This project aims at developing information and knowledge that will promote public and policy support for the long-term sustainability of the agricultural system surrounding the greenbelt. Based on a preliminary research led by the Friends of Greenbelt Foundation, this research will develop a monitoring framework for the viability and protection of the agricultural system in the greenbelt and assess the trends of agricultural viability and protection in Greenbelt during the past 15 years.
Ontario’s Greenbelt is composed of nearly 2 million acres of protected land including natural areas that provide ecosystem services to millions of people. While these areas face reduced pressure from land use conversion, they still face a pressures typical of natural systems in peri-urban landscapes including loss of biodiversity, invasive species, impacts from infrastructure projects and a changing climate. In order to determine the extent to which these pressures are shifting natural systems, indicators of system health are needed.
The Greater Toronto Area has experienced significant urbanization during the past decade; meanwhile, the consequences of the urban heat island and the frequency and duration of the heat waves are becoming more evident. Preserving the green areas and increasing vegetation leads to a decrease in air temperature, an increase in evapotranspiration, a decrease in cooling energy demand; and provide better thermal comfort for inhabitants.
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