Evaluation of planning policy for protecting green infrastructure from loss and degradation due to residential encroachment Academic Article uri icon


  • 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Studies indicate substantial degradation and loss of urban green infrastructure area following adjacent residential development. A content analysis of Ontario's most authoritative policy documents was performed to determine whether they had policy goals, objectives and tools for protecting designated green infrastructure from the negative impacts of residential encroachment. Results indicate few policy goals, or measurable objectives. Furthermore, few policy tools sought to limit residential encroachment within green infrastructure following point of development. Existing local government policy tools were narrowly focused on establishing boundary structures and education programs among adjacent residents, without specifying impacts of concern. Policies requiring the monitoring of impacts and tools for their mitigation were missing. Long-term protection policy goals, measurable policy objectives, and effective policy tools are required to limit the anticipated negative impacts associated with residential encroachment following development. Where impacts are uncertain, monitoring policies are required to test and improve policy effectiveness. Furthermore, adaptive management policies are required to protect essential ecosystem services from unanticipated long term impacts, such as those arriving with climate change.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • McWilliam, W., Brown, R., Eagles, P., & Seasons, M.

citation count

  • 25

complete list of authors

  • McWilliam, Wendy||Brown, Robert||Eagles, Paul||Seasons, Mark

publication date

  • September 2015