Reflexology Boulevard Garden
About the Project
Hell strips are a common name for the strip of land between the sidewalk and the street. These strips in front of homes are public/city property but the home owner has to maintain it. Most of these land strips at present in Halifax are made up of lawn grass (bio-diverse deserts). As identified, in March of 2021, the Halifax regional council amended and approved a city by-law to allow more a diverse use of these areas such as boulevard gardens. The aim of this project is to explore and design a new narrative and vision for what these strips of land can be in Halifax.
Created: Oct 2021
Project Type: Environment Design
Duration: 2 months
Design Tools: Illustrator
Taking advantage of recent developments:
1. In 2015 United Nations in their 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development identified 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This was a which was a global urgent call for action. Promoting a sustainable use of our ecosystems and preserving biodiversity is not a cause. It is the key to our own survival.
2. In 2020, Halifax Regional Council adopted HalifACT. It was Halifax’s response to the climate crisis. This project will address HalifACT action goal of creating resilient infrastructure around natural areas and green infrastructure assets.
3. In 2021 Halifax Regional Council as part of HalifACT amended a by-law to allow for more a more greener Halifax. The planting of boulevard gardens within the right of way have positive environmental impacts.
The main goal for this project is to invite and encourage people to take a walk. The street along which this design would be implemented is very busy, people from all walks of life use the street, the sidewalk and the hell strips. In addition to that, it has three bus routes.
The first part of the research was reading the By-law about the Hell Strips and finding the loopholes to use for the benefit of this project. The next was to go out and see what already exists. The process included identifying objects that people had put on their hell strips and the wide-range of plants that were planted.
There are primary and secondary users of the hell strip. Primary users are directly affected by the hell strip and the secondary are not.
Pets and owners
Parents and Kids
Hell strips are not made of just grass, flowers and trees. There are many other objects that can be spotted that put by the city officials, he abutter and or by the people in the neighbourhood.
Plants in pots
Bushes and Trees
The environment of the hell strip is often clean and controlled. It can serve many uses like being an extension to abutter’s lawn or making room for social distancing for pedestrians.
There are different kinds of interactions that take place around and about the hell strips.
Abutter talking to City Official about the ByLaw.
Abutter talking with their neighbour about the plants.
Owner clicking a picture of their dog for Instagram.
Abutter maintaining the Hell Strip with their family.
A student leaning on the tree while waiting for the bus.
Pedestrians reading a poster.
The path is made of reflexology pebbles. This path designed to massage and stimulate acupressure points on the soles of the feet, which are connected to various energy meridians of the body. A study at the Oregon Research Institute confirmed that walking on such paths resulted in significant reduction in blood pressure, and improvement in balance and physical performance among adults 60 and over. Then there are the kindness stones, this is the incentive that brings people into the path. These are little stones that have affirmations painted with non-toxic paint that people can take home if they like or they could carry it to put anywhere around the city.
A shorter version of this description is engraved onto the large boulder rock at the entrance of the pathway that acts as signage. In addition to the “TAKE a SEGUE” sticker on the sidewalk. Native plants like the black-eyed susan and lavenders are planted that make the hell strip more pleasant.