The Guide can support small cities, towns and rural settlements with the integration of green infrastructure into their communities. Much of the current green infrastructure research and guidance focuses on densely populated urban centres. Smaller and rural settlements are often overlooked despite the many benefits that green infrastructure can provide in these settings.
This Guide aims to fill that gap by providing an overview of the types of green infrastructure that make the most sense for these communities and by outlining a strategic zoning approach for implementation.Read more
The Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) recently conducted a consultation on a ‘Draft Protocol for Loss of Ecosystem Services’. The protocol sets out a framework for how to evaluate the ecosystem services lost because of development in natural features and appropriate compensation (in the form of replicating natural features in other locations or enhancing existing features) for those losses. The protocol triggers as a last resort when all other options to avoid and mitigate losses are exhausted. It will not apply in the Greenbelt’s protected natural features. It will apply in lands adjoining the Greenbelt and could potentially affect its natural features, and therefore it is relevant to our work.
You can read our response to the consultation here.
An amazing 9.2 million people (or 3 million households) live within 20 kilometres of Ontario’s Greenbelt—that’s over a quarter of Canada’s whole population! 20 kilometres is the distance we consider to be “near home” for nature-based recreation, 73% of which occurs within this radius.
Recently we set out to determine what recreational activities people are engaging in across the Greenbelt, and how much the Greenbelt’s waters and forests contribute to the well-being of our region—an assessment of value known as natural capital.Read more
In celebration of National Soil Conservation Week, we are showcasing two of our current Greenbelt research projects.
National Soil Conservation Week 2017 runs from April 16th to 22nd, and focuses on the importance of proper land stewardship for the benefit of all resources—especially soil—under our care. Led by the Soil Conservation Council of Canada, it’s an annual effort to highlight continuing successes in soil management, while at the same time keeping soil health top-of-mind for both farmers and the public.
Photo courtesy of Ontario Farmland TrustRead more
Download the presentations from our March 2017 workshop on natural capital valuation, including:
- Valuation framework and results from "Ontario's Good Fortune";
- lessons from Peel and Oakville pilot projects in the Municipal Natural Assets Initiative;
- an update on the development of provincial accounts;
- and a tactical analysis of how best to use natural capital accounting.
The first in a new series, Housing Affordability in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, this report places housing prices in the GGH in a global context.
"Understanding the factors contributing to upward pressure on housing prices in the GGH provides the necessary context for policy and planning tools to address concerns of affordability, access and equity in the housing market, in order to create the sustainable and prosperous communities of the future."
Read the full report below.
Stay tuned for the next report in the series!
- 88% support directing growth to already-built up areas
- 84% support local government incentives to direct growth to main streets, older commercial areas and existing built-up neighbourhoods
- 73% say developers are building too may single-family homes in suburbia and need to build a greater range and mix of housing options closer to transit and amenities
- 72% say the Province should only fund transit projects in communities with the housing and job density to support the infrastructure
- 84% say Yes in My Backyard! to midrise development on main streets if it means better transit, more shops and amenities, and more green space
New Assessment of the Greenbelt’s Natural Capital Finds Ecological Goods and Services Are Worth Billions to Residents of Ontario
By: Tom Bowers, Senior Research and Policy Analyst
The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation is pleased to release our latest report, Ontario's Good Fortune: Appreciating the Greenbelt's Natural Capital produced by Green Analytics. The report assessed the value of final services provided by the Greenbelt that Ontario residents benefit from, including, flood protection, recreational opportunities and clean drinking water. It finds that in addition to storing over $11.17B of carbon, the Greenbelt provides $3.2B annually in ecosystem services to residents of the region (approximately 9 million people).Read more
New polling shows that 8 in 10 residents in the Greater Golden Horseshoe support the Growth Plan and its goals. The most important goal of the Growth Plan identified by respondents was the protection of farmland and sensitive natural areas.
The numbers also showed that 81% of residents support directing the majority of housing and job growth to already built up areas.
The survey was a joint project of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation and Environmental Defence.
For a detailed look at the survey results, please click here.
Download the PDF