PLA 1601 F
ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING AND POLICY
2010-11 COURSE OUTLINE
Instructor: Virginia Maclaren, SSH 5050, 978-4977,
Seminars: Wednesdays, 3-5PM, Sidney Smith Room 5017B
OUTLINE. This course will provide students with an introduction to the theory and practice of
environmental planning. We also examine a limited amount of environmental policy as it relates
to environmental planning. The course is broad in scope but also allows students an opportunity
to explore topics of special interest. The emphasis of the course is on urban environmental
planning and national or provincial policy. Many of the examples presented in the course come
from Canada, but a comparative international perspective will also be offered on several topics.
Major Essay. The major essay is an opportunity for you to examine, in detail, a topic of your
choice that is related to environmental planning and policy. You should discuss your proposed
topic with the instructor and prepare an essay proposal, identifying the context for the paper, the
research questions, proposed structure of the paper, and include at least 6 references.
Short Seminar Presentation. You will make a short presentation on the results of your research
into a specific environmental planning initiative, to be agreed upon with me. I will provide
suggested topics for the class, but you may choose another one if you prefer. Your presentation
should include the following:
A brief description of the policy/planning initiative and its current status.
Its strengths and weaknesses, particularly from the view of different stakeholder groups.
The length of the seminar presentations will depend on the number of students in the course and
may range from 10-20 minutes in length.
Debates. The list of debate topics in the course schedule is a tentative list that may be modified,
depending on the interests of the students enrolled in the class. Each student will participate in
one debate, as a proponent or opponent. The debates will last 50 minutes and will be organized as
1. The PRO side will go first and have 10 minutes to make a presentation, followed by the
CON side, which will also have 10 minutes to make a presentation.
2. The PRO side will have up to 5 minutes to rebut any points made by the CON side,
followed by up to 5 minutes for a similar rebuttal by the CON side.
3. After that, the floor will be open to discussion in the class.
I expect that in preparation for the debate, you will read not only the assigned readings on the
topic but also more widely. The more citations and evidence that you can provide during the
debate, the stronger your case will be. To be well prepared, you should thoroughly research both
sides of the argument. I recommend that you come to the debate ready with slides or overheads
(please agree on a visual presentation method with your opponent and let me know what it will
be) to use during your presentation. Please prepare a handout for the class listing the references
that you plan to use during your presentation. Your grade will be determined based on the
strength of your arguments during the debate and evidence of a substantial research effort.
Reading critique and questions. You are expected to do the required readings before each class
meeting. For five of the ten weeks with assigned readings, you should also prepare a single page
(250-500 word) commentary of the assigned readings. These are meant to be short analytical
responses (rather than summaries) that evaluate the arguments made and point to connections
between readings (assigned for that week or read earlier). Email this to me by Monday (no later
than 9pm) and I will distribute it to the rest of the class. For the weeks that you do not submit a
commentary, please email me two questions based on the readings, by Monday evening.
GRADING SCHEME (Penalty for all late assignments: 5% per day)
Debate 15% TBA
Readings critiques and questions 20%
Seminar presentation (topic agreed by Sept 29) 10% Oct 13
Essay proposal (approx. 500 words) 5% Due Oct 27
Major essay (14-18 pages) 45% Due Dec 8
The University of Toronto is committed to accessibility. If you require accommodations
for a disability, or have any accessibility concerns about the course, the classroom or
course materials, please contact Accessibility Services as soon as possible:
firstname.lastname@example.org_ or _http://studentlife.utoronto.ca/accessibility_
Plagiarism is an academic offense at the University of Toronto. Plagiarism is quoting (or
paraphrasing) the work of an author (including the work of fellow students) without a
proper citation. Students should not be submitting any academic work for which credit
has previously been obtained or is being sought, without first discussing with the
instructor. Please consult the “Rules and Regulations” section of the Arts and Science
Calendar (www.artsandscience.utoronto.ca/ofr/calendar/rules.htm) for further
information and check the „How not to plagiarize‟ website at
September 15. Introduction. Overview of Environmental Policy and Law
Daniels, T. J. 2009. A trail across time: American environmental planning from City
Beautiful to Sustainability. Journal of the American Planning Association 75(2): 178-192.
September 22. Greenbelts
Pond, D. 2009. Institutions, political economy and land use policy: greenbelt politics in
Ontario. Environmental Politics 18(2): 238-256.
Fung, F. and Conway, T. 2007. Greenbelts as an environmental planning tool: a case
study of southern Ontario, Canada. Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning 9(2):
Ali, A. 2008. Greenbelts to contain urban growth in Ontario, Canada: Promises and
Prospects. Planning Practice and Research 23(4): 533-548.
Hanna, K.and Webber, S. 2010. Incremental planning and land-use conflict in the
Toronto region‟s Oak Ridges Moraine. Local Environment 15(2): 169-183.
Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy. 2008. Ontario‟s greenbelt in
international context. Friends of the Greebelt Foundation, Occasional Paper Series,
Toronto. http://www.cielap.org/pdf/GreenbeltInternationalContext.pdf (particularly
Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Greenbelt site.
http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page187.aspx See “Protecting the Greenbelt: the Greenbelt
Plan” for details of the Greenbelt Plan and accompanying maps.
September 29. Brownfields
De Sousa, C. 2006. Urban brownfields redevelopment in Canada: the role of local
government. The Canadian Geographer 50(3): 392-407.
De Sousa, C. 2002. Measuring the public costs and benefits of brownfield versus
greenfield development in the Greater Toronto Area. Environment and Planning B:
Planning and Design 29: 251-280.
McCarthy, L. 2002. The brownfield dual land-use policy challenge: reducing barriers to
private redevelopment while connecting reuse to broader community goals. Land Use
Policy 19: 287-296.
Hayek, M., Arku, G. and Gilliland, J. 2010. Assessing London, Ontario‟s brownfield
redevelopment effort to promote urban intensification. Local Environment 15(4): 389-
National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy. (2003) Cleaning up the Past,
Building the Future: A National Brownfield Redevelopment Strategy for Canada.
Ottawa: National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy.
October 6. Planning for Climate Change.
Campbell, H. 2006. Is the issue of climate change too big for spatial planning? Planning
Theory and Practice 7(2): 201-230.
Wheeler, S. 2008. State and municipal climate change plans: the first generation. Journal
of the American Planning Association 74(4) 481-496.
Saavedra, C. and Budd, W. 2009. Climate change and environmental planning: Working
to build community resilience and adaptive capacity in Washington State, USA. Habitat
International 33: 246-252.
Aylett, A. 2010. Participatory planning, justice, and climate change in Durban, South
Africa. Environment and Planning A 42: 99-115.
Mehdi, B. (ed). 2006. Adapting to climate change: an introduction for Canadian
municipalities. Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Ottawa, pp. 36.
Snover, A.K., L. Whitely Binder, J. Lopez, E. Willmott, J. Kay, D. Howell, and J.
Simmonds. 2007. Preparing for climate change: a guidebook for local, regional, and state
governments. In association with and published by ICLEI – Local Governments for
Sustainability, Oakland, CA, pp.186.
FCM A milestone framework for action
NRCan municipal case studies Calgary (water supply) Delta (seal level rise) NB (sea
level rise) North (permafrost) http://ess.nrcan.gc.ca/2002_2006/rcvcc/j32/1_e.php
October 13. Seminar presentations
October 20. Green Development
Bowler, D.E., Buyung-Ali, L., Knight, T.M., and Pullin, A.S. 2010. Urban greening to
cool towns and cities: A systematic review of the empirical
Evidence. Landscape and Urban Planning 97: 147-155.
Kesik, T. and Miller, A. 2008. Toronto Green Development Standard: Cost-Benefit
Study. John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, University of
Toronto, Toronto. pp.171-212..
Carter, T. and Fowler, L. 2008. Establishing green roof infrastructure through
environmental policy instruments. Journal of Environmental Management 42: 151-164.
October 27. Planning Debate: “LEED Certification is just smoke and mirrors. The criteria for
LEED certification of buildings or even neighbourhoods are far too easy to satisfy and have no
substantial benefit for the environment.”
Newsham, G., Mancini, S. and Birt, B. 2009. Do LEED-certified buildings save energy?
Yes, but. . . Energy and Buildings 41: 897-905
Retzlaff, R. 2009. The use of LEED in planning and development regulation: an
exploratory analysis. Journal of Planning Education and Research.
Garde, A. 2009. Sustainable by Design? Insights From U.S. LEED-ND Pilot Projects.
Journal of the American Planning Association 75(4): 424-440.
Cidell, J. 2009. A political ecology of the built environment: LEED certification for green
buildings. Local Environment 14(7): 621 -633.
November 3. . Planning Debate: “The movement towards local food production is not
necessarily good for the environment or for disadvantaged groups and faces too many barriers to
ever be more than a minor contributor to overall food consumption”.
Pothukuchi, K. and Kaufman, J. L. 2000. The Food System. Journal of the
American Planning Association, 66: 2, 113-124.
Born, B. and Purcell, M. 2006. Avoiding the local trap: scale and food systems in
planning research. Journal of Planning Education and Research 26: 195-207.
Mayer, H. and Knox, P. 2006. Slow cities: sustainable places in a fast world. Journal of
Urban Affairs 28(4): 321-334.
Baker, L.E. 2004. Tending cultural landscapes and food citizenship in Toronto‟s
community gardens. Geographical Review 94(3): 305-325.
Harry Cummings and Associates Ind. 2005. Region of Waterloo Food Flow Analysis
Study. Prepared for Region of Waterloo Public Health, pp.111.
Wormsbecker, C.L. 2007. Moving Towards the Local: The Barriers and Opportunities for
Localizing Food Systems in Canada. A thesis presented to the University of Waterloo in
fulfillment of the thesis requirement for the degree of Master of Environmental Studies in
Environment and Resource Studies. http://www.guelphlocalfood.ca/final-report/
November 10. Planning Debate: “NIMBYism is an intractable problem faced by environmental
planners, regardless of the type of facility being sited”
Schively, C. 2007. Understanding the NIMBY and LULU phenomena: reassessing our
knowledge base and informing future research. Journal of Planning Literature 21: 255-
McAvoy, G.E. 1998. Partisan probing and democratic decision-making: rethinking the
NIMBY syndrome. Policy Studies Journal 26(2): 274-292.
Devine-Wright, P. 2005. Beyond NIMBYism: towards an integrated framework for
understanding public perceptions of wind energy. Wind Energy 8: 125-139.
Aitken, M., McDonald, S., Strachan, P. 2008. Locating „power‟ in wind power planning
processes: the (not so) influential role of local objectors. Journal of Environmental
Planning and Management 51(6): 777-799.
November 17. Sustainability Indicators and Performance Measurement
Wilson, J. and Grant, J. L.2009. Calculating ecological footprints at the municipal level:
what is a reasonable approach for Canada? Local Environment 14(10), 963-979.
Yli-Viikari, A.2009. Confusing messages of sustainability indicators, Local Environment,
14: 10, 891-903.
Holman, N. 2009. Incorporating local sustainability indicators into structures of local
governance: a review of the literature, Local Environment, 14(4): 365-375.
Rydin, Y., 2007. Indicators as a governmnetal technology? The lessons of community-
based sustainability indicator projects. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space,
25 (4): 610–624.
November 24. Waste management planning.
Scheinberg, A. 2003. The proof of the pudding: urban recycling in North America as a
process of ecological modernization. Environmental Politics 12(4): 49-75.
Price, J.L. and Joseph, J.B. 2000. Demand management – a basis for waste policy: a
critical review of the applicability of the waste hierarchy in terms of achieving
sustainable waste management. Sustainable Development 8: 96-105.
Lyons. D. 2007. A spatial analysis of loop closing among recycling remanufacturing and
waste treatment firms in Texas. Journal of Industrial Ecology11(1): 43-53.
Baxter, J.W., Eyles, J.D., and Elliott, S.J 1999. From siting principles to siting practices:
a case study of discord among trust, equity and community participation. Journal of
Environmental Planning and Management 42(4): 501-525.
December 1. Water resources planning.
Davies, L.L. 2007. Just a big, „hot fuss‟? Assessing the value of connecting suburban
sprawl, land use and water rights through assured supply laws. Ecology Law Quarterly
Berke, P.R., Macdonald, J., White, N., Holmes, M., Line, D., Oury, K., and Ryznar, R.
2003. Greening development to protect watersheds: does new urbanism make a
difference? Journal of the American Planning Association 69(4): 397-413.
Ferreyra, C., de Loe, R.C., and Kreutzwiser, R.D. 2008. Imagined communities,
contested watersheds: challenges to integrated water resources management in
agricultural areas. Journal of Rural Studies 24: 304-321.
Conservation Ontario 2003. Watershed Management in Ontario: Lessons Learned and
Best Practices. (Toronto: Conservation Ontario).