Landscape policy and planning practice: The gap in understanding, Ontario, Canada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Distortions inevitably occur between the creation of policy and its practical application. The gap that exists between the understanding of landscape held by the policy writers and that of the implementers of land-use planning legislation in Ontario, Canada is revealed. The story is told over a nine-month period between the passing and defeat of one planning act, and the introduction of another. A change of government and a substantive shift in governing ideology resulted in the radical transformation of the policies protecting landscapes in this Canadian province's land-use development process. The research documented took place over that crucial period and gives a window into the dynamics of landscape conservation that is created by upper- and lower-tier differences. Higher-level policy makers have a considerable task in protecting landscapes within land-use planning that demands rational and bounded terminology and processes. Conversely, the local implementers of that policy need more flexible and site-specific strategies to conserve those landscapes on the ground. It is this gap that has stalled the protection of landscapes in Ontario, where governments and communities struggle to conserve their valued landscapes-a phenomenon not uncommon in other locations. Some strategies on how to bridge that gap in understanding and improve the prospects for landscape conservation are given.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-118
Number of pages20
JournalLandscape Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Implementation
  • Landscape conservation
  • Policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • General Environmental Science
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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