Montréal Urban Ecology Centre given the green light to create a network of Active Neighbourhoods across Canada

MONTREAL, June 26, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Montréal Urban Ecology Centre (MUEC) is known for its ground-breaking expertise in urban planning and active transportation. Public Health Agency of Canada announced (PHAC) that the MUEC has been given the green light to launch the Active Neighbourhoods Canada/Réseau Quartiers verts (ANC/RQV) project. The MUEC is thrilled by this news, which will enable it to implement the ANC/RQV project over a wide territory in twelve communities located in Quebec, Ontario, and Alberta.

Over the last four years, the MUEC has developed tools for participatory urban planning which have been made available to municipalities, citizens, and professionals. These tools have contributed to creating a synergy between the public health network and the municipal sector, as well as between citizens and other local stakeholders. "The MUEC has developed a tremendous wealth of expertise in community mobilization for the collaborative creation and design of people-friendly neighbourhoods. This is an incredible opportunity for us to expand our knowledge base and share it. We use innovative tools that encourage dialogue between experts, citizens, and policy makers. In recognizing the MUEC's expertise in this type of project, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the MUEC's partners confirm that our methods are not only sound, but also deserve to be tried elsewhere," says Julie Rocheleau, MUEC General Manager.

Partnerships in Ontario and Alberta

The Sustainable Calgary Society, the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT) and the MUEC are the partner organizations of the ANC/RQV project. They will identify possible local partnerships in twelve communities, three of which will be located in rural, remote or northern areas. "TCAT is very pleased to be a partner of the Active Neighbourhoods Canada project," says Nancy Smith Lea, TCAT Director. "The project's goals align very closely with our mission, which is to create a better environment for cyclists and pedestrians, and to promote public participation in local decisions regarding the built environment."

"The research conducted by the Sustainable Calgary Society has consistently demonstrated that social equity and over-consumption are two of the most challenging issues in Calgary," says Dr. Noel Keough, Chair, Sustainable Calgary Society Board of Directors. "This project allows us to engage Calgarians in finding practical solutions to these problems."

The Sustainable Calgary Society, the TCAT and the MUEC have four years to stimulate dialogues and spread best practices in urban planning, public transportation, and citizen participation. These three organizations are well-equipped to identify core groups of active citizens to come together to develop sustainable communities. Challenges will be met thanks to technological innovation and the sharing of expertise, knowledge, and experimentation between citizens, professionals, elected officials, and researchers.

About the MUEC and its urban planning and transportation focus

Over the last five years, the MUEC has been working with Montréal communities to develop a network of Green, Active, and Healthy Neighbourhoods. With the support of the Fonds des saines habitudes de vie (Healthy Lifestyles Foundation) of Québec en Forme, the MUEC has mobilized hundreds of citizens, created forums for information sharing, and established urban planning methods that benefit cyclists and pedestrians. As a result of our efforts and general concern for healthy cities, in 2013 the City of Montréal will invest $10 million in eight green neighbourhoods in five boroughs.

SOURCE: MONTREAL URBAN ECOLOGY CENTRE

For further information:

Contact: MUEC

CEUM
Brigitte Geoffroy
514 282-8378  # 253
Email: Brigitte@ecologieurbaine.ca

TCAT 
Nancy Smith Lea
416 392-0290 Email : nsmithlea@tcat.ca

Sustainable Calgary Society                   
Ryan Martinson 403 463-7761
Email : ryan.j.martinson@gmail.com

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MONTREAL URBAN ECOLOGY CENTRE

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