Petite Rivière, Canada
A community applying the One Planet principles
The Petite Rivière project is a vision for the redevelopment of a 57 hectare in-fill site on the island of Montréal, transforming an urban golf course into a biodiverse park and zero carbon neighborhood – a Canadian model for adaptation to climate change. The redevelopment, which straddles the municipalities of Cote-saint-Luc and Montréal/Lachine, is being planned to make a 70% ecological footprint reduction practical and convenient for its residents to achieve while improving quality of daily life. The project is currently in a design and consultation phase, and envisions a compact neighborhood of family housing and multi-family buildings, with a thriving commercial/retail mixed-use district, farmer’s market and commuter rail station.
Plans for the site call for a broad range of sustainability strategies, including:
• a large new recreational park and biodiversity regeneration initiative to replace the golf course’s monoculture with significant protected forest and wetland habitat
• a system of new wetlands to clean and restore the historic Little Saint-Pierre river, which enters the site in a polluted state through a storm sewer
• a partnership with regional transit authorities to bring a commuter rail station to the site, with service to downtown
• a walkable community of safe streets that prioritize pedestrians and cyclists
• a web of bicycling paths and pet-restricted nature habitat trails
• an innovative district renewable energy system servicing hyper-insulated, passive solar green buildings
• local access to nutritious fresh food with urban agriculture and edible landscaping on-site
• boosting the local economy by purchasing materials from within the region and creating new jobs close to affordable housing and transit
BioRegional have been advising the developer, Groupe Pacific, since early 2007 in the development of site plans and strategies which would meet the ambitious One Planet challenge. While the project has developed a preliminary One Planet Action Plan, it has not yet been endorsed as an official One Planet Community.
The team of design professionals working on the project have exceptional experience in the creation of some of the most recognized green communities in North America. L’OEUF of Montréal are renowned for Benny Farm, an affordable green housing retrofit project that was a recipient of a Holcim Award. BNIM of Kansas City are behind many notable projects, from the Omega Center for Sustainable Living (Living Building/LEED Platinum) to the award-winning masterplan for the reconstruction of tornado-ravaged Greensburg, Kansas, to the greening of the US White House.