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Understanding barriers to green infrastructure policy and stormwater management in the City of Toronto: a shift from grey to green or policy layering and conversion?

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This paper presents findings from a study of policy implementation of green infrastructure and stormwater management in the City of Toronto – Canada’s largest city. The analysis uses key informant interviews with public, private and non-profit sector actors to examine the challenges municipalities face in implementing green infrastructure policies. The article begins with a review of the literature related to green infrastructure policy implementation followed by the theoretical and methodological approach used in the paper. Findings are then presented outlining the significant barriers to green infrastructure and insights from participants who articulated that rather than a shift from grey to green, what is evident in terms of policy change is policy layering and very gradual conversion of well-established policies that support grey infrastructure. The paper concludes with a discussion of why the shift from grey to green will continue to be challenging unless significant policy and institutional changes are advanced.
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Keywords: green infrastructure; implementation barriers; policy; policy change; policy instruments; policy layering and conversion; water

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada

Publication date: July 3, 2019

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