It is debatable whether or not the National Capital Greenbelt has been successful in curbing urban sprawl, but biologist Dr. Paul Keddy said there are other factors to consider when judging the success of those spaces.

“We’re seeing so much urban intensification, so how do we design a system that will last even as the city continues to grow?” said Keddy.

Keddy, a renowned professor who taught for over 30 years — 17 at the University of Ottawa — is the first speaker at the National Capital Commission’s public forum and vision workshops for a 50-year look at the Greenbelt being held today and tomorrow.

According to Keddy, there are four basic principles to consider when designing greenbelts.

First, they must contain large blocks of land that provide oxygen production, ground water protection, and wildlife habitat. Secondly, those blocks must be connected by natural corridors.

The third principle is that it must include areas like bird nesting sites that add value to the green space. Finally, the Greenbelt must be linked to other large natural green spaces.

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