Generating an Environmental Protection Scheme of the Greenbelt via a GIS Based MCE Model
The objective of this study was to consider areas of southern Ontario's Greenbelt that have heightened environmental protection and priority in terms of development pressures through an MCE analysis. As one of the fastest growing population centers in North America, understanding where to develop in terms of both the environment and policy in place, is imperative for decision making. The Greenbelt Act (along with the Niagara Escarpment Act and Oak Ridges Morain Act) were set in place to protect the environment and agriculturally rich areas. With recent government changes, there was a realization of the possibility of future development within these protected areas. In order to be proactive if these developments move forward, this study aimed to identify a suitability index of where it is best to do so within the Greenbelt. To highlight these more and less idealized locations for developing, a series of environmental and policy factors were identified. From this identification, their weight and rankings were considered through subjective pair-wise comparison methods. Once the significance of each of the elements was determined, maps were synthesized through raster calculations to develop areas of suitability.