Evaluating the Effectiveness of Ontario’s 2005 Greenbelt Plan at Preserving the Protected Countryside from Urbanization and Non-Renewable Resource Mining
thesisposted on 24.05.2021, 17:56 by Jessie Smith
Conservation has been widely discussed as the best way to combat climate change and environmental degradation. A cornerstone of conservation is Sustainable Development, which involves mitigating the damage of urbanization and urban sprawl, and the resulting loss of agricultural resources. In response, Ontario developed the Greenbelt Act in 2005 to ensure that Ontario’s Agricultural Land base was protected from urbanization and development. This study analyzed land use change within the Greenbelt’s Protected Countryside, to determine if the lands were protected during the implementation of the Greenbelt Plan (2005 -2017), and the ten years prior without Greenbelt policy in effect. Using remote sensing change detection applications, it was determined that residential expansion within settlement areas, and aggregate mining operations within the Protected Countryside contribute to urban expansion and loss of prime agricultural land. Changes in aggregate resource extraction policy are recommended to reduce the use and reliance of virgin aggregate in Ontario.