Montréal, Canada

Photo by the Montréal Botanical Garden

Innovative and Collaborative Solution

How does the initiative show evidence of feasibility, including on-going financial and logistical support?

The City of Montréal has committed the necessary funds in its long-term planning strategy. The Montréal Botanical Garden has created a full-time scientist position to oversee the effectiveness of the project and its implementation. A landscape architect, specialized horticulturists and gardeners support this position.

In what ways is the initiative innovative?

The establishment of Phytotechnology Stations at the Botanical Garden enables both solving environmental problems and providing elements of education and demonstration. Each station has educational elements that explain the role and function of plants with the help of display boards. This also allows us to make visitors (800,000 per year) aware of the importance of these green technologies as a new approach and encourage their use in various situations, including domestic, municipal and industrial. To our knowledge, no other botanical garden in the world has built such infrastructures and exploited their multiple functions.

How is the initiative supported by collaborative working across disciplines and sectors?          

The design work for the Phytotechnology Stations involved people from a variety of disciplines. Plant biologists specializing in phytotechnology’s from the Botanical Garden and the Université de Montréal, engineers, and horticulturists who advised on the right plant choices.  Financial partners from the industrial sector sponsored the construction of some of the Stations.   It is interesting to note that the ideas presented through these Phytotechnology Stations have been taken up and applied in certain areas of the City of Montréal to address concrete problems. The phytoremediation project on four hectares of brownfields in the east end of the City of Montréal is probably the best example.

How does the initiative demonstrate evidence of community support?          

The establishment of the first phytotechnology stations was made possible thanks to the economic support of Québec companies which invested several hundred thousand dollars through the Space for Life Foundation.

Today, the entire Québec community is benefiting from this initiative and several unexpected initiatives are being developed: if the stations are the place of research of several graduate students, they are as well the central place of animation of several day camps for the children of Montréal. The Québec society of phytotechnology also uses the course as support of demonstration for its activities of diffusion.
In an even more original way, a true partnership with the National Film Board of Canada has been established. It will allow us to retrace the evolution of the decontamination station, its renaturalization and the phytotechnology’s that are put forward over the years.