Monday, November 28, 2011

Roerich Garden Project (Montreal)

"Emily Rose Michaud is an interdisciplinary artist working at the intersections of community development, civic participation, performance, and land art. In recent years, her experimental and socially driven practice has resulted in a series of performances incorporating living ‘sproutfits’ and tapestries, a guerilla gardener’s ensemble, an electronic book designed to be reproduced and remixed by others ( and the Roerich Garden Project – a three-year land art project in a post-industrial railyard turned urban meadow.

She is also part of Sprout Out Loud! which is an on-growing gardener's ensemble that seeks to support and develop the relationship between residents and the land around them. This project seeks to:
- Engage with the meadow creatively and document how people use and care about this space
- Valorize this living space before it is forgotten in silence
- Draw attention to the city's plans and provoke dialogue
- Reclaim the commons, activate unused urban spaces, re-enchant the public with the natural world and living systems of the urban core

- Invite others to plant similar ideas in their own environments where needed"

You can find out more about her activities here: Pousses Blog

Monday, November 21, 2011

Renaturalized (Broken City Lab - Windsor)

When the City of Windsor was on strike the summer of 2009, mowing parks and other city owned property was halted. Many of these areas became "naturalized" and Broken City Lab had the brilliant idea to do a bit of activism and get people to take notice of these areas in a different way:

From their Blog in July 2009: "We recently decided to demarcate some of many accidental meadows across Windsor with these Naturalized Area signs. In hopes that these signs might momentarily allow residents of Windsor to look at these naturalized spaces for what they are—that is, wonderful additions to our urban landscape—instead of the result of a politically-charged issue, we spent the earlier part of this week designing the signs, getting them printed, drilling holes, and installing them."

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Green Alleys... je t'aime! (Montreal)

Reading about this made my day! I love the Promenade Plantée in Paris and want to explore the High Line in NYC and now these Green Alleys in Montreal! Great idea!

Montreal boroughs build green alleys
- Flowers, trees to help make areas more appealing (CBC Article - July 2011)

The Montreal borough of Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve is working on making its alleyways a friendlier place to be — both for local residents and the environment.

The neighbourhood, located in the east end of the city, said Wednesday that it would invest $20,000 to plant flowers and trees in four alleys this year.

Borough mayor Réal Ménard said the initiative is designed to make the areas more inviting to the public, creating spaces for people to sit and relax.

"It's a gathering event for [people]," he said.

The increase in foot traffic will also discourage criminals and drug users because they will be unwilling to break laws in the presence of other citizens, Ménard said.

With the addition of four new green alleyways, the borough will have a total of eight. The project was started in 2010 and Ménard said more are planned for next year.

Although the project — which started in 2010 — is organized by the Maisonneuve Longue Pointe Eco-Centre, volunteers actually do the landscaping.

"They're the ones who are going to build the boxes that the flowers are going to be in," said Anne Gosselin from the centre. "They're going to be planting trees, They're going to paint the streets."

Gosselin said the alleys have been a success and help to mitigate heat coming from the asphalt.

"They offer a nice place for people to spend time," she said.

And it is residents who get to decide which alleys will be greened, Gosselin said.

Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve isn't the only neighbourhood looking to make its thoroughfares a nicer place to be.

On July 6, the nearby borough of Plateau-Mont-Royal, also said it would invest $137,000 to build five eco- and citizen-friendly alleyways.

There are similar initiatives throughout Montreal, and a total of 100 streets have been transformed into green space.

Frommers Link: How To See Montreal on Two Wheels