Fight against climate change | Cities in “constant adaptation” in the coming years

The adaptation of cities to climate change will have to be “constant” in the coming years, warned the mayor of Montreal on Wednesday, during an exchange with her colleague from New Orleans at the Montreal Climate Summit. The metropolis also took the opportunity to unveil its flood resilience plan.


Posted at 8:41 p.m.

(Montreal) “Unfortunately this is only the beginning, we will have to be in constant adaptation in the coming years,” declared Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante on Wednesday.

“The storms are coming faster, the rain is coming harder,” added New Orleans resident LaToya Cantrell.

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PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell

But adaptation works, she added, emphasizing that the measures put in place after the passage of the hurricane Katrinawhich left 80% of New Orleans underwater after its passage nearly 20 years ago, “kept the city safe” during Ida’s passage, 16 years later.

Implementing these measures is not easy, however, because they disrupt the daily life of the population, underlined the mayors, both first women to lead their city.

LaToya Cantrell has had to face “winds and tides, it’s fair to say,” in her work to make New Orleans more resilient, said Valérie Plante.

Returning the flowers to her “mayor sister”, LaToya Cantrell praised the leadership of the Plante administration in the establishment of the Express Bike Network on Saint-Denis Street.

It’s not a sexy job, it annoys people, [mais il faut persévérer] knowing it will make our community better. I say bravo to Montreal for doing the right thing.

LaToya Cantrell, Mayor of New Orleans

Resisting floods

Montreal wants to protect itself and help its citizens protect their homes against episodes of intense rain which are increasing with climate change, with an action plan on resilience to floods, the main points of which were presented on Wednesday.

The City intends to offer financial assistance to residential owners to adapt their buildings to better resist flooding, by revamping the RénoPlex subsidy program.

The amounts offered will be increased and the eligibility criteria will be broadened, explained the head of water and consultation with the districts to the City’s executive committee, Maja Vodanović.

“There are several solutions that exist,” she said, citing for example the removal of counter-slope garage entrances or the installation of waterproof garage doors, as well as the disconnection of roof drains joining the roof. municipal sewer through a residence for the benefit of sponge installations such as rain gardens.

The plan also plans to modify municipal regulations so that new constructions are resilient to flooding and thus avoid generating “new fragilities”.

The development of apartments in the basement or garage entrances on a counter-slope could, for example, be prohibited in “trough zones”, where water accumulates, illustrated Mme Vodanovic.

Finally, the City systematically integrated green infrastructure into its repair work on streets, sidewalks and parks, which it committed to no longer rebuilding in the same way.

The construction announced in October of 30 parks and 400 “sponge” sidewalks over the next two years, like what will be done in Verdun, is part of this desire.

“Each time we redo a street, we will change the geometry to send all the surface water into sponge sidewalks, sponge parks,” declared M.me Vodanovic. Not in the sewers. »

Bank of Montreal targeted by Greenpeace

Greenpeace played spoilsport during the closing announcement of the Montreal Climate Summit, when large employers announced the signing of a pact for sustainable mobility. The head of the organization’s climate-energy campaign, Patrick Bonin, circulated in the room with a sweater denouncing investments in fossil fuels by the Bank of Montreal (BMO), a representative of which had been announced, but which was finally absent. The approach irritated the president and CEO of the Foundation of Greater Montreal Karel Mayrand, among the organizers of the summit, who judges that the gesture harmed the “allies [de Greenpeace] who are trying to make things happen in Montreal.” BMO has its place in such an event, judges Mr. Mayrand, because it is major economic players like it who have the power to “move the needle”.

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