Montréal, Canada

Photo by the Montréal Botanical Garden

Sustainability and Resilience

What efforts have been made to reduce the carbon footprint of the initiative?

Phytotechnology’s are all good alternatives to conventional engineering processes. The use of plants thus has positive effects on the reduction of greenhouse gases and the use of products of fossil origin. Whenever plants are used in a green infrastructure, they contribute through their photosynthesis, to absorb CO2 which has a direct effect on the carbon footprint.

How have the anticipated impacts of climate change been considered?

Each station of the pathway is followed by the scientific team of the Botanical Garden and the subject of study of several graduate students at the Institute de biologie végétale (plant biology research centre) at the University of Montréal. A special effort is made to choose resilient, indigenous and non-invasive plants, the selection is based on long-term climate forecasts. A follow-up of the establishment and the state of health of the plant communities is carried out. It is moreover for part of a long-term collaborative project with the National Film Board of Canada.

What processes does the initiative include for it to be considerate in its use of soils and other natural resources?

Once again, the use of Phyto technological approaches is precisely implemented to reduce the use of resources. Thus, the constructed wetlands set up in the Botanical Garden’s historic water garden filter the water and keep everything in a closed loop. This is in contrast to the situation that prevailed when the water was coming from the aqueduct, which was permanently operating in an open system with significant water losses every day. The Phytoremediation Station is a unique landscape setup. It allows the in-situ treatment of polluted soils that would otherwise be sent to specialized landfills, involving the transport and burial of large quantities of soil.