August 2016

En quoi consiste le projet ILEAU : Interventions Locales en Environnement et Aménagement Urbain

In the coming years, climate change will give rise to oppressive heat waves more and more often, accentuating the health problems associated with urban heat islands. There are well known and recognized landscaping measures for countering the effects of heat islands, but they are often dispersed throughout the city, which limits their impact at the level of the neighbourhood or municipality.

Since the spring of 2015, in collaboration with Projet ILEAU (which stands for interventions locales en environnement et aménagement urbain, or local interventions in urban planning and environment), the Conseil régional de l’environnement de Montréal (CRE-Montréal) is coordinating an approach that goes beyond simple green spaces by focusing interventions on the broader framework of an active green and blue network.

The project is being carried out through the cooperation of several local and regional partners who are joining forces to generate major transformations in Montreal. Its activity centres on the greening of land and buildings as well as city planning to facilitate access to green spaces and active transportation. By establishing connected green spaces throughout the city, ILEAU is contributing to the creation of an active green and blue network between the Des Prairies river and the Saint Lawrence. It also supports biodiversity in the urban environment and participates in the Montreal community’s effort to expand the canopy and combat the emerald ash borer.

The comprehensive approach that the project encourages requires the integration of structures that are user-friendly and safe for pedestrians and cyclists. It intervenes to remove physical barriers created by the highways and train tracks that crisscross the city. Opening up enclaves and connecting all areas with major public green spaces helps bring residents closer to nature. To assist with decision-making, on-the-ground diagnostics and exploratory walks are done with local organizations in order to invite proposals for the planning of certain target areas (subway stations, train stations, etc.).

A community of lumberjacks in action

This spring, ILEAU launched its new awareness-raising and mobilization campaign: the asphalt lumberjacks. It involves an entertaining video with artists from Cirque Alphonse, portraits of “lumberjacks”, and a whole community of plaid-wearing people. This campaign, with its quirky and playful tone, invites everyone in Montreal to take concrete action to transform their neighbourhoods into “cool islands” wherever possible. The operation’s message is simple: Let’s become asphalt lumberjacks and transform our city!

With this operation, CRE-Montréal wants to highlight the contribution of the project participants and to attract others to join in on the adventure. It also aims to expand the group by inviting participants to wear a plaid shirt, the symbol of the campaign, and to share photos of themselves in action on the project’s social media in order to create momentum.

View our interactive map to learn more about all the projects carried out as part of Projet ILEAU.

A collaborative collective effort with decisive results

Citizens, companies, institutions, governments—each can be an agent of change within the community. Since the launch of the project, the mobilization and consultation work of all the partners and the commitment of property owners have led to the planting of over 10,000 plants. And there is no plan to stop once the initial goal of 15,000 plants has been surpassed!

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