If the last week is any indication, there's reason to be hopeful when it comes to conversations around Halifax's urban affairs and public spaces. In the past, any discussion about architecture, development, transit, etc., has been monopolized by two groups: the rigid heritage-savers vs the tall offices=economic progress crew. The debate has been shrill and uncompromising. But in between the sound of downtown wrecking balls, there's another group whose voice is emerging. People that are actually concerned about solid, sustainable design.
First there was the 4 Days un-conference, led by design visionary John Thackara and TEDx,. Last night, Spacing Atlantic launched at Eyelevel Gallery. A locally run offshoot of the award-winning Toronto magazine, the blog's editors are planning extensive coverage of "public spaces, transit, cycling, city hall, community development, urban design, green spaces, infrastructure, public art" and more. It sure will be great to have company at events.
Publisher Matthew Blackett and editor Emma Feltes (sharing duties with editor Jake Schabas) seemed pleased with last night's turn-out. A good-sized crowd gathered around a Halifax map trying to pinpoint their homes (with the aid of street names), while others sorted through a bowl of Halifax buttons adorned with major street names.