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Planning Definitions

Sustainable Halton is a complex technical growth and land use planning project. To help you understand these reports, we have summarized some of the key terms for you.

Complete Communities

Complete Communities offer residents the ability to live, work and play in their local neighbourhood. They provide a range of housing options from single family homes to higher density apartment complexes. As well, they are designed to encourage residents to walk and use public transportation instead of cars.

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Landform Permanence

Landform Permanence refers to the preservation of natural structures such as rivers, lakes, moraines and hills in urban environments for the benefit of the urban and natural environments.

For example, in Halton Region, Landform Permanence refers to the need to permanently protect landforms such as the Trafalgar Moraine, which contains the headwaters for six creeks in Oakville, filters local drinking water and provides habitat for a wide variety of plant, fish and animal species.

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Natural Heritage Systems

Natural Heritage Systems (NHS) are areas of the natural environment where large, core natural areas are linked together using smaller, ecologically stable corridors of natural habitat. Natural Heritage Systems can be thought of as a necklace of large, green “jewels” joined into one cohesive piece by smaller “links” of natural areas.

By creating Natural Heritage Systems, we help to reduce the impacts of fragmentation caused by large scale development and provide sufficient habitat to support populations of native plants and animals over the very long term (greater than 100 years).

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Primary Study Area

The term Primary Study Area (PSA) refers to land situated below the escarpment that is recognized in the current Halton Region Official Plan as Halton's prime agricultural land. PSA land is subject to the policies of the Halton Official Plan and its long-term future was determined as part of the Sustainable Halton process.

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Sustainable Development

At Halton Region, we define the term sustainable development with two principles.

  1. That sustainable development includes planning for the current needs of Halton's residents and leaves future generations of residents with options to meet their needs.
  2. That with sustainable development, we will plan to protect the environment, encourage economic strength and foster a healthy, just society.

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