Wild, connected, diverse! Can these works really describe North America’s fourth largest city? That is the aim of the City of Toronto‘s first Draft Biodiversity Strategy released for public review in July 2018. The Strategy aims to make Toronto more wild, connected and diverse by increasing the quality and quantity of natural habitat; designing the built environment to be more bio-diverse and have less impacts on the natural environment; and increasing access to and awareness of nature in the city. The Strategy arises from the City’s highly successful Biodiversity Booklet Series which was developed by a broad range of experts and citizen scientists to create awareness about the remarkable variety of plants and animals that also make their home in Toronto. It also arises from the Toronto Official Plan which recognizes the importance of a healthy natural environment to strong communities and a competitive economy and directs that the built environment ‘will support bio-diversity’. The draft Biodiversity Strategy will be undergoing review throughout the fall and winter and the final Biodiversity Strategy will be considered by City Council in spring 2019. The Strategy supports other City initiatives such as the Toronto Ravine Strategy and Pollinator Strategy.
The Biodiversity Panel Discussion, which took place on the evening of October 23rd, 2018 launched the review of the draft Biodiversity Strategy by providing an opportunity for city building professionals, faculty and students, and interested citizens to hear a range of perspectives on the role and importance of biodiversity in urban areas and new ideas for the draft Strategy. The Biodiversity Panel Discussion is a collaboration partnership Toronto City Planning and the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.
For full bios of the panelists and moderator, visit: https://www.daniels.utoronto.ca/events/2018/10/23/wild-connected-diverse-toronto-biodiversity-panel