Greenbelt is the largely undeveloped, natural, or agricultural land surrounding or neighboring urban areas which is often protected from development and construction.
Greenbelts are established through mandate in the form of a city plan, regional plan, or land use designation. Many communities have placed a priority on the preservation of greenbelts, encouraging people to think about the natural environment while planning how land will be used in and around cities and towns.
Greenbelt policy objectives are to:
• Protect natural or semi-natural environments;
• Improve air quality within urban areas;
• Ensure that urban residents have access to countryside and local food, with consequent educational, health, and recreational benefits; and
• Protect the unique character of rural communities that might otherwise be absorbed by expanding cities and towns.
Greenbelt benefits include:
• Contiguous habitat network for wild plants, animals, and wildlife.
• Cleaner air and water.
• Access to locally sourced food.
• Better land use of areas within the bordering cities.
• Recreational areas for walking, camping, and biking close to cities and towns.