People may not realize, but, the proposed convention centre will be almost entirely underground – not too unlike the current trade centre, with no windows and no view. However, it seems that every conference I go to, between answering my phone, coffee breaks, lunches, coming and going, nearly half the time at a conference is spent in common areas. That’s why, visionary cities put their convention centres in a location that highlights the natural wealth and beauty of their cities.
Conferences and meetings are rarely about presenting information at their core – they are about inspiring, creating passion, presenting excellence, moving to action! The design of our convention centre should reflect this. We need to see the water and the sky! Especially with the future of our economy in nova scotia so tied to our largest and fastest growing industry – aerospace and defence with its close ties to the Navy. Also, we need to use our scarce public $ to create inspiring, suitable buildings.
Turning to the financial and ownership deal proposed in the current location, it is just plain bad: we pay $159 million for a largely underground facility, we have no public say in the exterior design (remember the current proposal would be privately owned), after a 25 year lease agreement, we will not own the building, the building owner will be tax exempt and has no obligation to build the proposed towers, which I thought was the point in the first place.
We need to communicate the message to our councillors that we don’t want what’s on the table, we want our tax dollars spent on something much better.
May Halifax grow and prosper for its next 250 years! And, may we be visionary, smart and ever mindful of our natural environment and how it bring us wealth and prosperity.