Cities of the future
need more green spaces
Biodiversity must be integrated into the long-term vision of cities like Montreal
By Roger Joachym
December 5, 2022
With the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) being held in Montreal, a collective of eleven environmental groups from southwest Montreal*, the Collectif en connectivité du sud-ouest de Montréal, is taking a stand on the place that nature should occupy in the city of tomorrow.
“We have some great green spaces and connectivity axes in the southwest of Montreal, but it is important to increase the amount of land devoted to nature and to better connect these spaces. In so doing, we will contribute to the survival of biodiversity and increase access to nature for citizens, both for their mental and physical health”, explains spokesperson Roger Jochym of Sauvons la falaise, a group which has been instrumental in the creation of the Bande verte, a multipurpose path along the Falaise Saint-Jacques, a geographic feature dating back to prehistoric Montreal.
In cities that are becoming increasingly dense to meet the need for population growth and to make better use of resources, municipal governments must put nature back at the heart of the city in order to improve the quality of life of citizens and to make our cities more resilient to extreme weather events, thanks to the many ecosystem services that nature provides.
Formed in the wake of consultations on the City of Montreal’s Projet de ville 2050, the Collectif en connectivité du sud-ouest de Montréal submitted a brief to the Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM) last October. As part of this exercise, the Collectif conducted a survey whose responses confirm the importance of green and natural spaces for observation and contact with nature, as well as for the practice of activities such as walking, running and cycling. One of the recommendations is to create more flowering meadows, micro-forests and ecological corridors through a greater presence of native trees and plants. Biodiversity must be integrated into the vision of cities like Montreal.
* Amis des parcs, Demain Verdun, Écoquartier Sud-Ouest, GRAME, Héritage Laurentien, Les amis du corridor vert d’Hydro Québec à Montréal-Ouest, Les amis du parc Angrignon, Les amis du parc Meadowbrook, Nature-action Québec, Sauvons la falaise, UrbaNature.
Roger Jochym, Sauvons la Falaise
Feature image: biodiversity corridor project in Saint-Laurent, civiliti, LAND Italia, Table Architecture, Biodiversité Conseil
Roger Jochym is a 25+ year resident of Westmount. He is the founder of the Ry Arp Studio, a firm dedicated to generating 21st century planning ideas that are engaged in regaining the city for the human scale, interlacing it with nature, and invigorating it by culture, the arts, and sciences. His background is that of architecture from McGill and many built projects, notably the trans-border and international wings of Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport.