Fighting climate change in an urban context: Toward a disability inclusive approach

By Sébastien Jodoin and Naomi Gupta
While existing literature already addresses the consequences of urban climate action for racial and socio-economic inequalities, its intersections with inclusion and equality for people with disabilities have received little attention from researchers. This lack of knowledge is problematic in light of emerging evidence that climate mitigation and adaptation efforts have the potential to dismantle and reinforce the social, economic and physical barriers faced by people with disabilities.

Presence & power: The illusion of Indigenous inclusion in climate adaptation plans in Canada

By Janna Wale
Over the past several years, there has been an increasing recognition of the importance of including Indigenous knowledge in both responding and adapting to climate change. Canada’s first National Adaptation Strategy (NAS) and associated Action Plan (NAP), released in draft in 2022, presented a landmark opportunity for Indigenous people to both meaningfully contribute and lead climate action and adaptation. However, many aspects of Indigenous inclusion and representation in the development of the NAS and NAP fell short. This research considers the involvement (or lack thereof) of Indigenous peoples in adaptation planning and decision-making in Canada.

Architecture + Homelessness: Inclusive practices for urban solidarity

By Carolyne Grimard, Sonia Blank, Sarahlou Wagner Lapierre, Elizabeth Prince et Véronic Lapalme
The COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the housing, migration and climate crises, has increased inequalities and exacerbated homelessness in urban areas. How can we engage architecture to transform our cities in solidarity with people experiencing or at risk of homelessness? Research carried out by the team of Architecture Sans Frontières Québec (ASFQ) and the Université de Montréal has identified planning gestures aimed at reversing the dynamics of exclusion, reconsidering perceptions of home and adapting design to the realities of life in public space.

Key considerations for addressing the equity deficit in municipal climate action

By Jennifer Dobai and Manuel Riemer
Increasingly, municipalities are taking actions to address global climate change at a local level. Yet, some of these actions generate unintended consequences for marginalized communities, resulting in an equity-deficit. In this summary, the authors first review a study that explored the perspectives of key municipal sustainability actors on this equity-deficit in municipal climate action. While there was a general awareness of this issue, the participants highlighted several key structural barriers in addressing it. Building on this finding, the authors then review a second connected study from the same municipal area that investigated how a needed transformation may be initiated by shifting mental models of municipal leaders.

Access to green spaces: A source of environmental inequalities? The case of Saint-Henri in Montreal

By Étienne Tardif-Paradis
In recent years, the Montreal metropolis has stepped up the implementation of greening projects in line with an ideal of sustainable urban development and environmental justice. The Saint-Henri district is an emblematic case in point, with its high density of green spaces. However, the proliferation of public interventions to green urban spaces is taking place in a living environment characterized by specific socio-economic realities and needs, and marked by a process of gentrification. Here, the authorities’ desire to respond to certain socio-environmental inequalities by improving access to green spaces is having paradoxical consequences.

Adaptation measures by Quebec municipalities: Progress and determinants according to deprivation level

By Johann Jacob and Pierre Valois
With many climate risks concentrated in urban areas, adaptation to climate change is an issue that cities and municipalities can no longer ignore. A better understanding of the potential effects of adaptation actions, particularly the less desirable ones, has become a necessity. From a just transition perspective, it is essential to develop the capacity to measure and assess the progress made by municipalities in adaptation, as well as to strengthen their ability to take account of the specific vulnerabilities of certain groups.

Repeated flooding in Pointe-Gatineau: From living neighbourhood to wasteland

By Ariane Hamel and Nathalie St-Amour
The community of Pointe-Gatineau was hit by a series of historic floods in 2017, 2019 and 2023. Since then, many homes have been destroyed and a large number of residents have left the area, leading to insecurity among those who remained. This synthesis presents the preliminary results of a study looking at the recovery process of people affected by the 2017 and 2019 floods, and in particular at the role played by their attachment to their community in this process.

References to vulnerability in Quebec’s 2013-2020 climate change policy initiatives: Supporting resource extraction at the expense of environmental justice

By Laurie Gagnon-Bouchard
Based on a master’s thesis, this synthesis examines the integration of the concept of vulnerability into Quebec’s climate change policy guidelines for 2013-2020. The analysis results indicate that using the language of vulnerability can emphasize the vulnerability of the economic sectors in the Northern Plan. This approach allows for a risk management strategy that does not compromise economic growth or increase associated risks.

Climate change adaptation on the margins: Community contributions to reducing vulnerability to extreme heat

By Anne-Marie D’Amours, Étienne Poulin and Sophie L. Van Neste
Heat waves are a growing threat to cities, but one that weighs much more heavily on certain vulnerable segments of the population. And yet, some of the less traditional players in the field of adaptation are contributing, directly or indirectly, to reducing such social vulnerabilities and mitigating certain socio-environmental inequalities through care and social support practices. Although Montreal is distinguished by its dynamic community and associative milieu, the potential contribution of this sector to heat wave adaptation remains poorly understood.

Montreal’s green alleyways: Spatial disparities and variations

By Thi-Thanh-Hiên Pham, Ugo Lachapelle, Basile Mangiante et Alexandre Rocheleau
Green alley programs, increasingly promoted by cities across North America, generally aim to transform alleyways into green infrastructure, providing more ecosystem services, improving road safety and enabling ownership by local residents. In Montreal, they are more present in medium- to high-density, middle-income areas, with more young people and lower percentages of couples with children. They are less present in neighborhoods with more recent immigrants and visible minorities.

For a just and feminist ecological transition in Montreal

By Naomie Léonard, Hélène Madénian and Gabrielle Perras St-Jean
As part of its fight against climate change, taking gender into account from an intersectional perspective would enable the City of Montreal to avoid certain pitfalls, such as reproducing sexist biases and stereotypes, and exacerbating inequalities between genders and between women themselves. This text is a summary of the research that led to the publication of the Avis du Conseil des Montréalaises pour une transition écologique juste et féministe à Montréal November 2, 2022.

The state of knowledge on inequality associated with climate change adaptation solutions

By Émily Després
Faced with the impacts of climate change, a number of actors are already actively implementing adaptation solutions. However, a number of recent studies tend to show that there is a risk that some of these solutions will lead to maladaptation and cause or exacerbate socio-economic inequalities. Studies of the impacts associated with these initiatives have received little attention. As a result, the negative impacts identified are rarely considered.

Climate change adaptation and urban experimentation in Montreal: Progress and blind spots

By Hélène Madénian, Sophie L. Van Neste, Geneviève Cloutier and Émilie Houde-Tremblay
Cities are multiplying initiatives to become resilient to climate change. However, the impacts of adaptation choices and priorities are not always explicitly discussed. As part of Labo Climat Montréal, a research project and living laboratory, documentation of current practices and workshops helped stimulate learning and understanding of adaptation priorities and constraints in the redevelopment of an urban area. The results show an emphasis and innovation on stormwater management, with less attention to social vulnerabilities to heat and the impacts of development on surrounding neighborhoods. As climate hazards affect the various populations in an area in different ways, concerted and strategic actions need to be developed.

The incremental trajectory of climate change adaptation in Quebec municipalities

By Eve Bourgeois
With the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events on the rise, more and more cities are implementing measures to adapt to climate change. This observation is consistent with the situation in Quebec, where six municipalities (Montreal, Quebec City, Laval, Longueuil, Sherbrooke and Saguenay) have adopted different climate change adaptation strategies. It appears that the approach favored by these municipalities is highly incremental.