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  #461  
Old Posted Dec 22, 2021, 10:37 AM
Half-Axed Half-Axed is offline
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Here you go:

It just turned over on the web archive of the old clock before the data was added.
Thanks! Good catch
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  #462  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2022, 4:13 PM
Half-Axed Half-Axed is offline
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New Census Counts

Census Counts for 2021 were released yesterday. Note that a proportion of people are always missed during counts. Post-census estimates are released later with an adjustment by some factor (say, 2.5%, depending on what StatsCan comes up with in its methodology) to try to estimate actual population. With that in mind:

- Halifax Census Metropolitan Area (includes East Hants): 465,703

- Halifax Census Subdivision (i.e. HRM): 439,819

- Halifax - Population Centre (formerly known as "Urban Area"): 348,634

The map of the population centre - the fairly continuous developed city area around the harbour - is here: https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-r...1S05100348.pdf

Last edited by Half-Axed; Feb 10, 2022 at 5:02 PM.
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  #463  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2022, 4:39 PM
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The 465,703 with undercount is consistent with the old estimate given the old boundaries plus East Hants population. A 3% undercount would yield about 480,000.
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  #464  
Old Posted Feb 10, 2022, 5:05 PM
Half-Axed Half-Axed is offline
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The 465,703 with undercount is consistent with the old estimate given the old boundaries plus East Hants population. A 3% undercount would yield about 480,000.
Yup, I tried 2.5% which I believe is fairly typical and that yields 477,346.

It won't be long to 500,000 at all.

And that urban area number should start coming up faster, relatively, too in coming years.
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  #465  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2022, 11:20 PM
SouthPawLaw SouthPawLaw is offline
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An interesting video that I feel is pretty applicable to Halifax.
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  #466  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2022, 12:56 AM
Saul Goode Saul Goode is offline
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An interesting video that I feel is pretty applicable to Halifax.
It is pretty interesting, and absolutely applicable to Halifax.

The sad part is that it's been both widely known and virtually ignored for many decades.
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  #467  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2022, 1:20 AM
kzt79 kzt79 is offline
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Originally Posted by Saul Goode View Post
It is pretty interesting, and absolutely applicable to Halifax.

The sad part is that it's been both widely known and virtually ignored for many decades.
Agree completely. A coldly logical/self-interested person might reasonably look at this and conclude the only "correct" response is to live in the suburbs.
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  #468  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2022, 1:52 AM
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Agree completely. A coldly logical/self-interested person might reasonably look at this and conclude the only "correct" response is to live in the suburbs.
There are a lot of things in life beyond municipal services and in a lot of cases the service level is lower in the suburban areas. I'd guess that it's sometimes still a "win" municipal-service-wise to live in the city, but less of a win than it would be without the subsidy.

Sometimes I wonder how much variety there is in these costs too. Is the average suburban dweller so heavily subsidized or is it that there are 5% who are getting super expensive services? I could see this in Halifax.
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  #469  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2022, 12:34 PM
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Typical urbanist garbage biased video. People like to have choices in where they live. Not everyone wants to live in a crowded urban area filled with espresso shops and weed stores. The real problem is the ad valorem-based tax structure. Because govts are generally dumb, they ignore many (though not all) of the costs associated with various styles of development when developing a tax structure. But when citizens make logical choices about how to deal with those structures and choose properties outside the urban core, outfits like this and their supporters slam them. I suggest that HRM try to put these concepts into effect and see how long-lived that Council is once it is implemented.
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  #470  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2022, 3:33 PM
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Halifax has interesting Urban, Suburban and Rural sectors. I know folks especially in the far east Rural areas of HRM that lament being included as part of Halifax. One very relevant bonus to being scooped up into Halifax for our Rural residents however was the marked improvement in Firefighting equipment. A friend of mine retired as a Halifax Fire Captain and explained that rural parts of Halifax had running gear that dated in some cases from the late 1940's and 50's. Those apparatus were immediately retired in 97 and slightly younger ( by at least thirty five years) vehicles replaced the museum pieces.
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  #471  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2022, 6:25 PM
MastClimberPro MastClimberPro is offline
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
Typical urbanist garbage biased video. People like to have choices in where they live. Not everyone wants to live in a crowded urban area filled with espresso shops and weed stores. The real problem is the ad valorem-based tax structure. Because govts are generally dumb, they ignore many (though not all) of the costs associated with various styles of development when developing a tax structure. But when citizens make logical choices about how to deal with those structures and choose properties outside the urban core, outfits like this and their supporters slam them. I suggest that HRM try to put these concepts into effect and see how long-lived that Council is once it is implemented.
Didn't recall hearing any slams on anyone who chose to live in the burbs. I do recall an accounting analysis which (I think correctly) suggests that some types of development contribute to the bottom line while others are a net drain on city finances. Live where and how you like, and accept the bill accordingly.
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  #472  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2022, 7:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Dartguard View Post
Halifax has interesting Urban, Suburban and Rural sectors. I know folks especially in the far east Rural areas of HRM that lament being included as part of Halifax. One very relevant bonus to being scooped up into Halifax for our Rural residents however was the marked improvement in Firefighting equipment. A friend of mine retired as a Halifax Fire Captain and explained that rural parts of Halifax had running gear that dated in some cases from the late 1940's and 50's. Those apparatus were immediately retired in 97 and slightly younger ( by at least thirty five years) vehicles replaced the museum pieces.
Of course that kind of thing comes at significant cost. If there were serious deficiencies in the equipment I have little doubt that the residents would have fundraised to fix that issue. But it seems likely that older but well-maintained equipment was more than sufficient for the low call volume and types of calls that those areas generated. Or as we saw recently with Kings Co. swooping in to take over the Greenwich VFD, some volunteer depts were very successful in fundraising for top-tier equipment and facilities.

But you are correct in stating that on most issues, residents of rural parts of HRM are poorly served by the urban-centric Council and bureaucracy.
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  #473  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2022, 9:40 PM
Saul Goode Saul Goode is offline
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
Typical urbanist garbage...I suggest that HRM try to put these concepts into effect and see how long-lived that Council is once it is implemented.
...which is pretty much exactly why no council has ever tried it.

That doesn't make it non-factual, regardless of whether you like it. Commercial property owners on the peninsula and other urban-core areas have been talking for years about how they're being savaged by taxes to subsidize the likes of Bayers Lake and Dartmouth Crossing - their direct competitors. We can argue about the relative merits of allowing that development structure, but we can't say that the resulting revenue-expense effect is untrue.
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  #474  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2022, 11:49 AM
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Reality is that different types of development come with different levels of servicing costs. There is no reason why those cannot be built into a tax structure. This video had the narrator disparaging those kinds of areas while characterizing crowded urban areas as nirvana. That is not helpful.
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  #475  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2022, 8:13 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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While watching it I had the urge to count every time the term "car-centric" was used, but didn't want to put the effort in. It was a lot, though. Might be the basis for a good drinking game...

Regardless, there are some good points raised here, the most salient (IMHO) being that zoning laws in cities need to be re-imagined. Clearly laws that enforce large swaths of land as being one-use-only are outdated and need to be changed to allow for better development in every area of the city. It also came to mind that the Centre Plan in Halifax is limiting density and height in areas where it would be most beneficial to have it. Though the author did say Canadian cities are better at this than American cities... so maybe we're not so bad in comparison (for example, I don't think that Halifax is 'broken'... but there is room for improvement).

One aspect of the narrator's opinion in the video that gave me pause is the idea that SFH living should be reserved for 'rich' people... i.e. 'if you want to live in an SFH environment, you should be prepared to pay for it'. This line of thinking would lead the listener to conclude that people of middle and lower-income should be relegated to dense areas, whether they prefer to live in that environment or not. I would caution the narrator that this starts to sound like the 1950s/60s idea of city governments moving 'poor' people out of areas ripe for development and into housing projects... In Halifax Mulgrave Park or Uniacke Square come to mind, which were largely built to house displaced people from Africville (which people should recall was a neighborhood of SFH living) and "slum clearance". It makes me wonder where a community like Africville would fit in this modern urban planning dogma? It's sounding like the narrator might think the city should price them out of their neighbourhood through taxation, since they are a 'drain on city finances'. I know that's not the intent, but it points out a flaw in the logic, IMHO (and also underlines the idea that pure accounting is not a good tool for determining quality of life).

Having said that, videos and discussions like this always make me ask myself the question: What are cities? Who are they built for and why do they exist?

It comes to mind that cities should be good places to live for everybody, in that the main goal of a city government should be to provide a good quality of life for everybody. From that I would submit that affordable SFHs do provide that quality of life for many people - that they would prefer to iive in a house rather than an apartment building. Real estate values across the country have already moved in the direction of turning this style of living into one only available to the rich or at least upper middle class. Should cities be in the business of increasing taxation where the result would be to drive out those who are hanging on to their homes, and force them into a dense living situation? Does that sound like improving the quality of life for everybody?

Commentary complete, except that I will say that the video uses obvious tropes to attempt to sway the opinion of the viewer, for example showing the poorest of 'car-centric' design, like the big box store or suburban strip mall with ample, unused parking, which we all know are the worst of the worst designs. Yeah, we get it, but is it really necessary to attempt to blame Toys R Us going out of business on poor planning design? Seems like they are trying too hard, IMHO.

Anyhow, I agree with Keith that different levels of servicing should be built into the tax structure. Everybody pays for everything to some extent, whether they use it or not. Some may think that seems unfair, but it's how taxation works.

Good cities try to make theirs a place that people want to live, and that pays off economically by attracting people who support business and industry, while enjoying the best life they prefer, in the lifestyle that they can... and for many people it involves living in a house, while for others it doesn't.

But all this doesn't mean that cities shouldn't try to adapt the concept of good walkable neighbourhoods to every development - like I said, it's time to re-imagine how we do things, but there needs to be options available for those who prefer not to go full-on 'urbanist'...
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  #476  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2022, 3:08 AM
MastClimberPro MastClimberPro is offline
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1. The fetishization of personal choice and concern that people of different stripes will get priced out of one type of development or another or that people won't get to live in one style of neighbourhood or another seems a little pollyanna IMHO. Different neighbourhoods will be more "desirable" (a sliding scale based on personal preference). If what's desirable to me is only desirable to me, the cost will be very low indeed. However if many people want the same sort of existence, the price will inexorably go up. it will always be the case that many, many people will not be able to afford everything they want in a residential opportunity.

2. The tax code could of course be built such that taxation more closely mirrors cost of service per civic address. The point is that it currently doesn't and that some development is lauded as adding to a cities bottom line while actually diminishing it. Anyone who takes advantage of this inefficiency is not evil or a leech or an enemy of the city. As members of a capitalistic society we are taught that it is a net moral good to take advantage of these inefficiencies. However the system should also react or close those gaps if a truly responsive free market is to exist. In the long run, there is no free lunch.

3. The other thing to consider is of course the fact that not all roads within a city are created equal. Some suburban roads are used only by their residents, who, in addition to paying taxes that are below the true costs of the services their roads require, also don't have to share those roads with more than a handful of their neighbours. They are the only ones who benefit from those services. Imagine our taxes as fees for paying for the plowing, policing and sewage flow in front of our residential addresses. I live on North Street, close to the MacDonald Bridge, so my taxes are paying for about 20' of road that a significant percentage of this cities residents use for one reason or the other, not to mention commercial and institutional vehicles of all stripes. This is not a complaint. I knew what my place cost, what my taxes would be and what the traffic levels would be mere feet from my front step long before I signed the lease so i got what I paid for. But having been in business long enough to know how creative accounting can be, I know there is a rational argument to be made that I should expect to pay a fraction of what I do because fairly half of the resident directly benefit, and the other half indirectly benefit from that road being clear of snow and potholes and passable to vehicles. This is all to say that to think of a city in term of how specifically it meets the needs of the individual, financially or service-wise is missing the point. One personal reaction to a city isn't really the point. Its is a collective project with collective problems for which there must be collective solutions.
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  #477  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2022, 4:23 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by MastClimberPro View Post
1. The fetishization of personal choice and concern that people of different stripes will get priced out of one type of development or another or that people won't get to live in one style of neighbourhood or another seems a little pollyanna IMHO. Different neighbourhoods will be more "desirable" (a sliding scale based on personal preference). If what's desirable to me is only desirable to me, the cost will be very low indeed. However if many people want the same sort of existence, the price will inexorably go up. it will always be the case that many, many people will not be able to afford everything they want in a residential opportunity.

2. The tax code could of course be built such that taxation more closely mirrors cost of service per civic address. The point is that it currently doesn't and that some development is lauded as adding to a cities bottom line while actually diminishing it. Anyone who takes advantage of this inefficiency is not evil or a leech or an enemy of the city. As members of a capitalistic society we are taught that it is a net moral good to take advantage of these inefficiencies. However the system should also react or close those gaps if a truly responsive free market is to exist. In the long run, there is no free lunch.

3. The other thing to consider is of course the fact that not all roads within a city are created equal. Some suburban roads are used only by their residents, who, in addition to paying taxes that are below the true costs of the services their roads require, also don't have to share those roads with more than a handful of their neighbours. They are the only ones who benefit from those services. Imagine our taxes as fees for paying for the plowing, policing and sewage flow in front of our residential addresses. I live on North Street, close to the MacDonald Bridge, so my taxes are paying for about 20' of road that a significant percentage of this cities residents use for one reason or the other, not to mention commercial and institutional vehicles of all stripes. This is not a complaint. I knew what my place cost, what my taxes would be and what the traffic levels would be mere feet from my front step long before I signed the lease so i got what I paid for. But having been in business long enough to know how creative accounting can be, I know there is a rational argument to be made that I should expect to pay a fraction of what I do because fairly half of the resident directly benefit, and the other half indirectly benefit from that road being clear of snow and potholes and passable to vehicles. This is all to say that to think of a city in term of how specifically it meets the needs of the individual, financially or service-wise is missing the point. One personal reaction to a city isn't really the point. Its is a collective project with collective problems for which there must be collective solutions.
1) I don't know that "fetishization" and "pollyanna" are the terms I would use for my rebuttal of the video, but of course opinions vary. I do think the points that you make are already taken care of by the housing situation that has developed across the country by way of supply/demand/investment (and perhaps laundering), though.

My point is that the tax base always covers infrastructure and services that not every individual uses, but pays for (to some extent) with their property tax, so I thought that the concept of cities making it more difficult for a family to live in a detached house didn't seem fair (cold hard accounting case aside).

I tend to view cities more macroscopically, so IMHO pitting the financial viability of one aspect vs another has to be balanced with the benefits to its inhabitants.

So, for example, perhaps the cost of maintaining roads in Sackville might be more, per capita, than downtown, but there is a quality of life benefit to those people who would prefer to live in a detached house in Sackville vs a condo on Barrington Street. Much in the same way that the cost of the skating oval on the commons improves quality of life for people who live downtown, yet its expenses are covered by the entire tax base. I like the fact that in Halifax the average citizen still has choices available that are relatively affordable, though understandably there will be variances in opinion.

I think that a city is in good shape when it can offer various living arrangements for its citizens to hopefully provide a decent quality of life for as many as possible. Perhaps all that would be off the table if Halifax was on the verge of financial collapse, but I don't think we are headed in that direction.

Of course, we all know that we live in a capitalist society and that the nicest things go to the people who have the most money, that has been the case as long as I can remember, yet our society also tries to be inclusive by providing benefits to all citizens, regardless of financial status. Hence sidewalks, bike lanes, parks and sports fields, etc.

2) I basically disagree, as I don't think people typically choose their living situation based on how much they can take advantage of "inefficiencies" in the system. Perhaps the financial/investment crowd may differ, but I think most people just want a nice place to live that they can afford... i.e. they aren't grinning to themselves as they make their morning commute because they are getting a better deal on road maintenance than somebody who lives downtown, but they appreciate that their commute is possible, as it allows them to live where they are happy.

3) I think I covered much of this in point 1, but your argument also applies to many streets on the peninsula that are only used by residents, or by particular businesses and their customers... or downtown amenities that are paid for from the tax base, but not used by most citizens. Again, macroscopically, all these things work together to create a good city that is a nice place to live for the majority of people - it's not about "one personal reaction to a city" or the needs of one individual over another, it's about covering a variety of situations that work for a variety of people. Maybe that's what you were trying to say... I'm not sure at this point. So maybe we agree?

As a side point, it occurs to me that the increasing costs of living in a detached house (combined with the lack of availability) within the city can lead to situations like the development of commuter communities such as those being built in Lantz and other areas... these are the bane of urbanists, yet also may be the side effect of being indirectly promoted through their urban strategies..

Just IMHO. YMMV...
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