EDM is, first and foremost, a strategic planning firm, managing projects big and small from concept through to construction. While many of our land development solutions are highly technical, we recognize that planning and development is fundamentally about people and relationships.
Over more than 20 years, EDM has developed expertise in four core areas:
We are a small boutique firm of planning and engineering professionals working in a highly collaborative manner to solve complex and unique development challenges. If your project is straight-forward, we are not your firm. If you are looking for something special that is still delivered in a pragmatic and cost-effective manner that is our niche. Our work space is open concept and organized around projects; we truly work together to achieve new visions and generate pragmatic alternatives. How is this different? We do not promise senior people and delegate to juniors with little experience. We do not pass the work from internal group to group, adding cost and diluting the vision, but instead we jointly take ownership of and solve the development challenge. We also include our clients and others in the process, rather than limiting client contact to managers.
The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. We have more projects that have been built, rather than plans that collect dust on the shelf; we have more planning documents that remain relevant and in active use, rather than trendy documents that are bypassed by the next fad; and our Clients have trusted us with, and we have delivered on, more large and complex project responsibility, than might ever be expected for a firm of our size.
EDM is a leader in the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the provision of planning services. Our expertise in utilizing GIS in this manner has been identified as being first in the field in Canada:
In Nova Scotia, the Halifax-based office of Environmental Design & Management Ltd. (EDM) developed considerable expertise in the analysis of the carrying capacity of site through the use of geographic information systems, combined with current computer technology. Principal Margot Young and her associates employed these systems to define detailed suitability maps for residential, industrial, open-space, and other land uses, bringing up to date the methods pioneered by McHarg and developed by Carl Steinitz, with whom Young had studied at Harvard.
– Williams, Ron. “Chapter 21: Birth of an Environmental Conscience.” Landscape Architecture in Canada. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s UP, 2014. 473.
EDM uses GIS to assemble, organize, rank, and overlay information on the composition, nature, and qualities of place in our master planning exercises. EDM has used and developed this method over 20 years, and have published several of our suitability models for environmental protection, including models for water quality protection (used throughout Newfoundland and Labrador), and a model for wetland protection and master planning (see Landscapes/Paysages, Spring 2016).
For more information on our modeling work, please refer to our publications list.
Our planners, designers, and engineers know the approval processes inside and out. Whether you are looking for a major amendment to existing planning policies and regulations or a subdivision approval for a single lot, we can advise you on the options available and guide your application through the process.
EDM provides project management for some of the region’s largest development projects, where coordination and implementation is highly complex. We work with our clients, the community, regulators across various agencies and jurisdictions to ensure all approvals are in place and that project phasing optimizes construction efficiency, reflects and responds to market conditions and leverages future phases. We excel at maintaining the design vision throughout project execution. Our project engineers are among the most experienced in the region.
From inception, EDM has engaged in creating projects that incorporate ecological design into the development mandate. We are the designers of Solar AquaticsTM sewage treatment facilities, constructed wetlands, national park master plans, and other award winning ecological projects, both locally and abroad. Our water plan (created with Betsy Damon) was implemented at the Beijing Olympics. Today, we arguable have more experience than most firms at delivering ecological outcomes that are incorporated seamlessly into the project design and budget; Grassy Brook in Dartmouth Crossing runs through the largest retail development complex east of Montreal and for the past eight years has also been one of the top two fish spawning streams in the province of Nova Scotia.