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Lecture 7

CITB01H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Waste Treatment, Erosion Control, Pollination

City Studies
Course Code
Ahmed Allahwala

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Guest Speaker Kelly Snow: Wild, Connected and Diverse Draft Biodiversity
Strategy (City of Toronto)
What is Biodiversity & Why is it Important?
o Biodiversity is about the variety and variability of life on earth - including at the genetic,
species, and ecosystem level of both terrestrial and aquatic systems.
o In the urban context, biodiversity refers to the variety and richness of living organisms as
well as habitat diversity found in and on the edge of human settlements.
o Our health, well-being, and economic progress depend on healthy, diverse nature.
o The diversity of an ecosystem helps to keep it robust and resilient to future stresses.
Benefits of Urban Biodiversity:
o Pollination.
o Climate regulation.
o Disturbance regulation (control of large environmental fluctuations).
o Water regulation.
o Water supply (storage of water).
o Erosion control.
o Soil formation.
o Nutrient cycling.
o Waste treatment.
o Biological control.
o Habitats for different populations.
o Production of raw materials.
o Genetic resources available.
o Recreation.
o Gas regulation.
o Scale (loss of biodiversity seems overwhelming).
o Public perception and preference about nature (loss of space) (e.g., mowing the lawn
because it looks cleaner, but it is not the greatest for biodiversity).
o Urban intensification and expansion (loss of space).
o Jurisdictional (biodiversity does not adhere to political boundaries).
o Resources and priorities (many competing priorities for public funds).
What is the Role of City Planning?
o Research (ESA identification, bird collisions).
o Develop and apply land use policy and other tools (ESA designation, Toronto Green
Standard, bird friendly guidelines, strategies).
o Monitoring and improvement (updates to TGS; CofA training).
o Collaboration with others (City Divisions TRCA, stakeholders).
o Public information (Biodiversity Series).
o Official Plan acknowledges the importance of biodiversity and strives to protect it.
Toronto Green Standard:
o Sustainability requirements for new development in Toronto.
Toronto Ravine Strategy:
o Guidelines for how to protect Toronto ravines.
Toronto Pollinator Protection Strategy:
o A draft of priorities and actions for how to protect pollinators.
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