Corridor Écologique Darlington project wins award

Aerial view of the Darlington Ecological Corridor from the racetrack.

Aerial view of the Darlington Ecological Corridor from the racetrack.

Credit: Unité du développement durable

In 5 seconds

The green corridor connecting Mount Royal to other green spaces in the city was recognized for its innovation at the Gala du Conseil régional de l’environnement de Montréal.

At its 14th annual gala held on October 7, 2020, the Conseil régional de l’environnement de Montréal (CRE–Montréal) presented the Corridor Écologique Darlington project with its Innovative Organization award. The corridor is a green infrastructure project led by Université de Montréal’s Sustainable Development Unit in partnership with the borough of Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.

Credit: Unité du développement durable

The Corridor Écologique Darlington is the brainchild of UdeM biodiversity advisor Alexandre Beaudoin. Its purpose is to give Mount Royal's wildlife safe passage to other green spaces in Montreal that had been blocked off by urban development.

The route starts at UdeM's main campus on Mount Royal and follows Darlington Avenue and then the railway until it reaches the old Hippodrome de Montréal site in the west. In the east, the corridor ends at UdeM's MIL Campus Projets éphémères site, which won the same award at CRE–Montréal's 2016 gala.

The Corridor Écologique Darlington also aims to improve the quality of life of residents in this hemmed-in part of the city by developing an integrated ecological network through greening, urban agriculture and rainwater management. It also responds to various issues arising from climate change, such as heat waves and heavy rainfall, and the resulting risks to human health.

Contributions from hundreds of students

An urban project of this scale comes with its own challenges, and students at UdeM and its affiliated schools conducted case studies to resolve them. To date, around 70 studies completed as part of their university education have been converted into real-life projects. This is a fine example of the benefits of a “sustainable development ecosystem,” a kind of living lab for the ecological transition and the fight against climate change backed by the Sustainable Development Unit.

Each year, the Gala du CRE-Montréal brings together more than 500 municipal, business, institutional and community stakeholders to highlight achievement and innovation in environmental and sustainable development by the city's organizations. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 14th gala was held online this year. For more information about the winners, visit the Gala du CRE–Montréal website.

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