainable living. And whether people in cities like Halifax live alone or as families under one roof, one thing is clear–city living, in many ways, is better for everyone.

Read this compelling article in The Atlantic Cities, explaining why single people are helping create the sustainable city revolution.

Shopping for a house, condo, or property in Halifax, Nova Scotia? Steve Ritchie is a REALTOR® with Keller Williams Realty. He’ll help you search for Halifax real estate on the MLS ® and other star systems. Call Steve today at 902-440-0552!

Photo credit: Natalie Mike

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