What is an ecological corridor?
Corridors connect green spaces in order to promote movement and preserve biodiversity in urban areas. In the desire to bring a new vision for the city, and this, to improve the living environment of the residents of the borough, the ecological corridors aim to adapt the cities to climate change.
Montreal is currently the site of many urban ecological corridors, also called green path, green corridor, biodiversity corridor and linear park. Depending on the terms chosen, the concept may vary from one project to another.
The case of the Corridor Écologique Darlington already differs in its consultative approach as well as its phasic and multiscalar realization responding to the reality of its urban framework as well as the complexity of its implementation.
The Corridor écologique Darlington project
The Corridor Écologique Darlington is a large urban project spanning several years carried by the University of Montreal in collaboration with the Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough.
The Corridor project focuses on the development of an integrated ecological network through greening, urban agriculture, rainwater management and any other ecological intervention in order to improve the living environment of residents.
The approach adopted is intended to be collaborative, participatory and partnership-based. It offers interventions for and with the actors concerned (residents, citizens, municipality, institutions, businesses, organizations and experts) through the insertion of interrelated ecological micro projects and according to development opportunities and the needs of the various stakeholders.
The choice of the route
The main objective of the corridor is to link the biodiversity well that is Mount Royal to a "biodiversity highway" that is the railway north of Mount Royal. Following our reading of the field and after having identified the governance issues, we preferred to act within the public influence of a single district while prioritizing a route with the smallest possible influence on the urban fabric.
Darlington Avenue meets these criteria, but also brings additional elements to the project. Indeed, its route is defined according to the bed of a stream now channeled underground which gives a unique character to this route and a very interesting potential for revitalizing the river. In addition, a document from 1992 bearing a similar reflection was found after the start of the project, and we were able to observe that part of the route was the same as that defined today.