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.

Exploring equity and justice content in Vancouver’s environmental plans

By Emeralde O’Donnell and Andréanne Doyon
Scholars have raised concerns about vague uses of equity and justice terms negatively impacting equity and justice work in planning. We explored the link between equity and justice framings and outcomes in four of Vancouver’s environmental plans. With the inequitable impacts of climate change and a history of planning worsening inequities, we must consider how approaches to equity and justice are impacting planning work in our cities.

Supporting climate action and Indigenous self-determination: Ethical space-based planning in the Upper Columbia region of British Columbia

By Moe Nadeau
Planners play a key role in shaping society, but have historically oppressed Indigenous communities. Adopting Ethical Space-based planning can balance power dynamics between Indigenous and non-Indigenous governments, fostering collaboration and ethical decision-making for land. Indigenous voices are the key to climate action, as their deep connection and commitment to act in relationship with the land supports long-term sustainability. This research offers recommendations to advance Ethical Space in planning initiatives. Through Ethical Space, planners can create more just and resilient futures.

Clearing the air: Barriers to improving air quality and reducing environmental inequity along Vancouver’s Clark-Knight corridor

By Nancy Lai-Chu Chan
Based on a thesis completed for the SFU Masters of Urban Studies Program, this research summary focuses on the investigation of barriers to implementing policies and programs to improve air quality and reduce environmental inequity related to traffic-related air pollution exposure along the Clark-Knight corridor, home to a six-lane arterial road and one of the busiest, most polluted truck routes in the Metro Vancouver region.

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 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.

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.

Review of a research partnership in Rosemont‒La Petite-Patrie: The challenges of sub-municipal governance for the ecological transition

Production of a summary directory in collaboration with the Borough of Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie, in Montreal, to identify the areas and methods of intervention of the administration and its partners in terms of ecological transition. The Borough makes relatively little use of prescriptive standards and criteria, or of awareness-raising and incentives, even though these mechanisms have proven their effectiveness in triggering changes in behavior.

Climate change and social inequalities in health: The case of urban environments in Quebec

By Léa Ilardo
Social inequalities amplify the impacts of climate change on the health of certain urban populations in Quebec and Canada. This is demonstrated using the example of impacts linked to heat waves and air pollution, which primarily affect communities that are already vulnerable, either because they are already affected by other illnesses, or because they have a disadvantaged socio-economic status. This reality must be taken into account when developing measures to combat and adapt to climate change, so as not to widen the gap in social inequality.