Québec solidaire calls for a policy of reserving 1 % of the investments in public infrastructure to greening projects.
May 31, 2020 9h34
Québec solidaire wants to reserve 1 % of the budget of public infrastructure at the greening
The Canadian Press
MONTREAL — temperatures are sweltering the last week have once again demonstrated the multiplier effects of heat islands in urban centers. In order to counter this phenomenon with deadly consequences, Québec solidaire calls for a policy of reserving 1 % of the investments in public infrastructure to greening projects.
“The government has told us that he was ready to accelerate its investment in infrastructure to revive the economy of Quebec. We said, “OK, but do it intelligently” and it passes by the 1% greening”, claims the spokesperson for QS, Manon Massé.
Just walk a few minutes in the street before taking refuge under the canopy of a park, understanding instantly the advantage of a covered hardwood within urban areas. According to the definition of heat island by the national Institute of public health (INSPQ), these places where the asphalt and the concrete have chased the green display temperatures 5 to 10 degrees higher than inside a park of mature trees in the same place.
Contrary to what some might believe, these heat islands are not a problem in montreal. An interactive map developed by the INSPQ clearly shows that each urban area of the province suffers from the overheating.
Beyond their immediate effect on the temperature, the trees also help clean the air, green spaces relieve the pressure on the sumps, and the greenery enhances the general quality of life of residents.
Last February, a coalition of 600 doctors, 600 health professionals and 45 health organizations have called for precisely this policy of the Québec government. Depending on the level of infrastructure spending planned before the pandemic, it is about $ 170 million per year that would be invested in greening if we respected this rule of the 1 %.
“This is not a huge sum of money and with all the benefits that it provides, we would be crazy to go!”, observes the member Ruba Ghazal state, the spokesperson of the party in terms of the environment
This sum would enable to implement the projects to integrate green spaces in the streets, the parking lots, on the school grounds, hospitals, health care centres, day-care centres or in new parks.
What kind of improvements would “better protect the health of the population and, thus, reduce health costs,” says the coalition is a signatory of the letter sent to the government of François Legault.
Dr. Alain Poirier, specialist in public health, had reported that the greening would reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease of 9 %. He added that the positive effects of a covered optimum, which include a reduction in stress, depression, autism, diabetes, risk of high blood pressure, the risk of overweight or obesity, asthma, respiratory mortality, mortality from cancer and general mortality in premature.
“The letter was signed by 600 doctors and 600 health professionals. That is what it takes in addition, questions Manon Massé. It takes a political party that says: “here it is, it takes the 1 % of greening” and the Quebec government: do your job!””.
The government house leader of Québec solidaire, pointed out that there is already a “policy of the 1 %” in public art, which requires the acquisition of a work integrated into the architecture of any public building. She just wishes that one adds another percentage point which is dedicated to greening the environment of public places.
The mp Ruba Ghazal, party spokesman on environment, said the mere planting of trees reduced the level of pollution that each individual mature absorbs dozens of kilograms of fine particulate matter suspended in the air.
The tree canada Foundation believes that a large deciduous tree can retain up to 20 kilograms of dust every year.
The example of Jeanne-Mance
Located in full center-city of Montréal, the Corporation d’habitation Jeanne-Mance has seen the light of day, 60 years ago. Manon Massé cite this development of social housing in the sample layout green. First, at the heart of its complex, there are two parks, of which one hosts a community garden, cultivated by the tenants.
Over the years, improvements were added such as the planting of an orchard with apple trees, pear trees and other fruit trees. The citizens can get on it and make provisions of fruits at harvest time.
Another interesting project, the parking has been reduced by a few squares in order to create valleys vegetated that are used to trap rainwater to reduce flooding problems. At the same time, these bands of greenery had the effect of providing a welcoming space for the residents who formerly had cars in front of their door.
“We realize that the outdoor spaces become an extension of the home. It is a real value for the people who live in apartments modest, not very spacious,” describes the director general of the corporation Clotilde Tarditi.
In the opinion of Mrs. Tarditi, it is imperative to change the way you see the housing development by integrating the greening as essential element.
“It takes a willingness to develop the city in a balanced way, she believes. Yes, we need additional housing, including social housing, but let’s be smart in the way we develop units.”
One does not build housing, but living environments, she adds. This means that it should be put in the living and not that of the concrete.