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Workshops & seminars, Conferences & lectures

Forgotten green spaces of Montreal

The value of Montreal's unofficial parks

Date & time
Wednesday, March 15, 2023
11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Carly Ziter, Amy Poteete, Liz Miller, and Emma Despland


This event is free and open to the public in person


Loyola Sustainability Research Centre, Loyola College for Diversity & Sustainability


Rebecca Tittler


Loyola Jesuit Hall and Conference Centre
7141 Sherbrooke W.

Wheel chair accessible


Image of trees and sky on the Falaise St Jacques, a green space in the Notre-Dame-de-Grace neighbourhood of Montreal The Falaise St Jacques, a green space near the Loyola campus

In spaces that officials and investors consider wastelands ripe for new development, urban residents frequently see considerable value. These spaces become entangled with residents’ sense of place and community, offer respite from the heat and bustle of the city, and are perceived as providing habitat and refuges for biodiversity. If mobilization to care for and protect informal urban green places reflects intense social attachments to them, the contributions of these spaces to terrestrial ecosystems and to climate resilience are less obvious. Far from being pristine, the ecosystems in these locations have been deeply and repeatedly fragmented, disturbed, and, often, contaminated. While a growing body of research demonstrates that informal urban green spaces can nonetheless contribute to sustainability (e.g., Albro 2019; Anderson & Minor 2021; Turo et al. 2021), many questions remain unanswered about whether and when they do so in practice. In this discussion, Emma Despland, Liz Miller, Amy Poteete, and Carly Ziter will share preliminary work done in collaboration with local community groups on the contributions of the Falaise St. Jacques, Technoparc, Champ des Possibles, and BoisĂ© Vimont to biodiversity, social inclusion, and climate resilience.

The pilot year of this study is supported by a Sustainable Transitions Team Research Initiative grant from the Office of Research and by the Canada Summer Jobs program through a partnership with UrbaNature.

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