Greenbelt Plan receives prestigious CIP Planning Excellence prize
TORONTO, ONT-The Canadian Institute of Planners has named Ontario's Greenbelt Plan as the recipient of its 2007 Award for Planning Excellence in the category of environmental planning. The award will be presented on June 5, 2007 during the Canadian Institute of Planners' annual conference in Quebec City. "The winning project... highlights the significant care that Canadians have for their natural and built environments and the unique, increasingly sophisticated ways in which they want to express this," said Gary Willson, chair of the Planning Excellence jury. The CIP also presented the Ontario government a second award, in the re-urbanization category, for its growth plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. In October 2006, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario indicated his intention to present a special award to the province and to the Niagara Escarpment Commission to recognize their accomplishments in establishing Ontario's Greenbelt. The Greenbelt, which permanently protects 1.8 million acres of agricultural and environmentally sensitive land around southern Ontario's Greater Golden Horseshoe, is a key component of the province's reform of the planning system, which includes changes to the provincial policy statement and the creation of the growth plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Most recently, reforms to the Planning Act that came into force on January 1, 2007, complement the Greenbelt by providing additional municipal tools that encourage sustainable development.