Land use planning: Quebec makes way for densification

According to our information, the National Architectural and Regional Development Policy occupies a little more than thirty pages.

Although the expression urban sprawlwhich is being hotly debated in the National Assembly these days is almost entirely absent from the document, although this issue is addressed, but from the point of view of compression.

The policy evokes the need to create more compact neighborhoods and use the territory more intelligently, while respecting citizens’ way of life.

Described as the initial stage of a large collective enterpriseGovernment policy is based on four main areas:

  • quality living environments that meet the needs of citizens;
  • development that preserves and enhances natural environments and agricultural land;
  • vibrant and authentic communities across Quebec;
  • greater interest in territory and architecture in public action.

Recently, Quebec has committed to preserving the agricultural vocation of the Sisters of Charity lands (archive).

Photo: Radio Canada / Guillaume Croteau-Langevin

patience

Not surprisingly, the government has no plans to immediately detail how these big ideas will materialize.

According to our information, if the Coalition Avenir Québec remains in power, it will have to wait until 2023, after next autumn’s general elections, before adopting an implementation plan for this policy.

It also appears that Quebec will wait before proposing new government guidelines for land use planning (OGAT).

However, these orientations are fundamental, as they guide in particular the MRCs in the development of their development plans and the municipalities in the preparation of their urban plans.

Apart from some additions over the past 20 years, the OGATs currently in force in Quebec were adopted in the mid-1990s and are therefore considered obsolete by many observers.

High expectations

As a result of an extensive consultation process, the federal policy on architecture and regional planning is eagerly awaited in environmental and municipal circles, among others.

The head of the planning committee of the National Regrouping of Regional Environmental Councils of Quebec, Alexandre Turgeon, who sat on the advisory committee during the development of this guideline, expects a clear vision.

: \”Dorénavant, on va aller dans cette direction-là et on va arrêter de scrapper notre territoire parce qu’on gâche nos paysages.\””,”text”:”Notre attente par rapport à la politique, c’est qu’elle donne la voie, qu’on puisse dire: \”Dorénavant, on va aller dans cette direction-là et on va arrêter de scrapper notre territoire parce qu’on gâche nos paysages.\””}}”>Our expectation of politics is that they lead the way, that we can say: ‘From now on we’re going in this direction and we’re going to stop scrap metal our territory because we are spoiling our landscapes.”

Many cities are saying it, elected officials have been saying it louder and louder for some time, that the way they have developed their own territory is a disaster. »

A quote from Alexandre Turgeon, head of the planning committee of the National Grouping of Regional Environmental Councils of Quebec
Interview with Alexandre Turgeon

Alexandre Turgeon sat on the Advisory Committee during the development of the national architectural and zoning policy.

Photo: Radio Canada / Erik Chouinard

Mr. Turgeon does not believe that the fact of Border urban sprawl is enough. Urban sprawl must be stopped, he says. He believes that Quebec can meet its urbanization needs over the next 25 years simply by requalifying land rather than developing new ones.

: c’est quoi, les endroits stratégiques qu’on veut réparer sur notre territoire pour améliorer la qualité de vie des citoyens?”,”text”:”Il va falloir qu’on fasse des choix: c’est quoi, les endroits stratégiques qu’on veut réparer sur notre territoire pour améliorer la qualité de vie des citoyens?”}}”>We have to make decisions: what strategic places do we want to repair on our territory in order to improve the quality of life of citizens? he said.

“Give the Example”

The President of the Ordre des urbanists du Québec, Sylvain Gariépy, who was also a member of this advisory committee, also believes that one of the basic principles must be exemplary government.

We firmly believe that the state must lead by example, that is, it must change its criteria for the location of its public infrastructure in order to avoid territorial sprawl.he says.

If we set up a hospital in such a place, will we have public transport, sufficient access to the motorway? »

A quote from Sylvain Gariépy, President of the Order of Quebec City Planners
Sylvain Gariépy, President of the Order of Quebec City Planners

The President of the Ordre des urbanists du Québec, Sylvain Gariépy, also sat on the Advisory Board.

Photo: Radio Canada

According to Mr. Gariépy, in order to have any real impact, policy needs to focus on a review of all zoning laws, better agreement with indigenous people for use of the territory, and better financing mechanisms for communities.

For his part, Alexandre Turgeon wants the change to get under way as soon as possible after the unveiling of the policy.

Personally, I would have wished that the policy had already been presented, the implementation plan had already been presented and the new government development guidelines had already been approved.he agrees.

In his opinion, Quebec is on the wrong track year for year through the development of living environments that are dependent on the automobile and, in addition to environmental problems, also run the risk of preparing nasty surprises soon.

dernières années, il n’y a personne qui veuille aller vivre dans un endroit comme ça dans 15 ou 20ans, parce que ce sont des milieux qui ont été extrêmement moches, et ce sont des gens qui vont avoir de la misère à revendre leurs propriétés”,”text”:”Un des risques, c’est que des quartiers qui ont émergé dans les 10dernières années, il n’y a personne qui veuille aller vivre dans un endroit comme ça dans 15 ou 20ans, parce que ce sont des milieux qui ont été extrêmement moches, et ce sont des gens qui vont avoir de la misère à revendre leurs propriétés”}}”>One of the risks is that in the neighborhoods that have popped up in the last 10 years, there is no one who wants to live in a place like that in 15 or 20 years, because those areas were extremely ugly and these are people who have it will find it difficult to sell their propertieshe remembers.

With the collaboration of Martine Biron

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