Many signs are pointing to the success of Greenbelts in promoting smart urban planning and the protection of green space and farm land around the the globe.
Our beloved Ontario Greenbelt, the largest in the world, just celebrated seven years. Last year, the first International Greenbelt Conference and network was launched in Toronto and now the movement will be bolstered by two exciting new additions here in Canada.
In its recent budget announcement, the Quebec government announced $60 million will be used to develop greenbelts in Montréal and Québec City.
An investment of $50 million will be made to develop natural space, preserve biodiversity and improve Montreal’s living environment. Earlier this month, the Quebec Government also approved a new Metropolitan Land Use and Development Plan for the Montreal Metropolitan Community. Much like the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe in Ontario, the plan for Montreal establishes environmental and transportation guidelines until 2031 for residential, industrial and commercial development.
Quebec City will also receive $10 million to implement a comprehensive land-use and development plan. The greenbelt will feature blue and green zones for developing natural and human environments to preserve biodiversity.
These announcements are positive steps for ensuring that growth of our Canadian cities will happen within the right parameters, allowing for vibrant and intensified urban communities where people walk, bike and take transit and that nearby green spaces that clean our air and provide us with other important ecological services are not eaten up by sprawl.
Greenbelt Program Manager
*Montreal photo courtesy of Kristan 20 (Flickr Commons)