Planning for Urban Biodiversity: An examination of the relationship between Integrated Community Sustainability Planning principles and novel ecosystem formation.
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This study examines how the principles of sustainability are incorporated into Integrated Community Sustainability Planning (ICSP) and how implementation within policy affects trends in urban biodiversity. This research makes use of a comparative case study approach which examines policy implementation related to sustainability within four mid-sized municipalities (Kingston, Markham, Burlington, and London). The policy examination will further be used to ascertain how the principles utilized within an ICS plan can be used to preserve urban biodiversity and promote the creation and protection of novel ecosystems. Novel ecosystems are defined as modified systems that contain new combinations of species that are the result of anthropogenic action, environmental change and the deliberate or inadvertent introduction of exotic species. Methods consist of content analysis of relevant municipal documents, examination of peer-reviewed literature from relevant fields, and passive observation of urban habitat units within all four municipalities that will determine levels of habitat fragmentation. Results suggest these municipalities contain a greenspace structure that is decidedly fragmented. Further, municipalities implementing ICS plans (Kingston, Markham) are beginning to address this phenomenon by incorporating language within planning policy that is based on the principles of sustainability.