Urban inequality and planning in a context of socio-ecological transition: The Conseil interculturel de Montréal’s action research experience

By Chloé Reiser
In Montreal, territorial inequalities are a central issue in planning policies, with a view to a fairer socio-ecological transition. Although the City of Montreal recognizes the existence of such inequalities within its territory, much remains to be done to guarantee equitable access to urban resources for all citizens. As part of the renewal of the city’s Urban Planning and Mobility Plan, the Conseil interculturel de Montréal (CIM) is looking at the experiences of immigrant and racialized people in terms of territorial inequalities. Drawing on an in-depth review of grey and academic literature, as well as an online survey and mapping-discussion workshops conducted in three disadvantaged city neighborhoods – Saint-Léonard, Saint-Laurent and Montréal-Nord – immigrant and racialized people not only identify obstacles to accessing urban resources, notably public transport, affordable housing and green spaces, but also put forward solutions to address these persistent issues.

The (very) concrete utopia of Bâtiment 7: A common facing the challenges of its financial autonomy

By Sylvain A. Lefèvre and David Grant-Poitras
Bâtiment 7 is a « collective autonomy factory » located in a working-class district of Montreal. By studying the micro-politics of its financing, we examine the articulation of its issues of sustainability, accessibility and economic democratization. Structural tensions emerge in reconciling all these objectives, but so do promising social innovations. Far from being a technical detail, financial empowerment puts the common good to the test – its boundaries, its resources, the links between its members and its collective architecture.

Community development in the context of the social and environmental transition: Eight Local development processes in Quebec

By Lucie Morin, Sonia Racine, Denis Bourque, André-Anne Parent, René Lachapelle, Christian Jetté, Stéphane Grenier, Dominic Foisy, Sébastien Savard, Serigne Touba Mbacké Gueye, Geneviève Le Dorze-Cloutier, Ariane Hamel and Charlotte Goglio
In Quebec, a multitude of players work together to maintain and improve living conditions. Solid expertise has been built up in the field of community development. This collective intelligence could be put to good use in the fight against the climate crisis. Qualitative research carried out in 8 territories in Quebec aims to understand how territorial development approaches, especially those dedicated to social development, contribute to the collective efforts required to ensure the socio-ecological transition.

“Climate justice” in Quebec: Struggle, mobilization, and practice

By Hélène Madénian, Sophie L. Van Neste, Zaïnab El Guerrab and René Audet
This synthesis presents a history of the struggles that have helped redefine the environmental movement in Quebec over the past fifteen years. First, the struggles against hydrocarbons, then three subsequent moments in the movement: roadmaps and local experiments for transition, conversations to bring « the margins » back to the heart of the climate movement, and contestations from an urban wasteland in Montreal.

Reciprocal training: An instrument of epistemic justice in the campaign for a just energy transition

By Laurence Brière, Guillaume Moreau, Maude Prud’homme, Isabel Orellana, Marie-Ève Marleau, Martine Chatelain and Marie-Pier Lafrance
The eco-citizen movement for an energy transition is working to transform the dominant economic-energy system with a view to social justice and respect for the environment. By collaborating with stakeholders in this mobilization as part of an action-research project, we raised the epistemic justice issues inherent in this political project, and attempted to create spaces for reciprocal training, highlighting the diversity of types of knowledge. An innovative conceptual framework for energy justice was proposed, taking into account the very concrete realities of eco-citizen struggles and initiatives.

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.

The local community at the heart of the ecological transition: The impact of local, citizen-based climate initiatives in Montreal

By Alexandra Nadeau
In cities, a growing number of citizens are independently setting up initiatives to tackle climate change, such as greening, urban agriculture and alternative energy projects. Using the case study of Montreal’s Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie district, this research shows that local initiatives reflect the growing power of informal collective modes of action. Through local « green » actions, citizens produce direct, concrete and simple benefits, focused on their own personal gain.