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.

Energy poverty in Canada: Social and geographic inequalities

By Mylène Riva
Between 6% and 19% of Canadian households are currently grappling with energy poverty, according to data sourced from the 2017 Survey of Household Spending. This research delves into the social and geographic distribution of this phenomenon across the country. The study reveals that certain household types, such as those with single occupants, lone parents, or older members, face significantly higher odds of experiencing energy poverty. Geographical disparities are evident, with households in Atlantic provinces and rural areas facing nearly double the odds of energy poverty compared to other regions. These findings underscore the socio-spatial patterning of energy poverty in Canada and highlight its variability across different locales.

Achieving deep-energy retrofits for households in energy poverty

By Laura Tozer, Hannah MacRae and Emily Smit
This systematic review identifies which factors influence the achievement of energy retrofits for households vulnerable to energy poverty. The results identify a range of influential factors across several themes: financial, policy, organizational, trust, communication, technical, attitudes, and health. Quality of life, health, trust, and communication are particularly influential motivating factors among households vulnerable to energy poverty. Financial considerations such as the availability of no-cost retrofits and the prospect of lower costs are also important. Government requirements to retrofit and minimum energy standards are motivating, particularly in the social housing sector.

Energy poverty: An overlooked determinant of health and climate resilience in Canada

By Mylène Riva
Even though Canada is a significant energy producer, not all Canadians have access to or can afford sufficient energy services at home to fulfill their needs, maintain comfortable indoor temperatures, and lead decent lives—a circumstance referred to as energy poverty. This research, the first of its kind in the Canadian context, examines the connection between energy poverty and health. It demonstrates that experiencing energy poverty is linked to a significantly higher probability of poor physical and mental health. Considering the substantial portion of Canadian households affected by energy poverty and its demonstrated impact on public health, addressing this issue is crucial for ensuring an equitable energy transition and enhancing climate resilience.

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.

Sustainable housing and electric mobility programs in Quebec: Toward a trajectory of urban sprawl and growing socioeconomic inequalities

By Guillaume Lessard
Two major challenges to sustainable urbanization in North America are the environmental, social and economic impacts of urban sprawl, and the growing socio-economic inequalities associated with housing and mobility. Several government policies and programs address these issues. However, depending on how they are implemented, interventions in these sectors can lead to the reinforcement of structural and cultural barriers specific to urban sprawl, as well as the exacerbation of pre-existing socio-economic inequalities.