Planning for Resilient Water Infrastructure: Understanding the Water System and the Impacts of the Planning Process in Implementing Green Infrastructure Projects within Ontario Municipalities
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This Major Paper examines how green infrastructure has been incorporated in Ontario municipalities and the barriers and challenges associated with its planning and implementation. Based on two Ontario municipalities, the City of Toronto and Brampton, this paper argues that while municipalities have begun to integrate green infrastructure into their planning practices, issues around weak policy, knowledge and training, senior management buy-in and risk aversion, as well as collaboration and public acceptance have affected these municipalities’ abilities to implement green infrastructure projects on a municipal-wide scale. Through qualitative interviews with key practitioners (n = 6), solutions to address these challenges are identified. This paper argues that implementing strong green infrastructure policies, providing greater training opportunities, gaining senior management buy-in, developing a dedicated, interdisciplinary leadership team, and creating new approaches to educate the public are essential next steps. By working towards these solutions, municipalities will be able to begin working towards fully integrate green infrastructure into the planning process, inherently make green infrastructure visibly dominant and increasing the resiliency of the water network.