Regulatory reform and eco-development in Winnipeg, the Westminster Square eco-village

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Stuart, Alexander Grey
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As urban centres continue to expand in population and in area, their impact on the environment increases. One method of reducing the ecological impact of urban centres is the eco-village, an approach to community built to specifications which lessen the impact on the environment. However, in many cases, regulatory and other barriers make the construction of eco-villages and other forms of environmentally benign development difficult, if not impossible. The research examines the regulatory barriers facing a proposed eco-village development in central Winnipeg's Wolseley neighbourhood; the Westminster Square Eco-Village Project. Following an initial literature review and a consultation process with key stakeholders, a list of proposed eco-village elements was identified for examination. Key regulatory officials were then interviewed to determine the barriers to these elements, and how to overcome them. Surprisingly, regulatory barriers were found to have less of an impact on this project proposal than was anticipated. Rather, other barriers not covered by this thesis, such as social and financial barriers, were found to have a similar impact to the regulatory barriers. Despite these findings, some regulatory barriers to eco-village development do exist in Winnipeg. This research project concludes with a set of regulatory and procedural recommendations for the City of Winnipeg, which are intended to create a more favourable regulatory environment to support innovate forms of development.