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Agenda and Presentations

Nova Scotia Main Streets Ideas Exchange

Welcome Remarks

Kieron Hunt, FBM (Chair)

Kieron Hunt

pdf Welcome Remarks (1.45 MB)

Laurie Boucher - Mayor of Antigonish

Laurie Boucher

Mayor's Welcome

Main Streets Health Check

David Paterson, Brianna Maxwell - FBM Planning

David Paterson Brianna Maxwell

pdf Why Main Streets & How Can We Strengthen Them? (9.97 MB)

Paul Dec - Upland Planning + Design

Paul Dec

pdf Ingredients for a Healthy Main Street (37.44 MB)

Our introduction to the conference was an opportunity to hear from leading practitioners in the province active in creating Mainstreet strategies. FBM provided an overview of the Nova Scotia Main Streets Initiative and the resulting Workbook and Main Streets Assessment Method, along with examples of other communities taking steps to assess, identify and define their main street visions. Fathom Studios and Upland Planning + Design shared practical examples and lessons learned from main street projects across the province that have helped to reinvigorate main streets with respect to mobility, connectivity, health, and economic resilience.

Morning Keynote

Michael von Hausen - Great Communities Institute

Michael von Hausen

pdf Main Streets + Downtown Success (8.86 MB)

Opening Session – Mobility and Safety for All

Moderator - Elizabeth Pugh

Elizabeth Pugh

N.S. Dept. of Public Works

Leanne Jennings

Leanne Jennings

Build NS

Melanie Mclvor - Hubbards Streetscape Project

Melanie McIvor

pdf Hubbards Streetscape Project (3.26 MB)

With a diverse cross-section of panellist perspectives from the public sector, private sector and local advocacy, we heard about the challenges they have faced as well as the successes as they relate to creating safer streetscapes for pedestrians, cyclists, and/or those with other mobility challenges. The panel discussed how a balance of modes can be achieved while recognizing that traditional vehicle movement is integral to bringing people to and through the main street areas, whether as regional residents or visitors.

Luncheon Keynote

Tareq Hadhad - Peace by Chocolate

Tareq Hadhad

Tareq Hadhad - Peace by Chocolate

Afternoon Session – Health & Belonging in Main Streets 

Moderator - Houssam Elokda

Houssam Elokda

Happy Cities

Sara Kirk - Dalhousie Professor Health Promotion

Sara Kirk

pdf Communities On The Move (3.70 MB)

Penelope Kuhn - N.S. Public Health

pdf Biophilic Streets (6.91 MB)

Main Streets are more than just places for buildings and streets, they must offer necessary and welcoming spaces for social and emotional connection and belonging. Along with nostalgia, main streets are important for bringing people together and creating a sense of renewal and reinvention, which affects our physical and mental health. Building upon the idea of Mobility and Safety for All, our panelists shared the often hidden value that main streets have in embodying peace and wellness, as well as creating an environment for active lifestyles that benefit our physical health and wellbeing.

Closing Session – Economy of Place – Cultivating Commerce

Moderator - Jeremy Martell, Cape Breton Partnership

Jeremy Martell

Cape Breton Partnership

Craig MacMullin - CEED (Centre for Entrepreneurship, Education and Development)

Craig MacMullin

pdf Placemaking & Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (2.04 MB)

Donald Hanson - Wagmatcook First Nation

Donald Hanson

pdf Economy of Place: Growing our Community (3.03 MB)

The economy of place speaks to the value that businesses bring to a community and a main street, where every community has something to market. The closing session looked at the successes and challenges facing local businesses in main streets and how a renewed or reinvented main street can lead to the attraction and retention of businesses. We heard about the importance of business incubation or succession planning and how a vibrant main street environment in smaller communities is necessary to attract new residents, as well as entice passing motorists to slow or stop in the town, when they otherwise may not have. With practical examples, panellists shared positive changes or initiatives in other communities across the province.

Closing Remarks

Kieron Hunt, FBM (Chair)

Kieron Hunt