Is living in a green neighborhood a better option for your family?
Environmental protection initiatives have become increasingly common in recent years. More and more people are looking to buy homes in areas with abundant vegetation in the heart of the city. Are green neighborhoods the solution? What is this new trend?
Definition of a green neighborhood
Green neighborhoods (“Quartiers verts”) are residential urban areas that have been redesigned to encourage residents to walk, bike, or use public transit instead of taking their cars. In more cases, they have more green space as well as nearby schools and businesses. The aim is for them to be more enjoyable to live in and more sustainable. Generally, green neighborhoods are managed by the boroughs that develop them.
It should be noted that green neighborhoods are not Éco-quartiers. Actually, the Éco-quartier program was set up by the City of Montreal to promote environmental education and encourage citizens to develop environmental initiatives. It covers waste management, neighborhood cleanups, beautification of city streets, and green space development.
What are the benefits?
Green neighborhoods put an innovative spin on buildings and public spaces. Many have green roofs to help prevent heat islands. They have very little above-ground parking to allow for more parks and community gardens. One of the aims is to reduce the dependence on cars and promote a culture of mutual assistance and community values. In consequence, families living in these neighborhoods have ready access to services such as stores, pharmacies, schools, and hospitals.
There a number of green neighborhoods in Montreal:
– Maisonneuve and Quartier vert Mercier-Est
– Bois-France, Quartier vert Toupin and Quartier vert Vieux-St-Laurent
– CDN-NDG Sud-Est
MIL Campus, an example of a green neighborhood
Northeast of Outremont, the University of Montreal’s newest campus is taking shape. The 38-hectare urban development project, located in the former rail yards between Outremont and the Town of Mount Royal, is designed to be a mixed-use, sustainable living environment centered around active public transport. The site will feature responsible resource management (storm water and waste management), LEED* certified buildings, and numerous green spaces. To conclude, the sustainable neighborhood, one of the city’s flagship projects, is slated to open in fall 2019.
If you’re looking to buy and would like more information on the subject, here are a few helpful links:
*LEED = Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. International benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance sustainable buildings.