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Rural Urbanism is a planning strategy which places the natural and agricultural landscape as the defining factors to spatially locate future land use needs and urban requirements - it places the existing landscape’s resiliency and socio-ecological services first, contextually directing the placement of future homes, shopping, transportation, and other urban infrastructure. 

30 Minute Movie
Urbanization trends clearly indicate the Shubenacadie Valley will face significant pressures for landscape change in the next 30 years. Not only will increased population bring new infrastructure requirements including homes and shopping, but continued agricultural and farming is needed - all while maintaining the unique rural scenery and culture of the region. 

Dynamic planning strategies which are adaptable and responsive to climate impacts, urban expansion, and landscape transition are necessary to meet these demands. The existing Shubenacadie Valley patterns of urban development and spatial organization are not sustainable and do not adequately address climate-driven concerns such as flooding, strategic conservation, and loss of biodiversity. The future agro-ecological landscape of the Shubenacadie Valley will be defined through the context-specific design and organization of new and existing elements and land uses. This rendering exhibits a possible growth strategy which prioritises rural prosperity, inclusivity, and stability alongside sustainability and livability.


Rural Urbanism provides an approach for sustainable development within an agricultural focussed region.  It also sets goals to meet conflicting municipal and provincial interests for conservation and economic development in the face of climate change and growing populations. 

GIPL's Mission is to advance the understanding of green infrastructure planning and design to positively impact the challenges our everyday landscapes face.  GIPL seeks to build partnerships, combining research & practice which generate innovative solutions and ideas toward healthy communities.


  • Tumblr - Resilient Urbanisms
  • Dalhousie Landscape Arch Facebook
  • Recalibrating the Landscape
  • Google Maps

The Green Infrastructure Performance Laboratory

Director, Richard leBrasseur, PhD

Dalhousie University

Department of Plant, Food, and Environmental Sciences

20 Rock Garden Road, EE Building, Room 223

Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada  B2N 5E3

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