Montréal's First Strategic Plan for Sustainable Development - Conclusive Results for the Start-Up Phase

    MONTREAL, March 27 /CNW Telbec/ - In reviewing the start-up phase of
Montréal's First Strategic Plan for Sustainable Development, Mr. Alan DeSousa,
member of the executive committee responsible for economic and sustainable
development and Montréal 2025, expressed his satisfaction with the plan's
progress as well as his confidence in its future success. Mr. DeSousa said he
believes the actions of the first phase clearly demonstrate that the community
is taking a leadership role in the field of sustainable urban development.
    "The Strategic Plan for Sustainable Development is the result of hard
work by our administration and a co-operative effort by the Montréal
community. Its success is assured through co-operation and participation of
all partners involved. With this support, Montréal intends to continue its
efforts to improve the environment and the quality of life of all residents,"
said Montréal Mayor, Gérald Tremblay.

    First phase paves the way for the future

    When the Plan was adopted in 2005, four priority orientations were
targeted by partners: improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas
emissions; ensuring the quality of residential environments; practicing
responsible resource management and encouraging industries, businesses and
institutions to adopt solid sustainable development practices. Half of the   
24 actions of the 2005-2006 start-up phase involving these orientations were
achieved in accordance with the objectives, while the other half gave
excellent partial results to be completed during the 2007-2009 phase.
    As for actions to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas
emissions, the city developed a corporate action plan to reduce emissions by
20% by the year 2012. In keeping with this philosophy Montréal replaced 130
vehicles of its fleet with sub-compact vehicles, purchased 15 four-cylinder
vans and10 hybrid vehicles. Feasibility studies on the use of alternative
fuels, biodiesel and ethanol were also carried out.
    Montréal has also introduced new legislation regarding unnecessary idling
and developed an awareness campaign to convince motorists to adopt
eco-friendly driving habits.
    During the start-up phase, the city carried out several other actions
involving the four orientations:

    - 20 kilometres of bicycle paths were added to the Montréal network.
    - 700 parking spaces for bicycles were created.
    - The Allégo program was launched at the city's administration building,
      to promote sustainable transportation.
    - Six Quartiers 21 projects were instituted and supported financially by
      the Ville de Montréal and the Direction de santé publique de Montréal.
    - 15 pieces of property are to be acquired or developed to increase the
      number of access points with water.
    - A program to reduce and recover residual waste at 16 municipal
      buildings was set up.
    - Recycling collection in buildings with nine units or more was
      harmonized throughout the Island, as were collections of dried leaves
      and Christmas trees.
    - A control unit for the illicit use of water in ICIs (industries,
      businesses and institutions) was established. Since the fall of 2006,
      the unit has carried out 921 inspections leading to the repair of 543
      defective pieces of equipment that used water from the distribution
    - Several energy-efficiency projects at municipal buildings were

    The city also worked to integrate sustainable development criteria into
the decision-making process and the purchase of goods and services. At the end
of last summer city officials adopted a purchasing policy taking into account
the social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainable development.
This policy defines Montréal's values in terms of purchasing and sets the
bases for transactions with the city. A sustainable development grid was
developed for decisional issues involving the Direction de l'environnement et
du développement durable. Work is also underway to allocate an eco-budget to
the Direction.
    Mr. DeSousa emphasized the contribution of partners who became involved
in the awareness campaign aimed at employees and clients in an effort to
reduce unnecessary vehicle idling and the addition of 1,000 parking spaces for
bicycles. He also noted the extended self-serve bicycle programs and the
implementation of the Allégo program to promote the use of sustainable
transportation as well as measures to conserve water and save energy at their
    "There is still work to be done but the future looks bright. The
community's interest in having the city take the sustainable urban development
route is tangible. We will continue to work together to make Montréal a city
with a high quality living environment," said Mr. DeSousa.

    To learn more about the results of the sustainable development plan
start-up phase, please visit

For further information:

For further information: Natacha Beauchesne, Division des relations avec
les médias, (514) 872-6013; Source: Darren Becker, Cabinet du maire et du
comité exécutif, (514) 872-6412

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