Global Greenbelts Conference

pdf-icon.png 2011 Global Greenbelts Conference Full Program

The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation hosted an International Greenbelts Conference in Toronto on March 22nd - 24th, 2011. Through the sharing of diverse experience and perspectives, the Conference sparked new ideas about the possibilities that greenbelts offer, and generated new ways of tackling some of the complex challenges in near urban farming, rural vibrancy, and protecting our ecosystems and the numerous benefits they provide.

As the conference came to a close delegates repeated the message - what are the next steps? The Result: a Call to Action to Establish an International Greenbelt Network. Toronto Declaration for Global Greenbelts: Local Solutions for Global Challenges

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Keynote Speakers

Honourable Jim Bradley

Margaret Atwood - Keynote Speech

Dr. Ronald F. Williamson - Keynote Speech


Plenary: International Perspectives on Greenbelts and their Possibilities

Moderator - Peter Waine, Chair, Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), United Kingdom 

Klaus Wichert, Head of the Environment Department, Frankfurt-RheinMain, Germany

pdf-icon.png Frankfurt am Main: City of Greenbelts 

John Ginivan, Executive Director, Planning Policy, Department of Planning and Community Development, Victoria State Government, Australia

pdf-icon.png Greenbelts, Green Wedges or Disputed Ground: Melbourne and its Hinterland

Rodrigo Victor, Director-General, São Paulo State Forest Institute, Brazil

pdf-icon.png São Paulo City Green Belt Biosphere Reserve: A Platform for Integrated Sustainable Land Management


Sustaining Rural Vitality 

Moderator - Annemiek Canjels, Senior Advisor, Department for Rural Development, Limburg Province, Netherlands

Lenie Dwarshuis van de Beek, member of the Executive Board of Peri-Urban Regions Platform Europe (PURPLE) network, and Vice Governor, Province of South Holland, Netherlands

pdf-icon.png Challenges and Opportunites of Europe's Peri-Urban Areas: The Experience of the Purple Network

Michael Florio, Community Economic Development Specialist, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ontario

pdf-icon.pngUsing Traditional Competitive Advantage Analysis to Guide the Development of Action Plans to Grow the Creative Economy in a Community and/or Region

Rob Hindle, Rural Development Consultant, Rural Innovation, United Kingdom

pdf-icon.pngGreen Zone 2025: Unleashing the Potential of Rural Merseyside 


The Changing Landscape of Farming

Moderator: John Burke, Canada

Trevor Budge, Associate Professor, La Trobe University, Australia

pdf-icon.pngIntegrating Local Food Systems into Metropolitan and Regional Planning to Deliver Economic, Social and Environmental Benefits

Jamie Reaume, Executive Director, the Holland Marsh Growers’ Association, Ontario, Canada

pdf-icon.pngMaking the Most of Geography: Putting the Greenbelt's Holland Marsh on the Map

Lori Stahlbrand, Founder and President of Local Food Plus (LFP), Ontario, Canada

pdf-icon.pngLocal Sustainable Farming for Successful Greenbelts: The Local Food Plus Approach


Incorporating the Economic Benefits of Greenbelts into Decision Making – Speakers from the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and Canada

Moderator: Dr. Faisal Moola, Director, Terrestrial Conservation and Science Program, David Suzuki Foundation, Ontario

Dr. Wim Heijmans, Chair of Regional Economics, Wageningen University, Netherlands

pdf-icon.pngDesigning the Optimum Landscape 

Mike Puddister (Director, Restoration and Stewardship, Credit Valley  Conservation Authority, Ontario) and Tatiana Koveshnikova (Ecological Goods and Services Coordinator, Credit Valley Conservation Authority, Ontario)

pdf-icon.pngThe Value of Ecological Goods and Services in the Credit River Watershed: The Implications of Greenbelt Restoration 

Dr. Will Williams,Former Programme Director, Natural Economy Northwest, United Kingdom

pdf-icon.pngNatural Economy Northwest: The Socio-Economic Benefits of Investment in Green Infrastructure 


Plenary: International Perspectives on Greenbelts and their Possibilities

Moderator: Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director, Environmental Defence, Ontario

Dr. Agata Cieszewska, Department of Landscape Architecture, Warsaw University, Poland

pdf-icon.pngMazovia Region

Stephanie Reyes, Policy Director, Greenbelt Alliance, San Francisco, United States

pdf-icon.pngSan Francisco Bay Area

Dr. Liana Geidezis, BUND Naturschutz in Bayern e.V., e.V. , Germany

pdf-icon.pngIron Curtain  Green Belt and European Green Belt

Harbourfront Evening: European Reception and Dinner.


Enhancing Ecosystems and Biodiversity – Speakers from Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Canada

Moderator: Nicola Ross, Editor, Alternatives Journal, Ontario

Cheryl de Boer, University of Twente, Netherlands

pdf-icon.pngReaching Nature Development, Water Management, and Biodiversity Goals in the Netherlands 

Dr. Gail Krantzberg,  Professor and Director, McMaster University Centre for Engineering and Public Policy, Ontario

pdf-icon.pngEnsuring the Ecological Functioning of Ontario's Greenbelt 

Paul Nolan, Project Director, The Mersey Forest Team, United Kingdom

pdf-icon.pngGreen Infrastructure: Planning for the Liverpool City Region

Dr. Uwe Riecken, Head of Habitat Protection and Landscape Ecology, German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation

pdf-icon.pngFrom Death Zone to Life Line: Implementing the German Green Belt 


Everyone’s Greenbelt: Reaching Out to Diverse Communities – Speakers from the United States and Canada

Moderator: Chandra Sharma
, Watershed Specialist and Senior Manager Climate Programs, Toronto Region Conservation Authority, Ontario

Franz Hartmann, Executive Director, Toronto Environmental Alliance, Ontario

pdf-icon.pngPromoting Locally Grown Ethno-Cultural Food

Peter Mitchell, Research Associate, Centre for Land and Water Stewardship, Ontario

pdf-icon.pngGreenbelt Connections 

Stephanie Reyes, Policy Director, Greenbelt Alliance, San Francisco, United States

pdf-icon.pngEngaging Diverse Communities in Smart Growth Planning 

Sri Sethuratanam, Program Manager, FarmStart Ontario

pdf-icon.pngSupporting a New Generation of Farmers


Greenbelts and Infrastructure Development - Speakers from Denmark, Germany, and Canada

Moderator: Pat Boeckner, Director, Transportation Planning Branch, Ontario Ministry of Transportation

Steve Peck, Founder and President, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities and the Green Infrastructure Foundation, Ontario

pdf-icon.pngFacilitating Green Infrastructure Opportunities

Henrik Vejre, Professor, Forest and Landscape Department, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

pdf-icon.pngSlicing the Green Wedges: Infrastructure Projects of the Copenhagen Open Space

Klaus Wichert, Head of the Environment Department, Frankfurt-RheinMain, Germany

pdf-icon.pngInfrastructure and Frankfurt's Green Belt 


Governing Greenbelts – Speakers from Germany, the United States, and Canada

Moderator: Dr. Mark Winfield, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, Ontario

Marcel Houtzager, Regional Portfolio Holder on Green Policy, Recreation and Tourism, the Hague Region, the Netherlands

pdf-icon.pngRegional Governance and Integrated Planning in the Hague Region

Ken Kirkey, Planning Director, Association of Bay Area Governments, United States

pdf-icon.pngDeveloping Regional Consensus for Conservation and Smart Growth 

Dr. Pamela Robinson, Associate Professor, Ryerson University School of Urban and Regional Planning, Ontario

pdf-icon.pngGoverning Ontario's Greenbelt: Possibility Grows Here

Gabriel Schwaderer, Executive Director, Euronatur, Germany

pdf-icon.pngFacilitating Trans Boundary Cooperation to Develop the Balkan Greenbelt 


Connecting People to Greenbelts – Speakers from Brazil, the United Kingdom, and Germany

Moderator: Kirk Miller, former Chief Executive Officer & Chair, Agricultural Land Commission, and KB Miller & Associations, British Columbia

Dr. Uwe Riecken, Head of Habitat Protection and Landscape Ecology, German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation

pdf-icon.pngExperiencing the Green Belt: Connecting Nature, People, and History 

Rodrigo Victor, Director-General, Sao Paulo State Forest Institute, Brazil

pdf-icon.pngEngaging Disadvantaged Youth through Eco-training and Entrepreneurship in the Sao Paulo City Green Belt Biosphere Reserve 

Pam Warhurst

pdf-icon.pngUsing Local Food to Engage People in Sustainability 


Improving Urban Food Access – Speakers from the United States, Australia, and Canada

Moderator: Nick Saul, Executive Director, The Stop Community Food Centre, Ontario

Debbie Field, Executive Director, FoodShare, Ontario

pdf-icon.pngFrom Field to Table: Increasing Connections Between Local Farmers and People in the City 

Trevor Budge, Associate Professor, La Trobe University, Australia

pdf-icon.pngFood for All: Building Capacity to Address Food Security 

Nikki Henderson, Executive Director, People’s Grocery, California

Food, Justice and Community (No Presentation available)


Plenary: Five Big Ideas for Greenbelts

Five experts will each present their big idea for the futures of greenbelts for a sustainable world.

  • Moderator: Sandy Houston, President, Metcalf Foundation
  • Dr. Michael Buxton, Associate Professor RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
  • Dr. Agata Cieszewska, Warsaw University, Poland
  • Dr. Robert Gibson, University of Waterloo, Canada
  • Rob Hindle, Rural Innovation Inc., UK
  • Pam Warhurst, Chair, Forestry Commission, Co-Founder, Incredible Edible Todmorden, and Chair, Pennine Prospects, UK



A creative element of the conference, the Reel Greenbelt Contest invited individuals aged 17-29 to submit a public service announcement outlining why the Greenbelt is important. The contest drew in ten unique submissions and three judges, Severn Cullis-Suzuki, Michael McGowan, and Mohit Rajhans, helped judge.  

Visit our Youtube page to view all the videos.

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