Navigation Links
Towards more sustainable construction

This press release is available in French.

Montreal, March 1, 2013 Construction in Montreal is under a microscope. Now more than ever, municipal builders need to comply with long-term urban planning goals. The difficulties surrounding massive projects like the Turcot interchange lead Montrealers to wonder if construction in this city is headed in the right direction. New research from Concordia University gives us hope that this could soon be the case if sufficient effort is made.

A team of graduate students from Concordia's Department of Geography, Planning and Environment have developed a watchdog tool that rates the level of compliance between urban planning goals and the environmental impact assessments of development projects. In a study forthcoming in the Environmental Impact Assessment Review, the researchers use this tool to evaluate early proposals for the redevelopment of the Turcot highway interchange. They found that the proposal adopted in 2009 was inadequate for long-term sustainability.

Lead author Undin-Celeste Thompson, explains that, "government agencies often produce statements about their plans, policies, and programs to protect the environment and promote sustainable development. So we began by examining such statements to create a list of environmental goals that were relevant to the Turcot redevelopment."

They then compared the proposal for the Turcot offered by the Quebec Ministry ofTransport (MTQ) with two alternative proposals. "We assigned each proposal a score for each goal, so that we could measure which proposal best met the government's stated objectives, and measure whether a particular proposal would support long-term sustainability goals."

The researchers gave failing marks to the MTQ's 2009 proposal for the redevelopment of the Turcot, saying it was a poor fit with the long-term goals set out by various governments. For example, the City of Montreal's 2004 Master Plan declared that new projects should aim to "reduce amount of car traffic to improve air quality" and "promote public transit to improve air quality." But the MTQ's 2009 plan would have allowed more cars to pass through the interchange each day, and would not have provided any dedicated bus lanes or other accommodations for public transit. In other words, it would actually have contradicted existing government policies by making air quality worse. This is particularly unfortunate as this included goals from documents issued by the MTQ thus their own project contradicting their own publicly declared goals.

Two alternative proposals, put together be local architect Pierre Brisset and Concordia professor Pierre Gauthier, for the Turcot included special lanes for high occupancy vehicles as well as additional metro, train and bus routes. Though these proposals were brought forward, decision-makers adopted the MTQ's construction plan. This distressing course of action was somewhat alleviated with the plan's revision in 2012. But the study's authors believe their method of analysis can help prevent the adoption of inadequate proposals in the first place, and that their method should also be applied to the revised Turcot plan to identify further room for improvement.

Ultimately, the new analysis method could be used for a wide range of projects. "This is a powerful tool for comparative analysis, because it is straightforward enough that both experts and members of the general public can use it," says Thompson. "It will be particularly useful to non-governmental entities that wish to lobby against a particular project or propose alternative solutions." Perhaps - in light of this new way to analyze the quality of construction proposals and their alternatives - future construction in Montreal will begin to set new sustainability standards.


Contact: Clea Desjardins
Concordia University

Related biology news :

1. Report: Water and Agriculture in Canada: Towards Sustainable Management of Water Resources
2. BESAFE Conference in Manchester: Working towards a brighter future for biodiversity
3. Towards a new moth perfume
4. EU BON: Working towards integrated and comprehensive global biodiversity data
5. University of Alberta research working towards treatment for aortic aneurysms in the abdomen
6. Plastic packaging industry is moving towards completely bio-based products
7. Towards computing with water droplets -- superhydrophobic droplet logic
8. Zebra fish point the way towards new therapies for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
9. Researchers moving towards ending threat of West Nile virus
10. Towards an agroforestry policy in Indonesia
11. The genome of diamondback moth provides new clues for sustainable pest management
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/12/2015)... , Nov. 12, 2015  A golden retriever ... Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) has provided a new lead ... Children,s Hospital, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard ... Brazil . Cell, pinpoints ... dogs "escape" the disease,s effects. The Boston Children,s lab ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... , Nov. 11, 2015   Growing ... reliable analytical tools has been paving the way ... qualitative determination of discrete analytes in clinical, agricultural, ... are being predominantly used in medical applications, however, ... environmental sectors due to continuous emphasis on improving ...
(Date:11/10/2015)... Nov. 10, 2015  In this report, ... basis of product, type, application, disease indication, ... this report are consumables, services, software. The ... safety biomarkers, efficacy biomarkers, and validation biomarkers. ... are diagnostics development, drug discovery and development, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015  Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... , President and CEO of Neurocrine Biosciences, will be ... in New York . ... the website approximately 5 minutes prior to the presentation ... of the presentation will be available on the website ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... company uBiome, were featured on AngelList early in their initial angel funding process. ... AngelList syndicate for individuals looking to make early stage investments in the microbiome ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... /CNW/ - iCo Therapeutics ("iCo" or "the Company") (TSX-V: ... the quarter ended September 30, 2015. Amounts, unless ... presented under International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS"). ... Andrew Rae , President & CEO of ... only value enriching for this clinical program, but ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , November 24, 2015 ... market research report "Oligonucleotide Synthesis Market by Product & ... Gene Synthesis, Diagnostic, DNA, RNAi), End-User (Research, Pharmaceutical & ... by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to reach USD ... 2015, at a CAGR of 10.1% during the forecast ...
Breaking Biology Technology: