Theses & Dissertations

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 58
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    “It Comes Down to What They Value”: Understanding How Energy is Integrated Into Rural Manitoba Land Use Plans
    (University of Guelph, ) Kvern, Michael; Deacon, Leith
    Canada is committed to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This requires Canada’s energy systems to transition from fossil fuels towards low emission sources. As this occurs, energy infrastructure will become a predominant land use, especially in rural areas. This poses a challenge for rural municipalities who need to adapt land use planning frameworks to renewable energy. Using a novel plan quality evaluation framework, 57 land use plans and 18 semi-structured interviews were used to assesses the state of energy planning and land use planning integration in rural Manitoba. Results highlight that integration of energy within official plans is poor. However, some communities are creating energy-inclusive plans. These changes are being driven by enthusiastic individuals, termed champions, who are advocates for local sustainability action. While improved funding and changes to provincial policy are needed to overcome capacity barriers, local leaders are critical for enabling rural energy planning.
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    The Peaks and Valleys of Connection – Lessons from Smart Village Initiatives and Supportive Policies in the EU and UK for a Canadian Context
    (University of Guelph, ) Glassford, Blake; Gibson, Ryan
    Limited by an incoherent government policy regime towards rural connectivity and development, rural communities across Canada, especially in mountainous regions, struggle to access and implement innovative technologies and strategies to address local development needs. Meanwhile, The European Union (EU) and United Kingdom (UK) have begun to experiment with Smart Village policy and pilot projects. Using a mixed methods approach, this research investigates how the Smart Village approach has been employed in the EU and UK to support rural development in mountainous regions. The research findings are a culmination of a content analysis of EU and UK rural development policies and a case study of Smart Village initiatives in the Scottish Highlands and Uplands. Research findings demonstrate the intersection of geography, technology, and policy in rural development, providing several transferable lessons for Canadian policy makers and mountainous communities seeking enhance development outcomes through place and participatory based strategies.
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    How do Rural Youth make their Voices Heard in Climate Change Planning in Andean Communities? A Case Study from the Mantaro Valley, Central Peru
    (University of Guelph, ) Siraj, Anab; Sarapura, Silvia
    This participatory research provides an analysis of youth voices in climate change planning. It explores how communities assess and mitigate climate change impacts, opportunities and barriers to youth participation and strategies to further rural youth engagement in climate change. Research methods include focus group discussions, interviews, and video-based fieldwork. Results are based on grounded theory. Findings show severe weather patterns, soil degradation, water scarcity, diseases and pests and many more at national, regional and local levels. This indicates female youth empowerment, capacity development, university-community partnership, working with high-school youth, and an intersectoral approach to social services. Recommendations include education and training for youth, policies that include youth as main players at the national level. Addressing family migration and retaining youth along with providing communication technologies at the regional level. Lastly, awareness and transformative approaches to social and gender norms at the community level along with having a web of support.
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    Mutual Aid and Third Places during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Intersections in Nova Scotia & New Brunswick
    (University of Guelph, ) Dale, John Cameron; Gibson, Ryan
    Rural and peripheral to the economic core of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, like much of Atlantic Canada, have been historically illustrated as economically under-developed provinces. While policy frameworks address many regional problems, Nova Scotians and New Brunswickers continue to come together in creative and innovative ways to respond to many of their needs, both at home and in their larger communities. Relying heavily on gray literature, this research explores how Nova Scotians and New Brunswickers experience “Mutual Aid”. This research illustrates the unique landscape of Mutual Aid in the region and its connection to place. It will also explore how these geographies have shifted in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, by revealing gaps in our current economic system, this research attempts to inform the way we think about community connectedness and welfare.
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    The Impacts of On-Farm Diversification to the Family Farm and the Intersection with Land Preservation and Public Planning Policy in Ontario
    (University of Guelph, ) Duesling, Pam; Wayne, Caldwell
    Family farming has progressed and evolved over time, which has included changes in gender roles and the introduction of pluriactivity on many farms. The history of farming leads to the discussion of family farm entrepreneurs and on-farm diversification. Ontario is now home to a variety of on-farm diversification initiatives, including roadside fruit and vegetable stands; sugar bush educational experiences; various wineries, breweries and distilleries; small scale restaurants; wedding venues; concert venues; horse riding ranches; eco-adventure facilities, including zip lines and tree-top canopy adventures, children’s adventure farms and seasonal venues; dirt bike courses; overnight accommodations and much more. The land use planning regime applied in rural Ontario is primarily based on agriculture and farmland preservation. In 2016 the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) created the Guidelines on Permitted Uses in Ontario’s Prime Agricultural Areas (Guidelines), the first planning tool to assist local municipalities in creating opportunities for on-farm diversification. This dissertation examines the history and evolution of family farms including current day on-farm diversification trends. This dissertation describes the current planning policy regime in Ontario that allows for on-farm diversification opportunities and requirements for the preservation of agricultural lands by examining the Provincial Policy Statement and outlining the purpose and effect of Official Plans, Zoning By-laws and municipal land use processes. Then, independent research through surveys, interviews and focus groups with Ontario farmers and Professional Planners is summarized and analyzed to provide recommendations on balancing on-farm diversification and agricultural preservation. It is discovered that the OMAFRA Guidelines are an excellent and useful tool in creating on-farm diversification opportunities while also meeting Ontario’s legislation to protect prime agricultural areas. However, the OMAFRA Guidelines are significantly underutilized, not interpreted or implemented consistently across Ontario and require updating and the possible creation of a user tool to assist Ontario farmers and Professional Planners in creating responsible and resilient new land uses on family farms.