Land-Use Integration

On the path to net-zero communities

June 25, 2017

When some colleagues and I set out to better understand the path to net-zero communities, we quickly understood we were missing something – a clear definition of what net-zero meant. It wasn’t for a lack of definitions – quite the reverse.  There were definitions for building and communities.  While some definitions focused on carbon, others focused on energy.  Sometimes it...

Growth Plan 2017: accelerating the energy transition

May 19, 2017

This Ontario’s recently released four updated land use plans.  They will help accelerate the transition to low carbon communities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe. The four reports include the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Niagara Escarpment Plan.  Coordination ensured the plans worked together. Alignment with the Ontario...

Growth Plan: You're So Bad

January 3, 2017

The province is reviewing the Growth Plan for our region – the Greater Golden Horseshoe. This planned 10-year review is triggering a round of opposition that is ironically reminiscent of the debate that led to the Growth Plan in the first place. I was recently mystified by a comment suggesting the Growth Plan was making local governments greedy.  The writer believed they were...

Planners' energy role discussed: OPPI

October 10, 2016

Local planners have a crucial role to play in our energy future.  So it was wonderful to have a good turn out for our 2016 Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI) panel:  The Role of Planners in Community Energy Planning. There are certainly practical reasons for planners to have attended our session.  Governments are encouraging land use planners to integrate local energy and...