Every level of government has a role to play in addressing climate change, and the Council is no different. While we can’t make big sweeping changes the same way the Federal or Provincial governments can, there’s still a lot we can do.
Increasing electrification, limiting urban sprawl, and preserving or expanding greenspaces are good places to start. Halifax could budget infrastructure funds to build more charging stations for electric vehicles to make them more appealing, as well as phase in electric buses. Urban sprawl is especially damaging because making concrete tends to release a lot of carbon emissions, all while being used to pave over greenspace. Focusing on building more densely, especially around the urban core, can minimize urban sprawl and let people live closer to where they work or study, reducing traffic and its related emissions. Halifax thankfully has a lot of greenspace compared to many cities. This is beneficial for a lot of reasons, including making the city more pleasant, improving drainage, and boosting tourism. Wherever possible, we should try to maintain greenspaces and make sure all communities in Halifax have access to parks,. This means remaining diligent and only accepting proposals to remove greenspaces when there’s a proven benefit that definitively outweighs the loss, lest we come to regret it. These are just some of the ways we can make Halifax a more sustainable place, as sustainability requires comprehensive adjustments to the way we run modern cities.