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Green & Resilient City

A Green and Resilient city has complete communities within a Natural Heritage System. The Natural Heritage System provides connectivity among natural heritage features to support the natural processes required to maintain biological and geological diversity, natural functions, viable populations of native species, and ecosystems.

A Green and Resilient City has less environmental impact and provides climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies. It contains a significant number of green spaces, including woodlands, wetlands, parks, and trails.

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Things to Think About:

  • Protect & Enhance Natural Systems

    • Define the City's Natural Heritage System for consistent policy interpretation and application.
    • Establish a policy framework that protects woodlands of all sizes.
    • Create a policy to protect all woodlands.
    • Consider the Niagara Region’s minimum buffers for rural areas regarding the development of undeveloped urban lands.
    • Utilize Environmental Impact Studies to set buffers for redevelopment near natural heritage areas.
    • Invest in the restoration and integration of ecological features in urban areas.
  • Water Resources System

    • Use or imitate natural stormwater management systems as much as possible.
    • Watershed and subwatershed studies should set criteria and guidance for managing surface water and groundwater quantity, quality, and watercourses.
    • Recognize unique water resources, such as karst features.
    • Consider policy that recognizes the increased risks of water contamination that come with climate change.
  • Climate Change Mitigation & Resilience

    • Combat heat islands with strategies like green roofs and increased tree cover.
    • Explore opportunities to support renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
    • Invest in studies and projects that will improve the water quality of urban runoff.
    • Include management and monitoring plans for the City’s water systems considering a changing climate.
  • Urban Forest and Tree Preservation

    • Consider protections for non-significant woodlands and other treed features to increase urban tree canopy. Establishing a tree canopy target for the City should be considered.
    • Consider compensation for tree removals.
  • Innovation and Resiliency

    • Strategically arrange critical infrastructure and transportation access options for emergency services based on flood risk to improve the ability to intervene and recover from flooding.
    • The network of green spaces (parks, trails) should be enhanced while new impervious surfaces, such as surface parking lots, should be minimized.
    • Prioritize infrastructure projects based on vulnerability to climate change.
    • Prepare design standards to adapt the built environment to climate change-related consequences.