Saturday, November 19, 2011

Campaigning for a different Quebec

I came across this website by chance. The people behind this website are trying to promote a new way to look at urbanism in Quebec, or, really, New Urbanism. This urban planning approach is getting more and more popular in Europe, which luckily still possesses lots of areas that have remained authentic and livable.

The campaign is called "Imaginer le Quebec autrement" or Imagine Quebec differently.
While we are very lucky that people here do not get all offended and all chauvinistic when references are made to Europe in terms of benchmarks, they are still quite skeptical about the feasibility of implementing such novel urban approaches in here. Of course we do have certain neighbourhoods that are very open to innovation but are we ready for a major global and fast change in the way we understand and experience urbanism, transportation and housing? 

Well, can either decide to go for it now and thus have a chance at surviving the energy roller coaster ahead, or play ostriches and pretend it's not there.
The people behind this initiative are, of course "energy dependence reduction" folks, a.k.a. peak oil peeps as well as a bunch of government agencies from the Quebec City area.
There is no getting around this: if any of us wants to get anywhere, we need to gang up, "us" referring to pedestrian rights groups, livable city folks, cyclists, peak oil peeps, etc. as already covered here and here.

Here are a few images from the campaign. All pictures belong to them. Random images that pleased my eyes. Pictures of Vauban and Rieselfeld (Fribourg, Germany), Hammarby (Stockholm, Sweden) and Bo01 (Malmö, Sweden).

(Addition 20-11-2011)

The urban design principles being promoted here are:

- Urban density to allow more residents per square meter
- Mixed residential/commercial areas in order to diminish useless transportation
- Sustainable mobility, i.e. less cars, more public transit based on renwable energy and of course, active transportation
- Share streets and roads, i.e. reclaiming the streets for users other than cars
- Recycling, composting, getting the maximum out of our garbage
- Renewable energies; solar, geothermal etc. and energy savings
- Green and sustainable buildings

And of course, let's not forget this video already presented in here but as relevant as ever (ok, it's in French but you can watch the images):

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