Exploring the utilization of sustainable development strategies for the new parks in the municipalities of the Greater Toronto Area

Nikzad, Amir Ardeshir
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University of Guelph

Sustainable urban parks provide social and economical benefits to the residents and contribute to the urban ecosystem health. Municipalities are responsible for development and management of urban parks and the goal of this study was to better understand if, and why, the municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) have utilized sustainable development strategies in the planning, design, construction and management for their new park projects. A qualitative study utilizing an in-depth interview format was created based on the principles of sustainable development compiled from the Sustainable Sites Initiative. A sample of four municipalities in the GTA was selected based on population and development growth and the park authorities were contacted. The results indicated few sustainable initiatives implemented in the design and management stages of park development. Understanding the constraints against these suggest that there may be potential to increase the sustainability of urban parks.

The Goal of this thesis was to explore if, and why, the municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) have or have not adopted sustainable development strategies in planning, design, construction and management of their new parks.
Urban sustainability, Best Management Practices, SITES