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.
The Turcot highway interchange in Montreal
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.
Lead author Undiné-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 of Transport (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.Cited article: Thompson, U.-C., Marsan, J.-F., Fournier-Peyresblanques, B., Forgues, C., Ogaa, A., Jaeger, J.A.G. (2013, in press): Using Compliance Analysis for PPP to Bridge the Gap between SEA and EIA: Lessons from the Turcot Interchange Reconstruction in Montréal, Québec. – Environmental Impact Assessment Review. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eiar.2012.10.001.
Clea Desjardins | EurekAlert!
Construction Impact Guide
18.05.2018 | Hochschule RheinMain
New, forward-looking report outlines research path to sustainable cities
24.01.2018 | National Science Foundation
In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.
Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...
Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences
22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.06.2018 | Life Sciences