A word from FGM – April 2023

Natural environments and green spaces positively impact our health and our quality of life in many ways. This is especially true in an urbanized setting like Greater Montreal. They contribute, for example, to improving our air quality, reducing heat islands, protecting our mental health and encouraging physical activity. They also make our infrastructures and living spaces more environmentally resilient. That is why it is absolutely necessary for our community to not only protect and recognize the value of these spaces, but also to come up with ways for making them accessible to all.  In other words, we must make territorial equity a priority.

Several studies have, in fact, demonstrated that due an inequitable distribution of investments, disadvantaged neighbourhoods, or those that are home to more racialized individuals, do not have as many parks or natural spaces as other areas. This is notwithstanding the fact that they are often more densely populated. This uneven distribution is also often apparent when it comes to sports facilities or modes of active transportation, like bike paths.

The vicious circle of inequality

The issue of “green” gentrification is therefore key to any discussion of the situation. This is when neighbourhoods that were previously industrial or working-class are the object of public and private sector investments that radically alter their urban fabric and their affordability. Over the years, and as urban planning has evolved, these divergences among neighbourhoods have crystallized, and in fact sometimes deepened. In the end, they manifest as social and economic inequalities that have measurable impacts on the mobility and health of populations.

The people living in these neighbourhoods are indeed exposed to greater pollution levels, because of denser car traffic or the proximity of certain industries, for example. Those factors have a direct, long-term impact on their health and safety, and even more so when they are children. In this context, mitigating territorial inequalities is a key strategy to fight social and health inequalities.

That is why climate justice, and an equitable ecological transition, will be major topics on the agenda of the second Montréal Climate Summit, which will take place next month under the auspices of the Montréal Climate Partnership and the City of Montreal. Please read on to find out more about this issue. The Foundation of Greater Montréal intends to focus on territorial inequity over the next few months, in collaboration with several partners. As well, our Collective Fund for Climate and Ecological Transition will to continue to prioritize initiatives that contribute to lessening inequalities. We call on the entire Greater Montreal community to join us in this movement to foster both environmental resilience and social justice.

Karel Mayrand
President and CEO
Foundation of Greater Montréal

FGM’s Stories of the Month

April 2023

The 2023 Montreal Climate Summit

The 2nd edition of the Montreal Climate Summit will take place on May 9 and 10 at the Port of Montreal’s Grand Quay.

Read on

A carbon-neutral Foundation

The Foundation of Greater Montréal recognizes the necessity of achieving better climate justice worldwide.

Read on

The Collective Fund for Climate and Ecological Transition

Aiming to spur the ecological transition and fighting climate change in Greater Montréal.

Read on

The International Eco-Citizenship Summit

The International Eco-Citizenship Summit is an event designed to speed up the fulfillment of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

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