MONTREAL, May 29, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - With the heat-wave season fast approaching, the Montréal Urban Ecology Centre (MUEC) and the Office municipal d'habitation de Montréal (OMHM) present La Ville en vert, a project aimed at reducing the urban heat island effect in low-cost housing complexes in Montréal.
Improving living environments
"La Ville en vert is a three-year project that uses greening, urban agriculture and the installation of white roofs to reduce the urban heat island effect in 65 low-cost housing complexes," says Denis Quiron, executive director of the OMHM, the organization responsible for managing social housing on the Island of Montréal. "The project's interventions touch more than 5,300 households in 15 Montréal boroughs. Areas with families, children and seniors (people likely to be affected by extreme-heat events) will directly benefit from La Ville en vert project," adds Quirion.
Resident participation, greening and urban agriculture
Luc Rabouin, executive director of the MUEC says: "La Ville en vert creates cool islands of vegetation, but it is also a good way for residents to build relationships with their neighbours and participate in a positive tangible group project, or the redesigning of their living environment." Together with the OMHM, the MUEC team leads the resident participation process, from designing plans to planting and caring for vegetation. In 2010 and 2011, more than 520 trees and shrubs as well as several hundred other plants were planted as part of La Ville en vert. Also, residents in 6 low-cost housing complexes decided to add close to 180 urban agriculture planters to their cool island projects.
The OMHM has allocated close to $9 million to install 43,000 m2 of white roofs, the equivalent of 26 hockey rinks, on 49 low-cost housing complexes. White roofs reflect the sun's rays and reduce the amount of heat that is absorbed by buildings.
Public health strategy
La Ville en vert is part of a public health strategy to help our most vulnerable populations overcome extreme heat events in Montréal. The project is financed in part by the Green Fund of Action 21 of the Government of Quebec's 2006-2012 Climate Change Action Plan (PACC).
About the OMHM
The OMHM seeks to improve living conditions of low- and moderate-income individuals and families by providing them with high-quality subsidized accommodations and helping them initiate change and participate in their communities.
About the MUEC
The MUEC is an independent non-profit organization that was founded in 1996. Its mission is to develop and propose urban policies and practices that will help create green, democratic and healthy cities. The MUEC is recognized for its capacity to initiate and carry out innovative projects, especially those related to greening and reducing the urban heat island effect.
For further information:
Pascoal Gomes, communications advisor, Montréal Urban Ecology Centre
[email protected] Cell. 514.998.8374 Tel. 514.282.8378
Marie-Eve Leblanc, communications advisor, Office municipal d'habitation de Montréal
[email protected] Tel. 514.872.6346