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An affordable neighborhood offering a healthier, higher quality of life.

Strategic urban planning

A welcoming family neighborhood

Warmed by the sun

An incubator of sustainable innovation

Zero Waste reduces heavy vehicles

Strategic Urban Planning

The new neighborhood plans call for affordable family dwellings intermingled with mixed-use buildings along the main street, the latter accommodating commercial/retail spaces on the ground floor, offices and residences. This area will feature higher-density development, specifically planned to provide a range of services, including shopping and jobs, within convenient walking distance for all residents. This hub of activity will provide a central gathering place and will give nearby neighborhoods access to new essential services.

Of the three municipalities in the area, Lachine’s working population lives closest to workplaces: 25% work in the borough itself, compared to 9% in Côte Saint-Luc and only 4% in Montreal West. The Petite Rivière project envisions that nearby employment opportunities will result from economic activity directly and indirectly related to the project. This growth in employment opportunities in the sector should allow more workers in the nearby region to work close to home, reducing travel times and improving quality of life. It should also reduce transportation emissions and offer practical benefits and more flexibility in terms of schedules.

 
Solar panels, Omega Centre for Sustainable Living
 

A welcoming family neighborhood

Petite Rivière takes seriously its responsibility to nurture future generations. Facilities with childcare services should be easily accessible by foot or car for residents of Petite Rivière and neighboring cities, and will be designed so that users can make the most of adjacent amenities. An Early Childhood Centre could take advantage of a central location linked to the wide network of neighborhood green spaces and provide its own recreational and educational services. Petite Rivière is committed to making all services and parks on the site accessible to all. This will require negotiations with the city.

Warmed by the sun

Residential buildings will be designed to optimize passive energy efficiency by using the natural warmth of the sun and the cooling power of the wind to reduce building energy footprints to an absolute minimum. The development is ordered as a series of urban blocks that respond to the existing city grid to the north and an ideal solar orientation that follows the diagonal of the railroad tracks to the south. This strategy enables the existing stands of trees to be preserved.

Most residential buildings are designed to optimize passive energy-efficiency with a narrow footprint. Efficient building envelopes are developed by having most units share four surfaces with neighbors and expose only two surfaces to the outside. Window locations and glazing percentages are balanced to create an optimal relationship between daylight penetration and passive solar heat gain and heat loss.

Construction and energy-efficiency techniques will vary depending on the height and orientation of the buildings. Every detail has been carefully considered to provide high quality interior air and exemplary environmental performance.

 
 
 

An incubator of sustainable innovation

The new Petite Rivière Park will mark a milestone in research on human-ecosystem interaction – a rare opportunity to study ambitious regeneration of biodiversity within an urban real estate project. The plan calls for collaborations with partner institutions to ensure stewardship of the various sectors of the park, ensuring the health of the ecosystems under their care. Local scientists can follow and document the restoration of the site and accumulate reference data on growing similar urban preserves in Montreal, making Petite Rivière a case study for a new era of eco-conscious urban planning.

The Petite Rivière project also intends to provide an educational and environmental interpretation centre that will synthesize and showcase collective research from the site. This centre will offer programs to primary and secondary school students of Petite Rivière and neighboring cities as well as adult education. With sufficient long-term funding, this interpretive centre could provide a focal point for following the ecological and sociological evolution of the community, perhaps hosting diverse university research activities. Interpretive educational features will be located strategically throughout the site to inform the public about the scientific work and sustainability criteria on which past and future development decisions are based.

The Petite Rivière website will offer a wide range of this type of information, allowing people around the world to follow the steps taken.

In many respects, the Petite Rivière community will help incubate a new kind of modern lifestyle that integrates human health, eco-consciousness, community values and quality of life into an inspiring, 21st century culture.

Zero Waste reduces heavy vehicles.

The community aims to minimize waste and maximize reuse at its source, then recycle and compost to increasingly divert waste from landfill. Innovation in waste management will be driven by a waste-to-product philosophy, rather than a straight “minimize waste” or “zero waste” approach.

Careful management of waste brought into the site (reduction), separation of waste categories, reuse and recycling will be supported by facilities built into the neighborhood and into each building. On-site handling of organic waste will be encouraged by distributed and central composting locations to sustain individual and collective gardens. On-site use of solid waste to fuel the central plant for the district thermal heating loop will be evaluated as part of the energy systems for the community.

A centralized system of waste collection is being considered for installation in the community. Using conduits under negative (vacuum) pressure and drawing from inlet points in the buildings and public spaces, this pneumatic system would collect all the waste at a single depot that could be located on the south side of the railway lines to alleviate the problematic issues of waste collection access by the borough of Lachine. The system would also have the benefit of eliminating the noise and nuisance of garbage trucks circulating through the shared spaces of the community and, in so doing, would reduce the carbon footprint in transport for waste disposal. The Zero Waste goal is one of our main objectives and, from now to 2020, we must reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill by 98%.

 


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