Since the spring of 2018, 27 organizations worked together to facilitate discussions around the redevelopment of the Cogswell District to ensure that Halifax advances with the best overall urban design vision possible for the project. Sixteen of these organizations, plus Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM), hired and funded New York and Copenhagen based urban design firm, Gehl, to research, collaborate, and produce a Cogswell District recommendations report. The Gehl report is now complete and available for download at www.downtownhalifax.ca/cogswell.
The report is not an alternate design to what HRM is currently working on, but rather a study that includes strategies, best practices, and design recommendations as well as the downtown plan and the seven district goals for the project. The main design recommendations fall under three categories: connectivity, open space, and urban block. HRM has agreed to consider the resulting recommendations in the 90 per cent plan.
In fall 2018, HRM conducted a public engagement program in addition to participating with other funders through a steering committee to oversee the Gehl study. The input received from the public along with the study will help inform the 90% per cent design, which is expected to go to Council this winter. The timing of the study and report is crucial because the plan needs to integrate considerations from the public engagement sessions regarding placemaking, transit, affordable housing, connectivity, building design, tourism, and city building.
To join the Cogswell District conversation and for updates, follow #CogswellVision on Twitter.