MONTRÉAL, Dec. 1, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - On November 2, 2015, CDN—NDG Borough Council tabled an ambitious draft bill for second reading aimed at the adoption of physically active lifestyles, healthy nutritional habits and the right to a quality natural environment.
"I'm very proud to adopt this series of measures, which will allow the borough to stand out in Montréal and Quebec when it comes to health in all its forms," said Borough Mayor Russell Copeman.
Since 2002, the Borough has adopted several health-centered policies and plans. These have made it possible to better plan, coordinate and carry out initiatives with its population as a whole. What's more, a consensus emerged in December 2012 as part of the elaboration of the Montréal Development Plan, a process during which citizens were able to share their vision of a healthy neighbourhood.
The proposed measures, it bears repeating, are aimed at modernizing the urban planning by-law by taking into account new practices and considerations in the health field and in land use planning. This theme-based approach to urban planning is innovative in Montréal and makes it possible to deal with problems more effectively.
"This draft bill is the culmination of several years of work, and it represents a logical follow-up to the adoption of the Déclaration pour un arrondissement en santé de CDN-NDG in 2013. By adopting this health by-law, the borough's elected officials are signalling that they recognize the importance of the work already achieved by the previous administration," said Lionel Perez, councillor for the district of Darlington.
The proposed amendments cover nine objectives, all of which have as their primary consideration the intention to act on determinants of health:
- Promote cycling by doubling the number of bicycle parking spaces in all new construction projects.
- Encourage car users to use alternative means of transportation in proximity to metro stations by reducing the minimum number of car parking spaces within a radius of 500 metres from a metro station.
- Promote healthy nutritional habits by limiting the construction of new fast-food restaurants bordering major traffic arteries. This initiative is a first in Montréal.
- Reduce transportation by car by prohibiting drive-through restaurants across most of the borough's territory.
- Mitigate the use of cars by encouraging car-pooling. For example, one car used for car-pooling can replace four regular parking spaces, which would make it possible to increase the number of green spaces and the number of spaces for bicycles.
- Promote physical activity by authorizing the opening of fitness centres in more sectors.
- Promote access to fresh produce by facilitating the establishment of community gardens, vegetable gardens, health food stores and seasonal farmers' markets over a larger area of the borough. For example, a seasonal farmers' market could be set up in a schoolyard during the summer holidays. As well, in order to encourage convenience stores in some sectors to sell fresh fruits and vegetables, store areas could be doubled if they sell these products. This suggestion is also a first in Montréal.
- Keep local stores by ensuring the continued existence of ground-floor commercial spaces on neighbourhood commercial arteries.
- Prevent heat island effects by doubling the number of trees required on residential properties (1 tree per 100 square metres where there is no construction) and by requiring the installation of pale-coloured roofing.
The integration of new provisions set out, in part, in the urban planning by-law, will have direct effects on land use planning across borough territory and indirect effects on the health and overall well-being of its population.
"With the collaboration of our partners, we'll see the various provisions in the health by-law implemented in the form of specific projects in the coming months. Today, among other things, we're protecting our youth by prohibiting junk food in the vicinity of schools while also dealing with food desert issues through incentive zoning. The presence of our many partners is a clear indication, one that highlights the need for all the boroughs to translate words into action," said Mr. Rotrand, councillor for the district of Snowdon.
This project is put forward within a more sustainable urban planning perspective, therefore, one that emphasizes healthy lifestyle habits by pursuing the borough's efforts to promote healthy choices and the creation of environments conducive to health.
SOURCE Ville de Montréal - Arrondissement de Côte-des-Neiges - Notre-Dame-de-Grâce
For further information: Sophie Landreville, 514 465-1853