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The Halifax Index: Sustainability


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Implementing sustainable practices today ensures that Halifax residents and Nova Scotians will continue to enjoy prosperity and a high quality of life far into the future.


Key Findings

  • Recent trends in housing construction and building permits suggest that investors and developers are betting on renewed growth in the Regional Centre, as booming apartment starts over the past three years have been concentrated on the Peninsula and in Dartmouth, and major projects like the new Halifax Central Library and the Nova Centre drive higher concentrations of building permit values in the downtown.
  • Public transit ridership grew by 1.9% in 2013-14, keeping pace with growth in service hours of 2.1%. However, over the last five years, ridership has only grown by 0.4% despite service hours increasing by 22.4%.
  • Halifax residential and commercial waste levels continued a long-term decline in 2012-13, both falling by about 5% per capita. The proportion of waste diverted from landfills through recycling and composting remained steady at 61%, one of the highest rates in the country.
  • The municipality’s fiscal health remains in excellent shape, with a AA- bond rating signifying confidence on the global lending market. The overall tax burden as a share of GDP remained steady in 2013-14, but the burden on households has grown slightly in recent years.

Key Opportunity

Increased density of development in the Regional Centre is key to both the environmental and fiscal sustainability of Halifax. Residents of denser cities are far less dependent on automobiles which is beneficial to their health and the environment, and cities that grow more densely rather than grow outwardly are able to save on investment in costly new infrastructure.

View the full report for more detailed findings on the following topics (download pdf)

  • Density
  • Transportation
  • Environment
  • Municipal Fiscal Sustainability

Download the 2014 Halifax Index

The 2014 Halifax Index tracks our progress towards many different indicators and our special analyses tackle two of our most pressing issues – the sustainability of our workforce and our innovation culture.

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The Halifax Index 2014 (PDF)

2014 Workbook (Excel)