Environmental Planning and the Niagara Escarpment: A Model to Copy or to Avoid?
Author: Tom Green
Details: Ontario case report no. 1 (Waterloo: Environmental Assessment and Planning in Ontario Study, SERS/UWaterloo, 1993), 43pp.
Abstract: The 1985 Niagara Escarpment Plan was Ontario's and Canada's first large-scale environmental land use plan. Unlike other land use plans, its main purpose was to preserve and protect an environmental feature, all the while allowing compatible development. The Plan has not been without conflict. While some interests have complained the Plan is overly restrictive to development, others claim that Plan falls short, and is only slowing the environmental decline in the escarpment planning. This report assesses whether or not the Niagara Escarpment Plan offers a possible model for more general application where there is evident need for more attention to environmental considerations in land use planning.
Environmentally Responsible Land-Use Planning: Five Initiatives in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo
Author: Alisa Krause
Details: Ontario case report no. 2 (Waterloo: Environmental Assessment and Planning in Ontario Study, SERS/UWaterloo, 1994), 88pp.
Abstract: The Regional Municipality of Waterloo is perhaps the best example of an Ontario municipality that has attempted to bring about environmentally responsible land-use planning within its jurisdiction. Many environmental initiatives have been undertaken which help to preserve and enhance the significant environmental features in the region. In instances where the Region has not always had sufficient authority to do so, it has often been able to rely upon the good will of citizens, landowners and developers. This report describes the often intertwined history of five of the Region's most significant environmental initiatives, evaluates their individual and overall effectiveness, fairness and efficiency, and attempts to make some recommendations based on this.
Environmental Assessment and Aggregate Extraction in Southern Ontario: The Puslinch Case
Authors: Douglas Baker and Darryl Shoemaker
Details: Ontario case report no. 3 (Waterloo: Environmental Assessment and Planning in Ontario Study, SERS/UWaterloo, 1995), 33pp.
Abstract: Over the past three decades, the extraction of aggregate resources in southern Ontario has often been a source of conflict between municipalities, provincial agencies, affected citizens, the aggregate industry and concerned lobby groups. This report examines one of the most noteworthy of the aggregates battles in Ontario - the Puslinch case, initiated in 1986 when the Township of Puslinch attempted use a new Official Plan to restrict further aggregates extraction within the township boundaries to protect against cumulative damage to groundwater and other environmental values. The conflict led to hearings in front of the Ontario Municipal Board, where the Township and its residents were pitted against the aggregates industry and the province. While the Municipal Board hearings ended in defeat for the local interests, the case spurred more innovative responses to decision-making and planning, including steps to address cumulative effects concerns through sub-watershed planning.
Waterloo's West Side Story: Planning for the Laurel Creek Watershed
Author: Lora Flaherty
Details: Ontario case report no. 4 (Waterloo: Environmental Assessment and Planning in Ontario Study, SERS/UWaterloo, 1995), 32pp.
Abstract: The Laurel Creek Watershed Study introduced an ecosystem approach to long term planning for an area destined for conversion from agriculture to suburban housing. The study examines the City of Waterloo's first detailed attempt to integrate environmental considerations into planning for urban expansion centred on the west side of the city in the headwaters of Laurel Creek. The study was initiated in response to pressure from a variety of stakeholders, including the larger Regional Municipality of Waterloo, the Grand River Conservation Authority and two provincial ministries. While the resulting effects on planning decisions may not satisfy all environmental sustainability objectives, the Laurel Creek case represents an important step toward environmental enlightenment in land use planning.
Sustainability Assessment and the Ottawa 20/20 Growth Management Strategy
Author: Sabrina Bowman
Details: Ontario case report no. 5 (Waterloo: Environmental Assessment and Planning Project, SERS/ UWaterloo, 2007).
Abstract: The City of Ottawa has responded to major growth pressures by developing the Ottawa 20/20 Growth Management Strategy and a Corporate Plan. Both aim for “a more compact, efficient, equitable, affordable and environmentally-healthy city, one that affords a high quality of life and offers its citizens a range of lifestyle and travel choices.” While this approach is inclusive of many environmental factors, it is inadequate for long-lasting sustainability. This report outlines how applying a sustainability assessment framework to the 20/20 Strategy may overcome many of the challenges the 20/20 Strategy has faced, such as a lack of integration of environmental and social aspects in decision making.
Radical Green Political Theory and Land Use Decision Making in the Region of Waterloo
Author: Tanya Markvart
Details: Ontario case report no. 6 (Waterloo: Environmental Assessment and Planning Project, SERS/ UWaterloo, 2007).
Abstract: This study developed a set of land use decision-making criteria by synthesizing insights from radical green political theory and sustainability literature. The criteria were applied to assess decision-making relating to the Waterloo Moraine land use controversy. The results of the assessment suggest that the Region of Waterloo might be better positioned to achieve sustainable development if it adopted the final generic land use decision making criteria discussed in this report. Furthermore, a critique of the strengths and limitations of radical green political theory is provided.