Photo: Kenyan women working with the Green Belt Movement.

A\J's March/April issue will explore the planet's greenbelts and their impacts and challenges as a land management and community building tool. As an introduction, we've put together this historical timeline of greenbelt growth. Take a sneak peek at the issue here.

7th century – The Prophet Muhammad prohibits the removal of trees from a 19-km strip around the city of Medina, Saudi Arabia.

A mosque and scarce trees in modern-day Medina. Photo: Urbannomadz on Flickr.

1580 – Queen Elizabeth I creates a 4.8-km Cordon Sanitaire circling the city of London to prevent the spread of the bubonic plague.

Photo © chrisdorney \

1935 – London County Council develops the Green Belt Scheme. Two decades later, the policy is codified and extended beyond the metropolis.

A bridge in the Avon Green Belt, Britain. Photo © David Hughes \

1950 – The Ottawa Greenbelt is proposed by Parisian architect-planner Jacques Gréber to prevent sprawl. The Canadian federal government begins expropriating farmland around Ottawa six years later.

Northern Goshawk, a threatened species found in the Ottawa Greenbelt. Photo © sduben \

1994 – The 17,000-km São Paulo City Green Belt Biosphere Reserve is established under UNESCO's Man and Biosphere Programme, two years after 150,000 signatures were gathered by locals.

A mountain in the Biosphere Reserve in Brazil. Photo © Robert Ulph \

1996 – A "Green Zone" is adopted in Vancouver's regional strategic plan to protect ecologically significant land and create a long-term development boundary surrounding the city.

Burnaby Lake in Vancouver's Green Zone. Photo © Lijuan Guo \

2004 – The inaugural Pan-European Green Belt Conference is held in Hungary and attended by delegates from 24 countries.

Yellow Lady's Slipper, an endangered orchid found in Hungarian National Park. Photo © HLPhoto \

2005 – The Ontario Greenbelt is created as part of the province's framework to manage growth and preserve agricultural, recreational and ecosystem services for the Greater Golden Horseshoe around Toronto.

One of the grape varieties grown in the Ontario Greenbelt. Photo © Claudiu Badea \

2011 – Montreal Metropolitan Community approves a regional plan to create a 1.7-million hectare greenbelt. A year later, the Quebec government commits $50 million to help make it happen.

Montreal. Photo © Arap \

2011 – Kenya's Green Belt Movement loses its visionary founder Wangari Maathai to cancer. The Nobel Peace Prize winner is survived by the 51 million peace trees that her NGO has planted.

Wangari Maathai receiving her Nobel Peace Prize. Photo © Ricardo Medina.

Read about the evolution of these last four stories in the Greenbelts issue of A\J, Canada's Environmental Voice. 

Compiled by Julie Bélanger. Julie is a full-time editorial intern at A\J. As a recent UW graduate with a double major in ERS and Geography & Environmental Management she is looking to promote active modes of transportation and other sustainable urban planning practices.

Julie is an urban planning graduate student at the University of Waterloo, focusing on sustainable transportation.

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