The Ferry Dock Areas Plan includes East Ferry, Tiverton, Freeport, and Westport along the Digby Neck and Islands. These areas are not only places of transport but places of gathering and community. Locals and visitors gather daily at the docks before crossing to Long and Brier islands. In these rural communities, essential services are becoming centralized, minimal transportation options exist and young people see little value in staying. The plan presents and expands on the work of the last three years on long-term and more immediate needs for more functional, comfortable and attractive ferry dock areas.
The Ferry Dock Areas Plan is an infrastructure development project focused on place making which has major environmental, health, equity and economic benefits. The shared recognition that change starts with the community is inherant in this project. In fact, residents were the first to determine that improvements were necessary.
This process worked with four communities, municipal and provincial governments all working together. The initial stages of the project included public meetings at Freeport, Tiverton, and Westport as well as a design session with students at the Islands Consolidated School. At these meetings, input was collected on challenges with the current layout of the ferry docks and a Facebook page was created for communication updates throughout the planning process. Ultimately, five action areas were identified: Basic infrastructure, Essential Services, Community Orientation, Showcase, and Placemaking. Each action area is accompanied by plans for practical intervention.
The Ferry Dock Areas Plan received the Canadian Institute of Planners 2017 Award for Planning Excellence in the category of Urban Design for this project.