The Niagara Escarpment: Exploring Bioregional Approaches to Cultural Heritage Landscape Management

Cultural Landscapes and Heritage Values Conference, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2015
Annie Veilleux, Joel Konrad, Heidy Schopf and Rebecca Sciarra

Ontario’s 2005 and 2014 Provincial Policy Statements (PPS) mandate that “significant cultural heritage landscapes shall be conserved.” This, however, has not led to great advancement in strategic heritage planning, nor has policy compliance improved substantially since 2005. This presentation will explore whether Ontario’s PPS and its associated definitions for cultural heritage landscapes should be supported by a strategic implementation framework. Using the Niagara Escarpment as an example, this presentation will discuss whether cultural landscape planning would benefit from operating at a larger geographical scale while using specific conceptual frameworks that: (1) link landscapes to economic development, environmental sustainability, and quality of life; and (2) dissolve separations between ‘natural’ and ‘cultural’ heritage. Leading up to the Niagara Escarpment Plan’s third mandated review in 2015, a range of discussion papers were prepared across various disciplines. A strategic definition for cultural heritage landscapes that addresses geographic scale as well as economic, cultural, and natural relationships will be developed based on key policy issues and considerations highlighted in these papers. Building on this strategic definition, this presentation will identify and discuss regulatory tools and policy provisions that currently exist in other disciplines that might be applied to cultural landscape management in various jurisdictions.

This paper was presented by Annie Veilleux